Is it really already December 2nd? It seems like this fall went by in a blur, and I can't believe its just 24 days until Christmas (and Hanukkah started last night!). Not that I'm complaining; I love this time of year for many reasons: Christmas music, lights and other decorations covering trees and town monuments, egg nog, cookies, the scent of fresh pine in my living room, spending time with family and friends (family coming home for the holidays!), wrapping presents, watching Love Actually, wearing the most ridiculously ugly sweater I can find to Christmas parties (see below), stocking stuffers, sledding, poinsettias, sitting by the fire...ok, I think I could go on for a while. There are so many wonderful things about the holidays, but it is also a hard time for many people. Those who have lost loved ones, those who can't afford presents or food, many who don't have a warm home to spend the cold days in. I think its important to help others all year round, but especially around the holidays. You can make a big difference by helping someone, and in return you'll enhance your own holiday spirit!
Here are some ways that you can help others this season (and all year round):
- Money to a favorite charity
- Frequent flier miles - for example American Airlines has programs that give miles to the military, children's charities, Susan G. Komen For the Cure, etc
- Food (to local soup kitchens, food drives at work/school, etc)
- Toys (for example to a nearby Toys For Tots drive)
- Books to the library
- Clothes to Good Will
- At your local soup kitchen
- At a homeless shelter - some Boston examples:
- Decorating a shelter, for example with Harpoon Brewery's Harpoon Helps Program
These are just a few ideas of ways you can give back. I also think the holidays are a good time to appreciate your friends and family more, be less quick to judge others, and try to go out of your way to do something nice. It could be for your roommate (this morning I started Pat's car for him so it would be warm when he left for work) or someone random you pass on the street, but doing nice things will brighten other people's day, and your own!
Okay, as promised, here are some pictures of my ugliest Christmas attire!
My goal is to top those this year!
What are your favorite holiday traditions?