Christmas is a time to celebrate all the joy we have in our lives and the birth of Jesus Christ. It is an event that has been celebrated for hundreds of years, and over that time many traditions have formed. One such traditional is exchanging presents. Unfortunately, in our search to find the perfect presents we forget that most of the best gifts can’t be bought in a store.
Giving Truly Is Better Than Receiving
For Manhood Development Program members J.H. and B.P. giving truly is better than receiving. J.H. shared that one of the best gifts he has ever received was when he was able to share Christmas money he had been given as a gift and buy Levi pants for someone in need. Knowing that he was able to extend his good fortune to someone else and make a real difference for them meant a lot to him.
B.P. also proved that it doesn’t take much to give a lot. His favorite holiday memory was feeding the homeless on Christmas, even though he was homeless at the time as well.
These two young men are perfect examples of what Christmas is all about: extending a helping hand and bringing joy to others. B.P. and J.H. already understand what researchers have now proven – happiness not about how much you have. It’s about what you do with it. Studies on money and happiness, like ones recently conducted by the University of British Columbia and Cornell University, have found that giving to others makes people happier than spending on themselves. Furthermore, researchers have found experiences are much more impactful than material things.
3 Ways to Celebrate Christmas Without Spending a Bundle
With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for how you can celebrate Christmas and make the holiday season happier without spending much.
Find a Charity You Want to Help – Charities need more help during the holidays than at other times in the year. Find one that supports a cause you believe in and offer to volunteer your time.You can also give blood and plasma to possibly give someone the gift of life.
Focus on Experiences – Studies have shown that experiences provide more happiness and value than material goods. Come up with creative ways to spend time with loved ones doing something special. You can also incorporate a small, inexpensive gift into an experience. For example, buying someone a puzzle and then working to on it together, or cooking a sit-down dinner for your family.
Drum Up Past Memories – You can also create an inexpensive gift out of a fond memory. Think of places that the gift recipient has visited or lived, the people that have been important in their lives and the things they have accomplished. Craft a small memento that serves as a reminder of a special memory. That way you can turn an experience into something tangible.
All three of these gifts help us make stronger connections with others and provide value to the giver and recipient. If you are looking for an organization to give back to, please consider volunteering at Pro-Vision Academy. Merry Christmas everyone!