During this crazy time of year that we all call the holiday season, we should take the time to think about what we are thankful for. When we show thanks for what we have we can then pay it forward through acts of kindness to others.
Thanksgiving and Christmas always generate a lot of consumerism in the United States. Companies come to be in your face as much as possible to try and drive the consumerist lifestyle for everybody. We all “know” that we deserve that new whatchamacallit and we are going to be pissed if we don’t get it from our loved ones.
How else are we supposed to know that we are loved?
However, that is not the true spirit of the season. We should demonstrate our thanks by showing acts of kindness to those that we know and to those around us.
What are those acts of kindness you ask?
Good question. Let’s take a look.
Acts of Kindness: Minimalism
The first act of kindness is an act that affects all of those around you. Too many people in the US just buy, buy, buy without regard to the effect it has on themselves and the people around them. There really is no need to have nearly the quantity of stuff that Americans tend to accumulate.
Perform an act of kindness by reducing your quantity of things. You can:
- Give them away to Goodwill
- Give them away to family and friends
- Sell them on eBay and make some money
- Sell them on Craigslist
- Place them on the side of the road with a FREE sign posted on them (passersby will probably take them)
All of these will work to reduce your load of items at home. Having a home that with fewer frivolous items will make people feel more at home when they come over to visit.
If you are hosting Thanksgiving or Christmas for your family or friends, what do you want them to come in and see? A house full of stuff or a house full of a tasteful selection of items?
Giving Things Away
However, the act of kindness has less to do with others views of you as it does with your personal view of yourself. You will feel better about your possessions and your position in life when you are able to remove some of the excesses from your life.
Just give it away. Those that receive your old items will be appreciative of your discarded goods. I know I am always happy to receive older goods from people that no longer have a need for them if they are useful.
If, however, you have old junk that nobody really wants, do everybody a favor and trash it. Those that are innovative enough to turn junk into treasure will find it either way.
Giving your old clothes and other junk to Goodwill or the like is also tax-deductible! (Just don’t forget to get your tax deduction receipt.) So, you can minimize your taxes and give at the same time.
So many people think that the only way to “give” is to donate money to charity. However, I would argue that giving of your old things will make you feel even better. It will help you to stop being “owned by your possessions” and begin to enjoy life more.
Giving to Friends and Family
As an act of kindness, you can also give your used goods to family and friends. If you have something that has been upgraded and then the old one is just lying around, why not just give it away? Many people will be very appreciative of that old phone you have lying around or that old computer you no longer need.
I personally have given away 2 old computers to my dad who has repurposed them for various uses.
Not only can you give electronics, but many other gadgets and gizmos around the house can be useful to others. Just take a look and see what you have. You probably have something below that you no longer use:
- Old phone
- Used computer
- Old clothes
- Used furniture
- Old kitchen equipment
- Used bikes
The gift of any of these will reduce the purchasing needs of those you give them to. Just make sure that they actually want it and are not just taking it to get it off your hands. They may be performing their own act of kindness by taking your things off your hands even though they do not need them.
If you are worried those you give things to don’t actually want it…
Sell Your Possessions on eBay or Craigslist
I love eBay and Craigslist. They have been a boon for so many people that don’t want to hold a garage sale. Both platforms give you access to nationwide or worldwide markets for your things.
You have taken the initial depreciation out of the item for the next buyer, so you are giving them a deal on a perfectly good item. This is your act of kindness. You can also list these items cheaply during the holidays as another way of spreading the love to more people. The side benefit? Things also sell faster when priced low.
Free For The Taking
The last act of kindness is just putting your old items out by the side of the road with a FREE sign posted on them. My dad and I used to pick up lots of items around the holidays this way. If you have no need for things anymore, and you don’t have anyone to take them, then why not? Putting items out by the curb does not hurt anything and someone will come by eventually and pick it up.
If you really want to make sure it gets picked up, you can place an ad in the Free section of Craigslist to advertise its presence.
Acts of Kindness
There are many forms of kindness shown during the holiday season. Take a moment to also perform an act of kindness for yourself and rid yourself of some of the encumbering items you no longer need. By ridding yourself of things and giving them to others, you are killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Kindness to one’s self and kindness to others.
So readers, what are your thoughts? Do you give things away over the holidays as a show of kindness?
This post was part of a chain gang on #ActsOfKindness from the Rockstar Finance Forums. Other members of the chain gang listed below:
- Original poster: ChiefMomOfficer: I’m Sick of Christmas Materialism – Instead Lets Make a Difference #actsofkindness
- Anchor: ForeignBornMD: Holiday Season, Giving Back #actsofkindness
- 1st chain: KiwiandKeweenaw Simplifying through #ActsofKindness – Kiwi and Keweenaw
- 2nd chain: PhysicianOnFire A Quarter Million in DAF – A Retirement Goal Achieved
- 3rd chain: BudgetOnAStick An Unexpected Gift
- Link 6: Working Optional – Thankful For What I Have Received
- Link 7: Mama Fish Saves – Top Charities To Get Kids Involved In Giving
- Link 8: Grounded Engineer – Giving Thanks and Why I’m Considering a Donor Advised Fund
- Link 9: 99to1percent Giving Thanks and the 6 Gifts that Keeps Giving
- Link 10: Sarah One Small Thing
- Link 11: Jenny The Best Thing You Can Give Your Family? Kindness
- Link 12: Downsize Your 2080 Think Outside the Christmas Gift Box
- Link 13: The Three Year Experiment The Best Christmas Gifts for That Person Who Has It All
- Link 14: Matt Using Your Platform to Help Others
- Link 15: Millionaire Doc Volunteerism, #ActsofKindness
- Link 16: Atypical Life — Holiday Season Acts of Kindness
- Link 17: Wealth Rehab — ‘Tis the Season for Giving
- Link 18: Another $econd Opinion – Giving Back
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