I’ve spent weeks talking to you guys about how you can buy a little Christmas morning happiness for yourselves and your families.
Three gift lists and a few amazing giveaways that no one really entered so you should probably get on that later, you should be set when it comes to bringing the ho-ho-holiday joy this year.
So, let’s talk about how you can up the holiday awesome for a complete stranger.
I’m talking about doing something amazing (or semi-amazing) for someone you don’t know, will maybe never meet, and have no reason, beyond the fact that they are a fellow human in need, to hook them up with a gift.
Last Tuesday, Americans celebrated another entirely made up holiday. But, at least this one is worthwhile. The first ever #GivingTuesday was launched to encourage people to give back. It follows two of the most shopped on days of the year (Black Friday and Cyber Monday), and was developed with charities in mind. All they are asking is that people take at least a fraction of the time, effort, and Benjamins they take to bust doors for amazing sales and give it to a charity in the form of time and/or resources.
Of course, I missed it because I don’t plan things very well and my stupid phone doesn’t give me audible reminders and I can’t figure out how to fix the friggin thing somehow, but it’s all good because I am also of the belief that any day can be giving day. Mood strikes you to give, you get on that ASAP, never mind what the calendar says.
You guys know how I roll.
And, I know that maybe some of you missed it too. So, I’ma hook you up.
GlobalGiving, “a charity fundraising web site that gives social entrepreneurs and non-profits from anywhere in the world a chance to raise the money that they need to improve their communities”, is an easy way to get on the giving train.
You just jump on the GlobalGiving site, find a cause you wanna be down with, make a tax deductible donation to their cause, and then follow their progress to see just how what you gave is upping the awesome of the entire organization.
You can donate directly to an organization’s cause yourself and, to help your friends be better people too, you can give them gift cards for giving as well.
The Dudes and I decided together which organization was going to get our donation. There was a bit of a debate because they wanted the cash to go to some organization that saves birds (because they are currently obsessed with birds, the creepier the better), which is cool, because I like birds from a distance as much as the next gal. But, way I see it, there are more pressing charitable orgs out there looking for some holiday support.
I forced them convinced them that Holiday Gifts for Kids was the way to go.
So we laid our donation on that and hope some kid has a happier holiday because of it.
Helping someone who needs it, just because we can and we like it. Creating some karma credit. Paying it forward.
That’s what they call it.
And, it’s easy to do.
Here are some more ideas.
10 Easy Ways to Pay It Forward
1. Buy a gift card for a friend to GlobalGiving.
2. Drop a quarter in a meter. Because isn’t so awesome when you happen upon a few free minutes?
3. On a rainy day, take you cart and give it to someone else. Instead of putting it in the cart return thingy. This helps TWO people!
4. Leave a penny. Or 5.
5. Leave your magazine at the doctor’s office.
6. Let that chick, with the two items, cut you in line.
7. Walk someone to their car under your umbrella when it’s pouring rain outside. Like a grandma or a pregnant lady. Not someone who looks shifty-eyed and creepy-faced, like they might club you and throw you in the back of their nondescript van so they can lock you in their basement and make a skin suit out of you. Safety first!
8. Give someone your Starbucks giftcard with the $3 left on it.
9. Give up your seat on the train to someone who looks tired.
10. Smile. At a stranger. Even if her kid is getting buck at the shoe store while you are there enjoying your ONE DAY of kid free shopping for the month. Especially if her kid is getting buck at the shoe store while you are there enjoying your ONE DAY of kid free shopping for the month.