Essays,  Photo stories

The spirit of generosity

“When you take the time to acknowledge the abundance in your life and share the wealth, you attract even more blessings and reasons to feel grateful. In this way, receiving and giving creates a circle of energy that serves us all.”
 ~Cheryl Richardson

Holiday decorations 2017 / Cindy La Ferle

Throughout the year, my inner grinch has been grumbling privately about how self-absorbed and self-centered some folks can be. But now that the Christmas season is here, my faith in humanity has been rekindled by the sight of so many unselfish people going out of their way to give something of themselves. 

You needn’t look too far to find these angels. Here are just a few examples …

*The caring shoppers who pause long enough to stuff one more bill in the Salvation Army kettle at the grocery store, or pop another check in the mail to support a favorite charity. 

*The tireless volunteers who sign up to work extra hours in the local soup kitchens, or deliver toys and groceries to families in need.  

*The benevolent strangers who practice “festive acts of kindness” — such as paying a lunch tab, anonymously, for another table of diners in a restaurant. (If you’re on the receiving end of a lovely gesture like this, please pay it forward.)

*The gracious hosts who open their homes and offer yuletide hospitality to family, friends, and neighbors. I’ve always believed that entertaining guests in one’s home is a memorable act of generosity.

*The thoughtful friends who share batches of Christmas cookies, treat you to a holiday meal, or leave you a homemade gift wrapped in a heartfelt message that says, “I am grateful for you, every day of the year.” 

All said and done, there’s a simple reason why A Christmas Carol has such enduring appeal. We are deeply moved by the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge, the bitter old miser who finally opens his heart to the true spirit of Christmas, which is generosity. ~Cindy La Ferle

To view additional content on this blog, please visit the home page of “Things that make me happy.”

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.


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