The giving season is one of my most favourite times of the year. I've always enjoyed giving. And there's little that offers greater joy to me than finding a meaningful gift, and seeing that look of pure joy across the receivers face.
I grew up in a big family with conflicting thoughts on gifts. We buy no means had money to spend, though my dad loves to give gifts and spoil. I think it may be for the lack of joy he felt as a child, he always wanted to create that joy for his family. Needless to say there was always big boxes under our Christmas tree and full to the brim stockings for everyone.
At the same time, my grandmother is a Jehovah's Witness. She often turned a blind eye to what we did without her, as a family, though it didn't stop her from sharing her beliefs. One of those take a ways, is that it is a joyous thing to give a gift and its simply misery to expect one or the expectation to give one. If you don't know Jehovah Witness' do not celebrate birthdays and Christmas, etc. From what I recall, a key reason for that, is that, even though most of our humanly actions are good, sometimes we create unhealthy expectations. For example, a child having a bad birthday simply because they didn't get what they wanted, instead of appreciating their friends and family or being present for the good that is right in front of them. More less my grandmother loved to give gifts when she saw something that made her think of you and no other time other than such. I've always felt as though that style of gifting had so much more value and meaning.
As an adult, I'd say I'm a bit of both of them. I do love giving gifts... though I do not enjoy doing something just because. And I'm sure you can imagine, I definitely do not like a wasteful gift.
And I'm not sure why, though, every since I was little, I wanted to share or help out others. And I volunteered a lot growing up (funny that it's mandatory now, 40hours would have been a breeze). I carried that same mentality into my hairdressing career and into the salon. Volunteering and giving back to charity or those in need will never cease to be fulfilling to the soul. The heartfelt connections you make meeting new folks, seeing their joy light up the room.
Reflecting on the topic of giving truly does solidify the importance of giving back. There are so many ways to give. Whether its money or time that you have to spare. And often, its as simple as showing up. And as a business, though profitability is the goal, are real goal is to offer a great space with a great service and return those profits back into our community. Because we all need a little love and a helping hand sometimes.
This giving season, take some time to think about how you can give thoughtfully. Think outside of the box, it doesn't have to be a financial gift. And if giving at this time is stressful, see if you are able to be vulnerable enough to express that. Your favourite humans will understand and love you even more.
*Every year we donate 1% of sales to theStop Community Food Centre and Trees for Life. Additionally, we give in kind gifts to theStop in January for every gift box purchased throughout November/December. And we are excited to be offering a community haircut day at theStop in the new year (we use to offer this at the United Church, so much joy!).