It’s no secret that it feels good to do good, yet some people never get into the habit of giving.

I imagine these sideliners haven’t experienced what I refer to as a “Do Good-Feel Good Spiral” and have yet to discover how exhilarating it can be to make a difference in someone’s day. There tends to be established roles of givers and takers often reinforced by the families we grew up in. But there’s no better time of year to shake things up, change the script, and invite someone into the process of giving.

Those of us who contribute on a daily basis tend to connect, communicate and consider what’s going on around us and how our choices impact others. When we give, do and fix, we gain skills and broaden experiences which boosts confidence and competence – all of which builds character and community. The busiest and happiest of people tend to boost others up and the best leaders encourage participation. The most effective and generous way to empower others is to share the joy of giving.

From youth to maturity, there’s always something that someone can deliver. We make it easier for others to jump into the joy of giving when we expect more and do less. Before we find ourselves (and our long To-Do Lists) dragging, we should resist the temptation to do it all by ourselves and just ask …

  • a preschooler to make cards or decorations;
  • a grade schooler to gather ingredients for baking;
  • a middle schooler to organize activities and games;
  • a high schooler to run errands;
  • a 20-year old to provide a meal or side dish;
  • a senior citizen to make her favorite recipe with family or friends.

For we do-gooders, there’s no better time of year to ask more and give less so that others can experience the many benefits of giving. This means scotching over to make room for others at the kitchen counter or dining room table, and giving up on perfection in exchange for participation.

We’ll have to surrender control and accept how and when others deliver. And that’s not easy for the Greedy Giver! But in the long run, more and more people will get swooped up and into the habit of doing and feeling good. Perhaps this holiday season the greatest gift we could give is our willingness to take this opportunity to share the joy of giving.