Christmas Is a Time for Giving — So Donate!

It snowed last night! Only a few inches — most of it melted by midday today — but it made it feel Christmasy!

Our Christmas tree went up this weekend, and I’ll be putting up the rest of the decorations during the week.  I’d love to put lights on the exterior of our home, but alas, there are no electrical outlets. Not that I’d go all National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with decorations, but a few would be nice! Maybe I can run an extension cord from the garage, under the door, to the front lawn…

Even those of us who strive to live frugally have a hard time reining in our spending during the holidays. I’m so full of joy and  happiness this time of year that I tend to want to spend money like Richard Pryor in Brewster’s Millions. Nah, I don’t advocate that (but sounds like fun, right?). But what I do encourage us “frugalites” to do is to spend a little time or money on those who are less fortunate this holiday season. Volunteer your time at a shelter, buy a gift for a needy child, give a few bucks to the Salvation Army Santa.

Michael Chieffo of Belleville, N.J., has a big Christmas event at his home each year to collect toys to donate to children with cancer. A friend of mine takes the time to gather toys from anyone who can’t attend and delivers them the day of the event. She’s a great example of someone who goes above and beyond to donate her time and energy to a number of causes, year-round.

A number of other friends and family members give toys, clothes, coats and food to others this time of year. I plan to donate to the Chieffo toy drive, and I’m sure I have some clothes and a coat or two that could use new homes. After all, this is a season of giving. And I’d rather give to someone who really could use a gift.

Sure, this is a financially-stressful time of year. But what’s a few more dollars out of your pocket to help someone in need? Wouldn’t you want someone to do the same for you if the situation was reversed?

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