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How to maintain the spirit of giving after the holidays

Christmas may be over, but that doesn’t mean the spirit of giving has to stop too. Here’s how to keep the generosity of the season alive in other ways.

Happy woman volunteering at food bank

Volunteer somewhere new

Volunteering is the easiest and best way to give. By donating just a few hours of your time, you can make a huge difference in someone’s life. And it will also teach you a lot about yourself and the role you want to continue to play in the world now and into the new year. Whether you’re passionate about health issues, social concerns, fitness, history, community or something else entirely, there’s a group that could use your assistance. Check out get volunteering to find the perfect match.

Make a special donation

Your gift exchange may be over, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop giving gifts to those in need. Pick up a few cans from the grocery store, and donate them to a local food bank. Sit down and finally make out that cheque to an organization you care about. Or if money is a little tight after all the gift giving, consider donating blood. In just a couple of hours, you can give the gift of life to up to three people. Now that’s what this season is really all about!

Help out family or friends in need

We all get busy during the year and aren’t always able to help out important people in our lives as much as we should. This holiday break, plan on spending a day — or even just a few hours — helping a loved one. Perhaps you have a grandparent who has trouble cleaning her apartment or a friend who hasn’t had any time to herself since having kids and needs a break. Offering to lend a helping hand will let them know they aren’t alone.

Listen a little harder

If you’re not able to donate your time, there’s a simple change you can make that will lead to a more giving life: listening. We often get caught up in our own concerns and don’t truly listen to those in our lives as well as we could. So this holiday season, make an effort to really hear what your friends and family are saying. Simply being an open and available listener can help someone who’s going through a tough time feel a little better about everything. It’s an easy tweak that will make a big difference in the lives of others.

More on generosity

Volunteering as a family
Raising a philanthropist: Volunteering tips for kids and teens
Christmas gift giving: Treat kids without spoiling them

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