It’s the “Season of Giving”

We’re in the window between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s the “Season of Giving.” Why? Because it is marketed that way. It’s promoted by commercials, TV shows, holiday movies and more.

When I take a step back and look at the year, giving happens year-round. I often see Mississippi either ranked first or within the top five states of charitable giving or one of the most philanthropic states. I’ve always assumed that the most giving states are in the South, and that is not true. Utah throws my assumption out the window.

I’ve read an article saying that the states that give the most to charities are more religious than the other states. That is not 100% accurate either.

As a casual observer, I see where there is a need, there is usually an attempt being made for a solution.

My company has been fortunate to be part of the event planning team that has managed the Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour in Jackson, Mississippi, the past few years. In addition to Jackson, in 2017 this tour has been to Atlanta; Birmingham, Alabama; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago; Dallas; Detroit; Greensboro, North Carolina; Los Angeles; Memphis, Tennessee; New Orleans; Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia; Raleigh, North Carolina; St. Louis; and Washington. Jackson raised more money than most of the other venues. The money raised benefited the Ronald McDonald House Charities. This happened outside the “Season of Giving.”

Closer to home, Saints’ Brew at All Saints’ Episcopal Church just celebrated it’s 10th year. When I read the article in the Daily Journal about the anniversary of this mission to serve breakfast each weekday to those who are in need, I noted that Saints’ Brew was started during Advent, which does fall within the Thanksgiving-Christmas “Season of Giving” window. But, it didn’t stop at Christmas. It has been going on for 10 years. The season didn’t stop.

I heard a friend in college ask a group of us, “Why do we only give gifts at events like birthdays and Christmas? That’s expected. Why not give a gift when it is unexpected?”

I have been a recipient of an unexpected gift. I was at a quick-service restaurant. When I pulled up to the drive-up window to pay, I was told that the person ahead of me paid for my meal. I didn’t know the person in the car in front of me. I was pleasantly surprised. And, yes, I’d anonymously paid for the tab for others before – usually police officers, firefighters and those in military uniforms – but I’d never been the recipient of someone else’s generosity like this.

I am not against a season of giving. But, I am proud to live in an area of the country where giving is part of the culture. I am proud to live where relationships matter. We care about each other. Strangers wave and smile. “Quality of life” means more than money. Living in Northeast Mississippi, we don’t have to explain that Mississippi is the Hospitality State because we show it in our actions.

Merry Christmas!

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