I am not your typical shopper.  I don’t run to shop the day after Thanksgiving.  However, don’t get me wrong;  I am not above a good bargain.   I simply choose to wander the malls, leisurely, until something strikes my fancy.  I will pay my visit before the holiday actually arrives, but in the meantime, I do believe there are many additional ways to spread the joy of the season.

The first one, and the easiest I might add, is to look into the eyes, often very tired eyes, of the other travelers on my path.  Acknowledge them with a smile.  Every one is deserving of a smile.  And my own heart smiles when I pass one to some one else.  Secondly, put a few coins in the Salvation Army bucket that generally stands at the entrance of every store during the holiday season.  If the published reports are correct, there will be more hungry people this holiday season than in many past decades.

In every community  there are innumerable gift giving opportunities.   Womens’ shelters need gifts for both the women and their children.   Check the yellow pages and make a call.  At the church I attend, we have a Christmas Angel Tree and we can select an angel from the tree and purchase the suggested gift for the young boy or girl who is likely to receive only that gift we buy.

Even though I have never met the children I have bought gifts for, it does not take away from the pleasure of making the selection.  Spreading joy, in any capacity, is good for one’s heart and mind.  If we all did one small thing this holiday season to make it more joyful for some one else, the ringing of the bells around the world would be heard far and wide.

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