Minimalist Holiday: Give Hope

(Photo: Trostle)

As we gather with friends and family this holiday week, many of us will find that despite the hardships of this economy, we are truly blessed. If you’re reading this blog, it’s pretty likely you have a roof over your head, a warm place to sleep, and plenty of food on the table.

We must remember, however, that others may not be so lucky. Too many homeless are sleeping on streets tonight; too many children are going to bed hungry; and too many people are losing their struggle for survival due to a lack of basic medical care and supplies.

Minimalism isn’t just about decluttering our closets and living with less; it’s determining when we have enough, so we can do something good with the excess. It makes no sense to hoard every last possession (or every last dollar) for ourselves, when just a few of them could make a significant difference in someone else’s life.

Take a little time this week, and consider how you can incorporate charity into your minimalist lifestyle. Donate some of your stuff, or some of your money to a good cause. Whether you decide to help someone down the street, or halfway across the world, help someone.

The impact goes far beyond the items you give, or the check you write. Because when someone is down on their luck, out of resources, or with nowhere else to turn, your act of kindness gives them hope. Just knowing that someone out there cares can give them the strength to carry on, the feeling that they’re not alone, the hope that tomorrow will be a brighter day. It’s the greatest minimalist gift you can give.

Wishing all of you a serene and beautiful holiday!

Related posts:

  1. One Less Gift – A Holiday Gift Exemption Certificate
  2. Minimalist Holiday: Declutter-Gifts
  3. Miss Minimalist’s Gift Avoidance Guide

26 comments to Minimalist Holiday: Give Hope

  • AussieGirl

    This is such a lovely post. :)

    Best wishes for the holidays to both you and your partner, Francine.

  • Apple

    This is beautiful Francine. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  • Sara

    Thank you for this lovely post! It inspired me to give a contribution to shelter for cats in my home region and dedicate it as a Christmas gift to a good friend of mine who is also into minimalism.

  • Heather

    This is lovely. My goal in life is to drive across America and help those in need. I believe charity begins in our own back yards. Right now, I am working with an animal rescue program. It’s been eye opening and heart growing experience.

  • SallyGirl

    Maybe its all the holiday sentimentality getting to me, but this post is so genuine and so necessary that I choked up a little while reading it. Hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday!

  • Thank you so much for reminding us in the midst of this most materialistic, crazed season that there are many who would so value the posessions that are gathering dust in our homes and spaces.

    In July, I linked to that fabulous post you wrote on where to donate stuff … and it was well-received by my own readers. http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2011/07/albatross-around-our-necks.html

    Thanks so much for your valuable outlook which is making a huge difference in the lives and homes of those of us who’ve said, “Enough is enough!”

    Christmas Blessings …

  • Gil

    it’s determining when we have enough, so we can do something good with the excess
    _____________________________________________________

    I agree, Francine. I will also say donating money is great, but giving of our time to those in need is even better.

    Holiday Greetings to you and family

  • Rebecca B. A. R.

    Amen! Merry Christmas!

  • A beautifully written sentiment that is surely on the back of many of our minds. Thank you for gently and eloquently moving it to the front of our minds so we’re reminded to keep things in perspective, to be thankful for all we have, and to share with our community, our world. Blessings!

  • A beautiful reminder, thank you ever so much.
    Tali

  • Carolyn

    So well expressed! Thank you, and happy holidays to all!

  • Sista Minimalista

    That was wonderful, Francine. Thank you so much.

  • Yes, yes, yes! You put it so beautifully. I have been featuring gift catalogs on my site all month because of this. Why spend so much money on gifts for each other when they will add clutter and, because of excess, not be truly valued? We could give that same money to someone else and have it ‘change their world’.

    I think it is true ‘richness’ when we can have more than enough, and enough to give away. When the focus can turn from incoming to outgoing.

  • Thank you for your post, Francine, and for inspiring and reminding me of the important things all year round.

  • Thankyou Francine for highlighting the positive flow on effect of minimalism.That we have enough and have something left to share with others.
    Ive just made a $1000 donation to a mental health support group in my community that gives free counselling and support to those suffering from anxiety and depression and has helped hundreds of people back to work and functionality.
    Far better use of $1000 than another 10 pairs of shoes.

  • I would LOVE to recommend http://www.kiva.org to you all

    Please check them out, tell them I sent you ( Francesca Tulk ). I don’t get anything for it, but they do ask you if anyone referred you.

    You loan $25 to third world people in business and they pay you back. It’s quite lovely…you can’t lose. You either get it paid back or you can reinvest in another’s future…

    The site is ace, you can see everything as it happens…

    • Susie

      I second this – Kiva is wonderful!

      One Christmas 5 or 6 years ago, I did a stocktake of what I had saved by having a gift-free Christmas (an innovation in my family at the time) and put that amount into a Kiva account for lending. It has given me great pleasure over the years to make a small difference to the lives of others.

  • Magpie

    A fantastic post Francine. Makes you sit back and take stock of all that is happening around us. Have a lovely holiday.

  • Cynthia

    Merry Christmas Francine and everyone! This post has been a blessing to me this year and pointing outward in life is what it’s really all about. It’s important to have reminders like this.

  • christine

    Thank you so much Francine. You are such an inspiration! I was wondering: what system do you use for all important papers that we are supposed to keep, and which is just one more clutter we have to put up with? Do you just digitize everything? Are digital versions of most papers recognized and accepted as valid? I would love to learn how you deal with this! Looking forward to more inspiration from you in the new year! Have a beautiful simple year and keep writing :)

  • Brittany

    It’s interesting that you poted this, the week you posted this my husband and I helped a homeless man find shelter! And also pulled together some stuff for him.

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