With the unsteady economy this year, times are tough for everyone. As a family we try to focus on our blessings, not stressing over trying to afford the latest game system, blue ray, or other gadgets. There is so much to be thankful for and simple ways you are truly blessed. If you have food and shelter, you are blessed. If you are employed, you are blessed. If you are up on your mortgage, you are blessed. If you can pay your bills on time, you are blessed. If you look around and find yourself surrounded by the love and support of family and friends, you are blessed.
Look around.... I bet you can find SOMETHING to be grateful for, even in difficult times. And as we count our blessings, there is no better way to show our gratitude than giving or helping others. I challenge each of you to do something for someone else. As you pass the Salvation Army kettles, throw in your pocket change. Or clean your closets and take a bag of clothes to one of their stores. They're a great organization that does a lot of good in the community. All the food banks (like Second Harvest or Helping Ministries) and homeless shelters desperately need canned and dry goods. Even if it's just a couple of cans, it will be greatly appreciated. The Salvation Army and malls (among others) have angel trees where you can pick a child's name and give them a Merry Christmas!
Another idea is "Santa For Seniors". There are many seniors in nursing homes and hospitals that are forgotten during the holidays. All they ask for are basic necessities like lotion, word puzzles, throws, slippers, toiletries and large print books. Nothing extravagant. Also, don't forget your veteran. Find a local VAMC (veterans medical hospital) near you. Another suggestion, every time you go to the store, buy a toy for the Toys For Tots bin! It could be a simple $1 item. Also as an animal lover, I'm a big supporter of the Humane Society. If you can't give a pet a home, you can still donate bagged or canned food, towels, and treats!
It's my goal to do as many of these things as possible, and I hope you join me.
For those that really do find it hard to see yourself as blessed or one of the less fortunate. Give a smile, hug or warm greeting and remember to include others in your prayers. That itself is a wonderful gift.