As a girl, I tend to want to give and receive gifts that are personal, meaningful and memory making. Thus, I wanted to highlight some ways to give the literal gift of ‘giving’ this holiday season. (And, judging on my google search of ‘gift of giving,’ many others are feelin’ the same way.) Here are some ideas on giving this season (in no particular order):

1. Make it Fun. Dig celebrity gossip and also enjoy doing good? DO Something magazines lists the Top 11 of ‘Celebs Gone Good’ ideas to donate. Items range from supporting Brad Pitt’s initiative to rebuild a green New Orleans to celebrity auction items to real-life social and environmental issue-focused documentaries and DVDs (Sicko, Blood Diamond, Hotel Rwanda, etc.)

2. Give time, Volunteer! Go to VolunteerMatch, an internet service that allows you to type in your zipcode and bippity, boppity…boom! a list of places needing volunteers appears right before your eyes. Not only can volunteers find places to serve, but non-profits can also place listings for the type of volunteers they need.

3. Go local. Contact your local community center or school and help locate families or communities in need. My family and I, along with a group of friends, took a single-working mother and her two children shopping, so they could feel empowered in providing a Christmas for each other. Needless to say, it was a greater gift for my parents and I that this family welcomed us, and allowed us to spend an evening with their family. Giving doesn’t have to be to a grand, official non-profit or cause, there are those in every community who could use some holiday kindness. And though it may take more time or perseverance than writing a check, the rewards and memory are more than words can define.

One man, reflects on his view of giving:

“Happiness comes from giving, not getting. If we try hard to bring happiness to others, we cannot stop it from coming to us also. To get joy, we must give it, and to keep joy, we must scatter it.” – John Templeton

Happy holidays this wonderful season!