Friday Night Think Tank: Give Giving A Chance

SantaI’m still trying to get into the Holiday Spirit, Modern Philosophers.

Christmas is a difficult time, and it takes a while for me to get into the swing of things.  The House on the Hill is not decorated, and the Christmas Tree won’t eventually find its way to the living room.  There is no wreath on the door, no lights on the porch, and no presents to be wrapped.

Basically, it’s a typical Friday night at The House on the Hill.  Since that’s the case, let’s head out to the Think Tank where visions of Deep Thoughts can dance in our heads.

I’ll ask the interns to get us some eggnog.  Please join me in decking the halls with tons of Deep Thoughts.  Fa la la la la la la la la…

This week’s topic:  Christmas is supposed to be about giving.  Do you have a special cause that you like to support during the Holiday Season? 

Christmas tree 2It has become impossible to deny that the world has become a strange, scary place, Modern Philosophers.

We can put up all the Holiday lights and decorations we want, but that’s still not enough to mask the ugly scars that mar our planet’s once beautiful features.

When I start to feel bad for myself or stress out about the direction in which society is headed, I try to change my perspective by thinking about those who are less fortunate than I.  If I fill my Deep Thoughts with the the troubles of others, rather than obsessing on my own trivial issues, I am able to come up with a plan for being a positive in a situation that has become far too negative.

Instead of focusing on why Christmas has lost its magic, I’ve come up with ways to spread some of the Joy that used to fill my heart with wonder as a kid.

Tonight, I went grocery shopping with two lists.  One was for what the kitties and I needed for the week, and the other was for the food drive we are having at work for the local homeless shelter and families in need.

I had intended to pick up a few items for the food drive, but by the time I left the store, I had bought enough to pack one of my reusable shopping bags.  The weight of that bag lightened my mood, and made me excited about going to work on Monday to add my donations to what my coworkers have already collected.

Earlier this week, I went through my closets and filled a large bag with clothing that I donated to the homeless shelter.  Winters can be so harsh in Maine, and I knew that the shirts and jacket I donated would definitely help people in need.

lighten bagThat warmed my heart more than cranking up the thermostat ever could.

I will also write a check this weekend to The Bangor Humane Society so that local kitties and dogs in need can have a Happy Holiday Season until they find their forever homes.

It’s easy to get down and feel bad for myself during the Holidays, but to be honest, the reason my Christmas is blue is my own fault.  Helping those in need during the Holidays reminds me that Christmas is about giving.

The world is a little less frightening when my inner Santa Claus is hard at work.

I hope you are all having a Happy Holiday Season!


About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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16 Responses to Friday Night Think Tank: Give Giving A Chance

  1. What you’re doing is a beautiful thing! There are people who thank God for people like you! I’m one of them! This brought tears to my eyes… My other half gave a couple of big bags of clothes to The Diabetes Fund recently. I just huged her close and said: ‘You’re a good person! Ya know that?’

  2. The spirit of giving makes for the best holidays. It warms our holidays to focus on the various drives and giving trees….and I can’t walk past a ringing bell without stopping too. Maine is lucky to have you.

  3. Great post! I just saw a thing on FB about a reverse Advent Calendar: you put an item in every day and Christmas Eve donate it to the local food bank. I MUST go through my closets, and I have many scarves I made that I can donate… oh, and some stuff I won at a Chinese auction last year… All kinds of giving opportunities! Thanks for getting me thinking about it!

  4. grannyK says:

    Every year, I try to do activities with the kids I watch that has them focus on giving rather than the whole GIMME GIFTS attitude most kids have. Most kids will ask me what I am going to give them for Christmas. I answer with, “What are you giving others?” Most of the time the answer is something like, “Nothing! Kids are supposed to get presents.” The scary thing is, a lot of these kids are not very young. The age that has this attitude is about 6 to 12. One year, I even had a parent tell me that I HAD to get their child a gift because it was expected and that is what Christmas is about. Very sad.

    • Austin says:

      I think kids are raised to believe Christmas is all about the getting and dreams coming true. This does not set them up with a realistic view of life. Jeep doing what you’re doing, and helpfully, some of them will turn out normal and generous. 🙂

  5. I am doing my 3rd annual toy drive. We have some borderline poverty-stricken families in our small community so I like to make sure every child might have a present to open Christmas morning. Next year we may change our focus to the forgotten seniors who are left in homes to spend the holidays alone.

  6. jan says:

    I also find the holiday season depressing! It’s hard to get merry when there’s so much suffering.

  7. Tim Gatewood says:

    Reblogged this on Memphis Service Ministries and commented:
    This writer has the giving spirit that is the heart of the season. Kudos to him for sharing his generosity with others so that we could be inspired by it.

    Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all!

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