Fill Your Stockings With Kindness This Holiday Season
More and more, the spirit of giving has become commercialized and monetized to the point where one might not even recognize the true meaning of the holidays any longer. Where a child may have been so thankful to receive one gift at Christmas, now feels as if they're entitled to all the gifts their parents credit card can buy.
While this materialistic behavior is affecting kids at Christmas, it's also affecting people of all ages. How often have you gone to your local shopping mall, struggled to find parking and then been bombarded by waves and waves of people rushing about trying to get to their favorite stores to buy the latest gadget, item of clothing, toy, game, home decor item or anything else they 'necessary' to buy for the holidays.
When did we decide--either collectively or individually--that our gadgets or clothes or toys or home decor items we had before weren't good enough? When did our minds shift to think that we HAD to buy the latest and greatest thing even if doing so puts a strain on our finances? Whenever this cultural shift happened, it wasn't for the good of our own well-being and what we hold sacred and dear to our hearts.
It begs the question: When is it enough? How can we shift our thinking outward to help others and the planet that we are hopelessly destroying with our materialistic greed? The answer: Enough is enough now. If you're feeling the same way, and want to make changes and bring back the true spirit of giving, then fill your stockings with kindness this holiday season. Need ideas on how to do this? Our list below could be a good place to start.
MAKE A DONATION IN SOMEONE'S NAME
The are an entire network of charities, NGO's, wildlife and preservation societies already established that are trying to do their part to give back to the planet in some way. Instead of buying something that may end up in a landfill someday through boredom, disuse, or general lack on interest, make a donation to charity or organization that means something to you.
VOLUNTEER AT A HOMELESS SHELTER AS A FAMILY
There are always going to be people in this world that have less than you, so why not give those less fortunate a nice hot meal to remind them that kindness does exist in the world. This can be a unique way of spending time with your own family as well. Volunteer together and spend an afternoon putting care packages together or cooking a hot meal for those in need in your hometown.
GO TO THE SPCA FOR ONE-ON-ONE TIME WITH FURRY FRIENDS
For all those animal lovers out there that may not be allowed pets at home, this is a wonderful way to show kindness and love for our furry friends that have no forever home yet. Take some organic, healthy treats to an animal shelter and spend time playing with the animals. If you want to do more, try to volunteer at these shelters and help spread the word about adoption processes in your communities so these fur babies can have a home too.
ADOPT AN ANIMAL FROM A KILL SHETLER OR FOSTER AN ANIMAL IN NEED
If you've always dreamed of owning your own pet, opt to adopt one from a kill shelter to help save them from a tragic fate. Abandoned animals in these shelters need our love and support such as a new-born puppy or kitten would, if not more so. You can also foster an orphaned animal and give donations to support the organizations that take care of them, such as the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya that rescue baby orphaned elephants and other wild animals susceptible to the dangers of being unprotected in the wild.
If you're fed up with the fickleness and lack of gratitude that arises during the holidays, spread kindness and love in any number of countless ways this season, and continue to put more thought into the purchases you make. Think to yourself, 'Do I need this, or can this money go to something better?' In our experience, the conscious choice is more rewarding in the end.