The month of December is usually a time for large gatherings of friends, fancy dinners and parties and a time to celebrate family.
If you are single and divorced, you know that a little dose of melancholy is part of the deal, too. You may be separated from your children, as they celebrate with their other parent.
You might be struggling to fund the gifts and extras expected this time of year. And juggling extra events on an already stressed calendar can be overwhelming when there is only one head of the household.
For you, January might not come fast enough.
Rather than hide from the hoopla of the Holidays and pray that it would all be over, there is a sure fire way to pull out of the dumps that doesn’t cost much, if anything, and ensures that you won’t be alone.
Become Someone’s Angel
Every town in America has more than one charity that is in desperate need of assistance during the Holidays. Serving those less fortunate will help you to count your blessings immediately, brighten another’s day, bring you the true meaning of the Holidays, and may become your new Holiday tradition.
Here are a few ideas that don’t cost much, if anything.
- Volunteer to serve Holiday dinners at your local homeless or domestic abuse shelter. It takes no talent or training to dish out a hot meal and most organization will welcome your participation. Just call and ask how.
- Clean out your closets and bring the unwanted clothes to the same shelters. Especially in cold weather, those without homes need fresh, clean, warm clothes more often then you think. Even if they find a place to store extra clothing, theft is a common problem. Your unused clothes will be a wonderful gift for those less fortunate.
- Clean out your pantry and bring unwanted canned food to your local food bank. Organizations around the country are reporting empty shelves this Holiday season and some are in dire need for restocking.
- Volunteer to wrap or pack gifts at your local church, shelter, food pantry. Most are under funded, under resourced and operate thanks to the passion of a few. Your gift of labor will be much appreciated.
- Spend the day handing out handmade cards with words of encouragement to shoppers in your local mall. You won’t believe how many people will be pleasantly surprised to receive instead of give!
- Volunteer to read to homebound seniors or retirement home residents. Many men and women in these homes don’t have family who visit them ever and eyesight issues are a common problem for the elderly. Listen to your voice reading a good tale will be an incredible gift that costs nothing but time.
- Invite to dinner, those who are also alone. If you don’t know who those people are, ask around or call your local church for a list of names. You’d be surprised how many people you know will also end up being alone this coming Holiday.
- Hand out candy canes in the local emergency room, then ask if you can head to the pediatric ward. The smiles you receive will blow you away.
- Take your dog to a retirement center. Seniors have little contact with man’s best friends once they enter assisted living. A visit from you and your pup or kitty will be a wonderful gift. Just remember to call first to find out the rules to do this.
- And if you love to cook your traditional Holiday meal, go ahead and do it. After you make a plate for yourself, take it all to your local fire rescue station on Christmas Eve and share with those first responders your culinary talents. They will be grateful.
You can find information on where to do all of these ideas by searching locally for churches, shelters, Salvations Army, food pantry or bank, hospitals, retirement centers, or fire and rescues station. Make a quick call to get details and when and how they take donations or sign up volunteers. It is pretty easy and generally no special action is required.
By reaching out to others in need, you can change your tradition and mitigate any sense of loss you might feel turning this season. In fact, you may wonder why you hadn’t done it sooner. The month of December is really more about giving than receiving anyway.
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