A Different Kind Of Giving

Today Is Giving Tuesday

givingThe year 2008 was a different one for me. Just over two years had passed since just about everything that had meant so much to me lost their significance, including Christmas traditions and giving to others. Only my daughter and my writing brought me any real joy.

Back then, I often did not have a clue what the topic of my next post on my former blog would be. There was no list of ideas that I could just go to and retrieve a story. Life was and to this day remains the source of my posts – the life of others, friends or strangers or my own. This post is a rewrite of one that was published in November of that year. It is opportune as today is also Giving Tuesday  and is a great way to shift our perspective back (after all the Black Friday mayhem) to what the season just ending, Thanksgiving, and the one that is about to begin are really about.  With the holidays fast approaching, I also made the decision to focus this month’s posts on “all things Christmas.”

In November 2008, when this post was first published, I thought for sure it would have been one simply wishing all my friends a happy holiday. The ads on the television and radio were ramping up and in most commercial breaks, then and now, almost all the ads were focussed on Christmas.

Not The Most Wonderful Time For Everyone

That year, there was much talk about a recession and even potential of a depression in the economies of the world. My then (soon to be) husband and I came to the decision to limit our spending and giving for the season. So the ads, while wonderful, did not air to a receptive audience in my household of two (humans). Well, with the exception for one.

In the radio version of this particular ad a woman, later identified as a mother, could be heard giving instructions how to make the perfect bed out of the back seats of a sport utility vehicle (SUV). In the television version, a mother is seen putting her daughter to bed with a bedtime story and a kiss, promising her that when morning comes she will be ready for anything. She reaches up and turns off the light, then the camera zooms out and you see that they are in an SUV parked on a dark road.

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Both mothers and their children in the advertisements were homeless. By the images and the diction they were clearly not drug or some other type of addicts or floozies. You cannot tell whether they were married or living common-law with a man or a woman. However, it is clear that these are middle class women who had to choose between a home and abuse.  They had to choose between living in a soul-deadening environment or giving their children a major life lesson about choices.

This year, November 2015, again the television is playing in the background as I work and this ad comes on that has the same effect on me. Watch:

Probably these ads resonate with me because I have been very close to being homeless a couple times in my journey. I think, however, they caused me to pause because I know that every Christmas too many women will be making that choice. 

Giving Is A Habit

My thought back in 2008 watching a similar ad to the one above was “if the ‘experts’ are correct and the recession sets in the people who will suffer the most will be women and children.” This has always been the sad reality of the world we live in where the most vulnerable to poverty, homelessness and/or abuse are children, seniors and women – quite possibly in that order. In same-gender  relationships, as an example, it is the partner who, as a friend of mine said to me years ago, “Speaks the loudest and wield the biggest economic stick,” who keeps the house. 

giving
Donate this Christmas

At our engagement party, my fiancé and I asked our many friends not to give us any gifts at our wedding. We had not expected anyone to be giving us gifts at the party, however, almost everyone in attendance had brought us something – in addition to the blessing of their presence.  Overwhelmed and aware of the many people ‘without’, we requested that no further gifting be done – at least not to us. We wanted to help cultivate a habit of giving between us and among our friends. So we asked our friends and well-wishers to make donations to charitable organizations, specifically to women’s shelters.

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Fast forward and this is what I would also implore you our readers to consider giving a different kind of gift this Christmas. Write a cheque, go online and use your credit card or pack a box with some non-perishable food items or clothing – it does not have to be a large one – help a family and/or an individual this Christmas. Giving to your local shelter providing a room for women, children and seniors, who might have had to make the choice between a home and abuse is another option this Christmas. 

Christmas Is About Giving

Is that not what Christmas is about – a person being born in a manger as there was no room in the inn for his parents who were running away from a tyrant? Whether you believe in the Christian story or not, did the story of this homeless child not change or impact many lives for over 2,000 years?

Think about giving of a different kind this year and write the cheque early to make sure that the next homeless child, woman or senior has a room for at least a night. You never know whose life this person might change and it might not take 2,000 years.

fireplace-160963_1280As I did back in 2008, I am giving thanks in advance and on behalf of those who will receive your generosity this Christmas. Over the next few weeks leading up to December 25, we will engage with you in Christmas conversations. The Contributors will share their understanding, wishes and even holiday tables you. So be sure to subscribe and receive on daily email update of our posts, as well as my monthly newsletter that includes an affirmation poster. Have you downloaded my FREE E-Book as yet? Delay no further and let us together get ready for 2016. Before The Year Ends is a great resource to help you finish up this year on a great footing and get set for the next. Get it today!

Have an awesome day and remember that you can change a life by giving just love this Christmas. Namaste

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33 thoughts on “A Different Kind Of Giving

  1. […] At the beginning of December, we started this festive month with a promise to focus on posts with a Christmas theme. As such, this week’s roundup will feature only the top posts that did just […]

  2. […] At the beginning of December, we started this festive month with a promise to focus on posts with a Christmas theme. As such, this week’s roundup will feature only the top posts that did just […]

  3. katrina g

    My school just donated a lot of food to the homeless.

    1. Ms Claudette

      That is awesome Katrina, awesome! 🙂

  4. […] December is “the most wonderful time of the year,” you might get tired of hearing this from me soon, November was a good month as well. […]

  5. The holidays are very tough for me for personal reasons,. I try to give back during the holidays and I also try to do so all year round.

  6. I love the thought on giving…this article will surely awaken the spirit of giving to people who reads this 🙂

    1. Ms Claudette

      We certainly hope it does Niki! Thank you for visiting! 🙂

  7. kleebanks

    It’s funny, I hadn’t heard (or don’t remember) about this “Giving Tuesday” before this year. But I think giving and expressing gratitude should be frequent, if not daily, activities in one way or another.

    It is sad that the holidays are so stressful and depressing for so many people.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, it is indeed sad that so many people do not enjoy the holidays. Could some of that be due to the hype and commercialization of the season?

  8. It’s so true that giving is a habit! One that we hope to pass onto our kids.

    1. Ms Claudette

      That would be a beautiful thing if your children were to develop the habit of giving. Thanks for dropping by again Johnathan! 🙂

  9. Christmas is great for giving, but people should be in the given spirit throughout the whole year long.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Don’t know that “should” is the word that I would use, however, I totally get your meaning and yes it would be nice if we were able to support each other, be kind, throughout the year. Thanks for visiting! 🙂

  10. I try to give throughout the year when I’m led to do so. I actually didn’t do anything on Giving Tuesday itself this year. I think I did last year though.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I can so relate to that approach Liz! I don’t feel that giving out of obligation is true giving but paying some sort of debt. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

    2. Ms Claudette

      Awesome that you give when you are led! I think that is a great way to give with real meaning. Thanks for your visit Liz. 🙂

  11. dltolley

    Excellent post, Claudette. Inspiring!

  12. We really should give all year round and just give a lil extra on special occasions, Hug it forward so to speak! Thanks for sharing this Claudette

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are most welcome and here is a hug (( )) for you! 🙂

  13. The essence of Christmas is showing love and care to everyone. It is also an act of giving and sharing 🙂

    1. Ms Claudette

      Amen! Could not agree more with you! Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

  14. Christmas is about giving, but I try to do this all year round.

  15. victoria

    Yes i agree with you Christmas is giving. I hope all the victims of typhoon here was have a new home.

  16. i really really enjoyed this post because it makes the giving more personal. having quit my full time job to focus on my acting career and my blog i am not in a financial place to give of my money. but i certainly know that i have things in good use that i no longer need. I have more than my fair share of blankets and have two in very nice condition that i plan to place in my trunk so that when I encounter someone in need i can offer them some warmth. i also plan to find places where i can give my time. giving to those who you do not expect to repay you is a very different kind of giving and a very incredible kind of giving

    1. Ms Claudette

      WOW! I love your comment, your plans and your perspective! You are amazing! All the very best with your acting and your blog! Much, much love and blessings to you Michelle! 🙂

  17. Elizabeth O.

    It’s not about fancy gifts, it’s about what you can give to people who are special to you. If it’s the gift of love, friendship, the gift of forgiveness, then why not. There are so many meaning to “giving” and not just the literal translation which is all about gifts.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Exactly Elizabeth! I haven’t given Christmas gifts in a few years. This will change this year with my granddaughter but it will be something more meaningful that simply a gift just for the sake of giving her something. Thanks for dropping by again. 🙂

  18. I give year round. This day is a nice reminder for others to give.

    1. Ms Claudette

      It most certainly was a great day for this reminder! Thanks so much for doing your part – not that you need to hear that from me lol! 🙂

  19. Sigh I have no idea where the post went that I just did….Anyway moving right along. I was saying my love for giving comes from seeing my parents give out of nothing and I have passed this on to my only child. It is so important that parents should really instill this in their kids…

  20. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    We just donated to our food bank in town and I truly had no idea how many people places like that helped.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, they do help a lot that is why we did a story on that recently as well. Thank you for dropping by! 🙂

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