I went to my local neighborhood mall yesterday to wander around and see the Christmas tree. The stores were buzzing with excitement with lines of people checking off their holiday lists and children running around playing with motorized cars and toys.
What really struck me was the fact that Santa was all alone for a very long time. He looks pretty lonely there doesn't he?
I watched him for a little while, while taking shots of the mall decorations. I thought to myself maybe I should go sit on his lap and tell him what I want for Christmas. I actually thought it would be kind of fun until I realized that when asking myself what I wanted for Christmas, my mind went completely blank. Why? It's because I have all I want and need. There is absolutely nothing I want.
For me, especially this year giving is much more important than receiving. I have always considered holidays such as Christmas, Valentines Day etc... as an excuse for retailers to make "the big bucks." My philosophy is and always has been, if you want to give and show those you love just how much you love them, why wait for a holiday. Give when the mood strikes.
I observed a couple in Williams Sonoma with a holiday list who were holiday shopping. They spent part of their time arguing over what they should buy and loud enough for all of us to hear. I know they were not the only ones in that situation.
Giving should not be obligatory. It should come from the heart with compassion and love. When it is obligatory it is not really giving.
I have learned so much and been inspired by Steve Ketchpel's latest book on donating and volunteering titled GIVING BACK that I will be giving away a copy of his book and a $25.00 KIVA.org gift card to one of you. You have until Monday, December 10th to answer these two questions and I will choose a winner on that same day. I will notify the winner on Dec. 10th The Kiva gift card can be used to fund a loan on the Kiva.org website. If you live outside the US you have the option of receiving the Kiva gift card by email and Steve's book by kindle edition.
1. What would you ask for this holiday season?
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