Thursday, December 20, 2012

'Tis the Season

With all the nonsense of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and finding a parking spot at the mall, it's easy to forget the true meaning of the holidays. Put the religious affiliations of Christmas aside and there is a whole other meaning behind this time of year, giving. I don't mean giving the the most expensive high-end gadget of the season; I mean giving your time, energy and even a little money towards a better cause. Whether it's volunteering your time at the local soup kitchen or dropping a dollar in the Salvation Army bucket outside Walmart, you're making a difference to people that may not be as fortunate as you.

Even middle America is struggling around this time of year. Luckily Walmart, Toys R Us and many other stores have made an attempt to help out and put together a layaway program where you can "pay a little while getting a lot". However, we all know that this sort of thing can put a burden on people, credit is not always fun paying off. Recently I came across an article at the Huffington Post where for some lucky layaway-ers, Santa came a little early. Anonymous Santas are popping up and contributing, or completely paying off balances of customers who needed to put presents on layaway this year. Some customers where in such shock, they didn't even believe it!

"Toys R Us customers from Washington County, Pa., recently got a layaway receipt saying simply that their presents had been “paid for by Santa,” WPXI-TV reported. Thinking that the receipt was a scam, they called the store only to find out it was real, and four other families layaways were paid off as well." (

And this selfless giving seems to be contagious! Once people started hearing about it, more and more "secret santas" began contributing what they could; Toy's R Us also announced they will be donating $200 of toy's every time a a "secret santa" contributes to a customer's balance.

In a world that seems to always be full of "me! me! me!" this story was a breath of fresh air! The point of giving should never be about recognition, it should just be the simple satisfaction you get for making someone's day, even year! In the wake of Sandy Superstorm, many people who never thought they would have an issue putting the holiday feast on the table are now trying to assemble their lives back together. We all have those bags of clothes in the back of our closets with the word "Donate" written across them or the cans of food shoved in the back of our pantry that you haven't even looked at since last season. I hope sharing this will inspire you to help out, which ever way you can, as small as it may be. All I'm saying is making a difference to someone, especially around this time of year, is always very good news!

Visit the Huffington Post for the full article!

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