At this time of year, I am always more thankful for the gifts that I have been given. I am thankful for the roof over my head, the car that takes me wherever I want to go and for the delicious food I share with my friends.

It is also the time that I am more generous. It is the time when I listen to organizations’ needs; it is the time I want to reach out to those who protect our country and do something nice for them; and it is the time when I give gifts to those who are close to me and to those who make my life a little easier.

I know that two of these two feeling correlate with each other. Am I thankful for my life therefore I choose to be more generous or am I am more generous therefore I tend to be more thankful for the things I have?

There is much research that shows the positive effects of gratitude. According to Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude, a research project being conducted by UC Berkley, people who have daily gratification have:

  • Stronger immune systems and lower blood pressure;
  • Higher levels of positive emotions;
  • More joy, optimism, and happiness;
  • More generous and compassionate actions;
  • Less lonely and isolated feelings

I know I am not alone with my more generous actions this winter. I am sure you are doing more for your fellow mankind. Take a moment and reflect the next time you do something nice and really feel the moment. If you decide that this is something that you want to have in your life all year long, plan next year!

  1. Schedule time- look at your calendar for next year. Pick one day a month and commit to do 3 random acts of kindness on that day. Purchase a Starbucks for someone, go to a soup kitchen, or help out a neighbor.
  2. Set up a direct deposit and make a monthly gift to a non-profit. Although this is my least favorite way to give a gift because I forget about it and never feel the warmth of being generous, it is the only way that I remember to make that monthly gift.
  3. Spend time with your family and those you love. So many of us are in the rat race and forget to be generous with our time to our families. Plan a special day for loved ones once a month and keep it.

By planning a little this time of the year when being generous is prevalent, you will be able to feel the wonderful holiday feeling all year long.

I wish you happy feelings all year long!