Another Way to Give This Holiday Season

This holiday season, we are encouraged to “give our time, not gifts.”  I applauded the sentiment but then wondered just what it means to give time.  Here are some ways I have found:

  • Give List lists ways to support communities and causes this holiday season (and year-round for that matter) that don’t necessarily require writing a check.  Ideas include:  donating frequent fliers to soldiers so they can fly home and visit their families; send a note to someone who works for a non-profit and thank them for their work; and create a video about an organization or cause that is important to you and post it on YouTube.
  • Volunteer to be on a Board of committee of a local non-profit.  Organizations all over the country are experiencing a dearth of people willing to donate their time and expertise.  Several years ago, I called the Executive Director of a non-profit that I admire (Doorways for Women and Families) and asked how I could become involved.  Today, I serve on the Board and help organize two fundraising events.  I have helped raise a bunch of money, but I have also learned a great deal about non-profit management and fundraising, experiences that have benefited me at work.
  • Philanthropy.com put together a list of ways to support social causes without giving money.
  • The Daily Green lists 20 ways to give without giving “stuff”


I have a 4-year old so I have to admit that this Christmas, I am giving him a bunch of “stuff.”  Yes, there are a lot of Thomas trains under our tree.  The magic of this season, however, is that my entire family is together.  And this year, I’m hosting the Christmas Eve dinner for the first time ever!

Happy Holidays to you all!  I hope that your holiday is safe, warm, happy and full of family and friends.  Oh yeah, I hope you get that one thing you want most.  Now back to my cooking and baking.

2 thoughts on “Another Way to Give This Holiday Season

  1. Joanna, such a nice post about non-money gift giving ideas. I think so often the focus on money and gift-giving can be so distracting. Your ideas are perfect for creating the kind of sentiment and meaning that many of us seek not just during the holidays but in our lives, period. Thank you for sharing.

  2. It’s wonderful that your whole family can be together for the holidays! Also, I love the idea of giving time, not gifts. Thanks for the great list of ideas!!

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