The holidays are upon us, and we all know what that means—five fun-filled weeks of overeating (one more slice of pie won’t hurt), overspending (guess we’re taking out a second mortgage to pay for Junior’s new gaming system), and overthinking (I really don’t want to go to another boring office party, but if I don’t, will the boss get mad and send me on a trip to visit our one client in the Arctic Circle?*).
(*Okay, maybe that last one is just me.)
Let’s be honest—November and December can be the most stressful months of the year. Between making sure the kids have the gifts they want, decorating the house to be as least as festive as the rest of the houses on the block, and deciding which out-of-town relatives to visit, there’s very little time to actually enjoy the season. What’s supposed to be a time of celebration and goodwill to men has become a test of endurance where the only goal is survival. You just grit your teeth, increase your credit card limit, and pray for New Year’s Day to mercilessly end it all.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Despite what the corporate marketing gurus tell us, the holidays really aren’t supposed to be about who can buy the biggest present or who can make the best meal or how many times the world’s only fruitcake has been regifted over the years.* No matter what you believe, or how you choose to celebrate, or even what specific holiday(s) you observe, when you get to the heart of the matter, there’s really only one thing that can give the season true meaning and make it, not just bearable, but maybe even downright enjoyable: giving.
(*In case you were wondering, the official count is 86,742.)
Making life better for someone in need is the cure for holiday burnout. When we choose to forget about ourselves and our problems, even for a little while, and help a friend, or even a stranger, with their problems, we can’t help but feel better. Not even Aunt Betty’s Tuna Surprise* can take away the joy you feel when you give from the heart.
(*Incidentally, Aunt Betty can’t read expiration dates, and so her gift to the family this year is severe food poisoning. Surprise!)
That’s what Giving Tuesday is all about. According to their website, the movement is all about “encouraging people to do good” by performing “act(s) of generosity.” Obviously, that’s a great thing. And it’s true that giving can take many forms. You can give time, energy, resources, possessions—really anything that you have that someone else needs can make a great gift. The possibilities are endless.
However, if we’re being honest with ourselves, there’s one gift that’s preferred over all others. And that, my friends, is cold, hard, cash.
Despite what your significant other might tell you,* cash really is the perfect gift. If you have enough of it, you can magically turn it into whatever you want it to be. And it never goes out of style.
(*Under no circumstances should you ever, EVER try to give cash to your significant other as a present unless you’re trying to blow up the relationship. You’ve been warned.)
So now that we’ve established that giving is the cure for the holiday blues, and that cash is the perfect gift, all we need is the perfect recipient. Someone (or a group of someones) with a legitimate need and who would use your donation to do a lot of good for a lot of people.
I have just the group of someones: Gabi’s Pals.
If you’re reading this, you probably know all about Gabi Angelini and the amazing work she and her mother do to help those with special abilities. They offer training, employment, support, and other services to people with Down syndrome, autism, and other physical or cognitive challenges. The folks who work at Gabi’s learn that being differently-abled isn’t a weakness. It’s a strength.
But providing these services to those who desperately need them isn’t cheap. It takes a lot to keep Gabi’s going, but you can rest assured that every dime you give is used to make the life of a specially-abled person just a little bit better. And that’s something you can feel good about no matter how bad the holidays get.
You need to give. Giving makes you feel better. And Gabi’s needs your gift. Sounds like a win-win.
To find out more about how to send your tax-deductible donation to Gabi’s Pals, please visit our donation information page.
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