The Shield

Giving is more important

Jennifer Hauser, Staff Writer

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You have officially reached adulthood when the holiday season has you thinking more about what you can give of yourself than what gifts you may anticipate receiving.

This is an idea that has – obviously – become more clear to me as a parent. When family and friends ask what gifts I would like, the answer I find myself giving more frequently is, “just get my kids something.”

It is a hard concept to explain to children, but I am trying to instill into them the value of giving rather than getting.

The idea of giving should become more prevalent to us as we reach adulthood. This does not  necessarily mean gifts, but giving back to others in ways that we have never imagined before.


Giving elicits feelings of joy within us that are much greater than what we experience opening a package.


There are many ways that we can bring on that warm fuzzy feeling inside. Some are surprisingly cheap, or in many cases, even free.

Volunteer. This does not mean the typical soup kitchen gigs, although those events are important too.

Go to a local elementary school and read to a classroom of children. During the holiday season, pick an appropriately themed seasonal book.

Go to a nursing home and chat with a resident who may not have family nearby, or maybe none at all.  Get to know these people, find out what they like and bring them a small gift. If you cannot afford a gift, they will likely just appreciate having your company.

Donate. Donations are not always about money. Food and clothes drives help the less fortunate with things they may not otherwise be able to obtain on their own. Coat, hat and glove drives are especially important as the weather gets colder.

Find out how to donate unused household items such as bedding, blankets, dishes or personal care items to homeless shelters.

Send out paper holiday cards. If you cannot afford to buy for every single member of your family and friends, handwritten cards are one of my favorite ways to let someone know that you were thinking of them.


Most importantly – smile. Smiles are infectious and contagious, and they cost nothing. You never know what situations people may be in that may place them far away from their loved ones. It is difficult to be away from your family during the holiday season.

Giving back should be of great importance to us all year long, but I believe that it is even more important this time of the year.

So get out in your community and spread some holiday joy. It is a great feeling.

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Giving is more important