Put Generosity Under Your Tree


The practical demonstration of generosity is displayed every year under a Christmas tree! The season begins for many people with the same old question, “What do you want for Christmas?”

What do you get the person who has everything?

When I was asked that question as a kid, it was a welcome invitation to describe that special something I had been eyeing at the toy store. Today, however, I have no idea how to answer that question. It doesn’t help that I am fussy, but the far bigger reason is that I have enough.

The truth is, if I need or want something throughout the year, I usually just make a trip to the store and get it. And yet, my young-adult-age daughters always ask me what I want for Christmas. I tell them that I just want them home for the holidays, but that is not the answer they are looking for. They want to do something for me that is tangible.

A different kind of gift

Every year, we circle full parking lots and brave busy shopping malls in search of the perfect gift. All too often, those purchases aren’t really needed or wanted.

But what if you could put a thoughtful, personal gift under the tree this year without the stress or the clutter? Better yet, what if your Christmas gift was to help people who really need it?

“Christmas is about giving from the heart more than giving from the store” – Toni Sorensen

Make your gift memorable

Did you know you can make gifts to charity on behalf of someone else?

Many non-profits have catalogues or online programs set up specifically for this purpose. There are lots of opportunities to choose a gift that aligns with your loved ones’ specific interests.

For example, you could donate to the public library on behalf of the booklover in your family, support microenterprise projects overseas on behalf of the couple who run a successful business, donate a food hamper or give to a food bank on behalf of the uncle who loves to cook, or sponsor minor hockey opportunities for underprivileged kids on behalf of the sports fan in the family.

Some organizations even provide cards to give out explaining the donation that was made, although you could always write a heartfelt message yourself.

Your loved ones still get to unwrap a special surprise, but the gift is shared with someone who might otherwise not receive anything for Christmas.

Start a New Tradition

Author Toni Sorensen is credited with saying, “Christmas is about giving from the heart more than giving from the store”, a turn of phrase that feels particularly apt this year.

If you’re staring down at a list of people who ‘have everything’, I urge you to start a new tradition of giving them a donation this Christmas.

As someone who falls into that hard-to-shop-for category myself, I can’t imagine a present I would like more.

So, pour yourself a warm drink, put on some festive music, and have some fun exploring the many charities out there. I’m sure you’ll find the perfect gift when you put generosity under the tree.

Contributed by Darren Pries-Klassen

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