“The festive season…can be a really tough period, when we don’t have the capacity or time to give freely—& now, we feel obligated to”
Most of us live our lives in a society that asks us to ‘give’ in many ways. Often, we’re giving our time to our employer, our money to our landlord, and our attention to some kind of issue that demands it. I said ‘asked’, but really, there’s not a great deal of choice in the matter. Which is why giving wholly by choice, of our own volition, can feel so damn good.
To volunteer your time at a charity, or donate money to a worthy cause, or muck in and help solve someone else’s problem, rewards both parties. To see the delight on a friend’s face when they unwrap the perfect present.
We’re told that the festive season in particular is a ‘time for giving’. It can also be a really tough period, when we don’t have the capacity or time to give freely—and now, we feel obligated to. Consumerism has led us to a point where we’ll even buy pointless, disposable, short-lived gifts rather than just opting out of the spending spree. Or, you might give out of guilt, having seen one too many scenes of dire poverty on a charity TV ad.
This festive season, question your motivations for giving. Who are you buying for, and why? If gift giving isn’t reciprocated, is that okay? Could you give something else besides a physical gift, like your time or skills or attention? Have the mulled-wine-tinted glasses of constant Christmas sales got you a bit carried away with your spending?
The festive season can be a time for giving—but only if you genuinely want to, in the way that best suits you. And—top tip—if that’s the case, you can do it at any time of the year.