Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year to spend with our families, friends, and loved ones, celebrating and giving thanks for all that we have in life and all that we are grateful for. This holiday season, why not spend a little of that time making it even more meaningful? If you are looking for ways to express your gratitude, give thanks, and pay it forward, here are some terrific ideas to help you do just that.
Volunteer Your Time
One of the best ways to really feel that holiday spirit is to volunteer your time and talent. There are many Laguna Beach organizations that need volunteers, not only during the holiday season, but year round. A few of the great volunteer opportunities nearby include:
- Cat Care Givers at the Blue Bell Foundation for Cats – if you love cats, this organization is in need of volunteers to groom, play with, socialize and love their cats.
- Help Adults Read Better at the OC Public Library – volunteer as a tutor and help adults learn to read and write better.
- Host an International Exchange Student – Aspect Foundation sponsors over 700 students every year and are always looking for great host families.
Share Your Family
Opening your home to celebrate the holidays with someone who may not have family in the area is a wonderful way to celebrate the spirit of giving that this season is about. If one of your children’s teachers is away from home, or a neighbor doesn’t have family visiting this year, or you know someone from work from a foreign country who has never experienced the holiday, consider inviting them over to join in your festivities. It’s a simple gesture that can be powerfully felt.
Spread the Joy
One of the most satisfying ways to experience the joy of the season is to help spread it. Think of ways you can spread the joy in your neighborhood or community – whether it be singing carols at an assisted living facility, baking cookies for the neighbors, helping an elderly neighbor with their winter gardening chores, or making homemade cards for Meals on Wheels that can be distributed along with their meals. Spreading cheer can be free of charge, and you are paid exponentially for your efforts.
Make a Donation
Some of the most significant gifts you can give this holiday season are charitable donations. There are so many worthy causes, you and your family can choose your favorite and make it a holiday tradition to donate to them. Other types of donations are giving the wait staff in your favorite Laguna Beach restaurant a special tip for the holidays or having your children choose some of their toys to donate to a local church.
Make a Wish List
This year, why not sit down, or have your children sit down, and make a list of ten wishes they would like for other people to receive? Whether it be wishes for friends and family, or larger wishes for the whole world, making a wish list gives us time to think about what other people might need to make them happy.
No matter how you decide to give thanks this holiday season, everyone here at The Stanaland Group wishes you and your family a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. Gobble gobble!