Saturday, December 13, 2008

On the third day... another green gift-giving idea!

Tip #3: Giving of your time.

When making your list and checking it twice, Betty encourages you to ever expand your definition of gift-giving to include the gift of your time and service. (My what?! Who has more time at this time of year, right?)

Aye, there's the rub.

Simplifying and re-thinking the holidays without the consumer centerpiece may take a little more time. But it doesn't HAVE to. It could possibly be a matter of re-allocating your time and prioritizing. Which will in turn give you a more meaningful, heartfelt experience.

True. This may mean that you don't get your myriad of holiday cards out the door by December 1st. (Maybe not even before Christmas - we're thinking about a New Year's note this year). This may mean that your coworkers don't receive their annual low-cost doo-dad. It may mean that just because Aunt Thelma sent your a Harry and David holiday gift box that she might receive only a thank you note in return.

Here are some ideas Betty came up with:

Friends or Family
*Give a friend with small children a few hours of free time by offering to babysit
*Offer to complete an errand or task at home or at work for a busy working parent
*Make dinner for your friend who is working overtime this season
*Are you a handy-man or woman? Ask a friend to make a list and spend an afternoon spiffing things up (even Bettier: change air filters, repair leaks, install more energy-efficient appliances for him/her)
*Take your single friend out to eat local food and listen to local music

*Donate your time to hosting or cooking for the homeless men or women in our area through PACEM
*Volunteer to ring the Salvation Army bell outside a local retailer
*Sign up to deliver Meals on Wheels
*Offer to read books to kids in our city and county Bright Star programs (a headstart for pre-k age kids who need more time and attention)
*Pick your favorite local park, business, coffee shop and do something nice for them: clean up the area, renew the books and toys with your own, offer a small toy basket for their small visitors if they don't already have one.
*Give Betty an hour or two of your time to implement community green ideas

Whether you celebrate Christmas or Kwanzaa or Hannukah or the Winter Solstice or none of the above this season, I do believe there is an opportunity to participate in the joy of giving. Giving generously, giving authentically, giving with an open heart feels good. And giving your time (which can seem scarce in the hussle and bustle) can be green to!


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