I love the holidays.  I love the lights, the parties, the multiplicity of meetings where gratitude is the topic.  I love opening cards and sending messages to loved ones.  I even love wandering the stores where Christmas music is playing.  I don’t buy a lot of gifts any more.  And I have requested none.  Giving to charities rather than giving gifts to friends and family members who really have need for little is a far better way to spread some cheer I think.

I don’t know about your town but in Naples the need is greater this year than ever before.  More families are homeless, more food shelves are picked clean, more children are showing up at school shoeless.  Giving even a little to some one who is less fortunate goes a long way to changing life for him or her and your heart too.  The entrance to nearly every store has a bell ringer who cheerfully wishes you a happy holiday.  What a joyful sound the ringing bell makes.

If every one of us gave  the equivalent of one gift for a loved one to a stranger instead,  or dropped that amount into the red bucket, a smile would be guaranteed some place, on some face, Christmas morning.  Have you done your part on behalf of strangers yet?  What’s stopping you?