I watched a newsclip last week about Oprah’s Favorite Things segment of her television program. I’ve never watched the Oprah show, but evidently, once a year, O gives a ton of stuff to everyone present. The segment topic is always a surprise and the show’s audience doesn’t know until it starts that they’ll need a semi to take their loot home.
In theory, it sounds nice, but to watch these people bowing down, jumping up and down, and otherwise having conniptions, actually scared me.
We have become a culture of stuff.
This should not surprise me. I, myself, am guilty of my fair share of “retail therapy.” Even if I’m “getting a good deal,” I’m acquiring stuff. And stuff can enslave us.
My husband, on the other hand, is a true giver. His generosity puts me to shame. And I’m hoping some of it will rub off on me eventually.
Others around me have also been great examples of giving. If you’ve been following the Thirty Day Giving Challenge, you know that there is no shortage of ways that we can give to others.
So, this year, I’m hoping to be a little more open handed in my giving — and a lot less like Ebenezer Scrooge.
Here are 10 easy ways I’ve thought of to give to others:
1. Pass on the gift card to someone who needs it more.
2. Prepare shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.
3. Pay for the order ahead or behind me in line at the drive-thru.
4. Take cookies to my neighbors, even if I don’t know them.
5. Walk out to the garbage collectors with “to go” cups of coffee.
6. Treat someone outside of my household to a big ticket item.
7. Donate a stack of brand new, not ratty, overused books.
8. Take a box of groceries to the local food pantry.
9. Randomly give a $20 bill to a tired looking mom.
10. Give an extra big tip next time we eat out.
I must confess that I’m chicken to do many of these things. They take stepping out of my comfort zone. They take extra effort. They take guts.
But, God has given me much. And why should I not give, too?