Giving is better than receiving

Published Nov 20, 2013 at 7:05 am (Updated Nov 18, 2013 at 11:00 am)

It seems that Christmas comes earlier and earlier every year. Stores had Christmas decorations on the shelves before trick-or-treat had even taken place. Santa took his perch at several area malls well before Thanksgiving. And, Black Friday is starting to become a thing of the past, moving to “Black Thursday,” if you will.

It would be nice to celebrate one holiday at a time, enjoying Halloween and Thanksgiving before heading into the holiday season. Since commercialism and corporate greed will likely not allow such a thing, the one aspect of an earlier and earlier holiday season that we can all embrace is the act of giving.

Think of others who are less fortunate, and help them out. If you can’t spare a few dollars, there are myriad other ways to give.

Operation Christmas Child is seeking items such as pencils, notebooks, toothbrushes, bar soap, combs, toys and more to be gifted to needy kids around the world.

Goodwill stores around the area are collecting canned goods to be donated to local food banks. As an incentive, those who donate will be given a coupon for 50 percent off of one item on Nov. 29. Why not clean out your closet before heading to Goodwill, and make a donation of clothes, shoes and coats?

The Allegheny County Health Department is providing Shots and Socks to the homeless on Thanksgiving Day, offering free flu shots and new socks. They are accepting donations of new socks through Thanksgiving Day.

While we often think of other people when it comes to giving back, lets not forget our furry friends. Organizations like the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society are always looking for items including throw rugs, collars, leashes, corn cob bedding, cat carriers, dog crates and more. A quick sweep through your house could procure quite a few of these items.

Donate old books to your local library.

Time is another way to give back. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, visit patients in nursing homes, walk dogs at animal shelters.

Giving back is something we should truly do year-round, but if there’s one great thing about celebrating the holidays sooner and sooner, it is that we have more time to focus on giving back. Because after all, the giving really is better than receiving.

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