Unbelievable as it may sound, Christmas is less than two months away. And with the hustle and bustle about to begin, I suspect many women are just getting started or have recently started, buying that perfect Christmas present for their loved ones. Notice I left out the men? Guys, we all know that most men shop for their significant other on December 24th. Additionally, all of the gifts opened on Christmas morning will be as much of a surprise to you as it will be to the person receiving the gift.
3 – Shop Local / Shop Small
There are many small businesses out there just trying to get by during the struggling economy. Many will also be offering some really great deals on their products over the coming weeks. Might I also suggest that the person behind that small business, who also has a family at home to support the same as you, may secretly be suffering from severe depression during the holidays. For a small business, this time of year makes it or breaks it for their business’s bottom line. Even a small purchase from your local crafty person could make the difference.
There are also many small non-profits whose sole purpose is to support Suicide Prevention Charities. I started my Etsy store in August of 2021 and to date, we have had just under $3000 in sales. After the cost of the product, we have donated almost $1000 to charity. Keep in mind that my profit margin is very low in order to compete with the already crowded online marketplaces. And earlier this month we spent four days at the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival and sold about $650 in my art and designs. We will be making a donation to charity.
So for this holiday season, please consider shopping small and local. You just may make a difference in someone’s life.
2 – Get Involved
For many, the holiday season brings along with it a feeling of sadness and guilt. And for those on the street, the despair in their eyes appears as black as coal. Additionally, suicide rates among the homeless historically take a steep rise during the holidays as their bleak outlook on life dwindles. A very simple way, and one that will likely only cost your time, is to volunteer at a local food bank, homeless shelter, or crisis pregnancy center.
Here on the Outer Banks, OBX Room in the Inn, Inc. is a non-profit 501C3 organization that was established in 2009. This wonderful organization provides a warm place to sleep for the homeless here on the Outer Banks.
Wait?!? So you have homeless people at the beach?
Sadly, we do and actually, there are homeless people in nearly every locale all across the world.
So no matter where you call home, there is still a high probability of homelessness in your area. So seek out reputable organizations in your area to volunteer.
1 – Prayer
As a firm believer that God can move mountains, prayer will always be at the top of my list. When praying, be sure to seek God’s counsel on how you can help. Whether it is giving your time and volunteering at your local homeless shelter or giving financially to a charity, seek out ways you can help.
And in closing, as I have written about before, our most valuable asset is time. Though you may not be able to give financially, trust me, you can find the time to give of yourself. Did you know that we in the United States spent on average 147 minutes a day on social media? That comes to about 890 hours per year or approximately 37 days with our heads down and our thumbs flicking a small screen in our hands. So trust me, you can find the time to help someone who is suffering this holiday season.