“Do all the good you can and make as little fuss about it as possible.” – Charles Dickens

The arrival of the holiday season is one filled with traditions, time with family, wonderful meals and the exchanging of gifts, but most importantly it can be just the right time to show and share a grateful heart.

The holidays have become quite commercialized and more about how many gifts are wrapped up under the tree that as a society we have got away from the real meaning of the holidays. To me it is a time of giving back, generosity, the willingness to make a personal sacrifice and show random acts of kindness to those who might find the holidays to be a more difficult time of year. And I believe it starts with teaching our children the importance of giving, even at a young age.

We have started a tradition with our children in our family to donate a gift that they choose and purchase to our local Fire Hall. The gifts donated are then delivered to children that are less fortunate during the holidays. It is the act of giving that teaches us the special power we all hold that results in a contagious feeling of happiness. Giving not only makes the giver feel great, but it promotes feelings of gratitude on both the giving and receiving ends.

Some great ideas of things to do either personally or with your family to show a giving heart might include: Volunteering at a food shelter, taking baked goods to a Nursing home, extra monthly donations to your favourite charities, have some extra gift cards on hand to be generous where and when you can, just to name a few.

Everyone act of giving and moment of gratitude is another life changed and starting new traditions either personally or with your family can be where you start your own ripple effect this year.