About a year ago, someone from church we barely knew gave us a car.  My husband and I had shared a Toyota Echo for about three years, but with a growing family and divergent schedules, it was increasingly difficult to share just one vehicle.  I was pregnant with our second child and needed to get to midwife and neurology appointments, and my husband had full-time work and graduate school commitments.  Of course, we didn’t have extra money set aside for anything.


In a totally selfless act, this couple decided to give us their thirteen year old Honda Accord.  They could’ve sold it and made some money or given it to charity and written it off their taxes, but instead they gave it to us.  The car runs well and is in pretty good shape, and despite this bumper sticker, is a great car:



I honestly hate having this sticker on the car (I’m not really into bumper stickers OR Jazzercise), but I hesitate to remove it because of the great story I can tell when people ask me why that sticker is there.  I will probably remove it someday, but I haven’t been able to do it just yet.


With the holiday season quickly approaching (how many other places have you seen this phrase already?), I’ve started thinking about the people in my life who’ve really helped us over the past few years.  Of course, I don’t have a car at my disposal to give away, but there are so many other ways to show your love for others.


I’ve never been a very gifty person myself, but I enjoy writing notes, and I enjoy cooking.  In the coming weeks, I’m going to create a list of people I need to show thanks to.  This is probably all I ever do to prepare for Christmas.  I’ve seen a lot of other websites talking about a “Christmas budget” and how to prepare financially for the holiday season, but I’ve never spent more than $100 on Christmas (except for the Ipod I bought for my husband a few years back — oops).  I’m considering giving away some aloe vera plants, as well, since I have one that is starting to reproduce wildly.  Only to people who would be into that sort of thing, though.


Oh, and I hate shopping, too.  Yes, I’m a woman who HATES shopping.  Occasionally it’s okay, but a “day of shopping” sounds miserable.  Unless it’s for food…but we’re talking retail here.  So I really like the annual Buy Nothing Day concept, because the last thing I want to do on the day after Thanksgiving is go out and blow a bunch of money.


Hopefully this doesn’t sound like I’m holding myself up as some grand anti-consumerism, anti-capitalism elitist, because I constantly feel the pressure to buy into so much of the marketing out there, too.  Any other thoughts on keeping the spirit of generosity during the holiday season?


One response to “Generosity

  1. I am trying to keep a very tight budget for Christmas as well and to do that I am making gifts for everyone this year and encouraging them to do the same for me or to at least buy something vintage rather than new because there is absolutely nothing I need. I have really gotten into knitting so I have a knitting project for everyone on my list and I have been working on one of them since September: a scarf I am making for my dad. It is going to be a replica of one that his mom made for him when he was in high school. I am making it based on his description and I think it will be way more memorable than a gift card which is what I usually get for him. Also, as a nice sustainable touch, the yarn I am using is 100% Merino wool that I purchased at a really cool local yarn shop called Woolgathering. The owner actually makes her own yarn which I love and want to learn!

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