It’s been a number of years since I worked in a corporation. While I love having my own business, I have to admit I miss the end of the year celebrations and bonuses. I attended a lot of parties over my 35 years in business. Some were over-the-top, drink too much happenings while others were more sedate. Whether wild, calm or somewhere in between, there were some years where the only holiday gift I received was from the place I worked.
The holiday season brings out the best in us. We get together with others and we find opportunities to give back through donating our time and money to charitable causes.
One way I give back is by inviting people who have no other place to go to come to my house for a holiday meal. Over the years, my table has been graced by people I might only casually know or friends of my children. It’s always been a gratifying experience.
For instance, one year my son invited a number of his friends. One of them spent the better of the evening hovering around the food and watching me. The next day I asked my son about this young man and what I perceived to be his curious behavior. My son responded by telling me this friend loved being at our house and expressed his appreciation by saying, “I never knew people could be so nice and generous.” I only found out after the party that this young man was living in a homeless shelter with his Mom and brother.
As you seek out ways to make life better for others, don’t forget to look in your own backyard. Sometimes, the best gift you can give is taking time to listen to a co-worker or reaching out to someone you know who needs a helping hand.