It’s Better to Give … But It’s BEST to Feel Gratitude

The Christmas cliche says,

The Christmas cliche says,

Happy holidays!

Today is Christmas, a day that’s normally characterized by kids eagerly awaiting gift-wrapped presents.

But gifts won’t create sustained happiness. After a few days or weeks, their luster fades.

Spending time together, slowing down, expressing joy … that’s what the holidays are truly about.

Better to Give? That’s Half the Story.

You’ve probably heard the cliche, “It’s better to give than to receive.” That’s true to a point, but it’s not the complete picture.

If we accepted that cliche at face value, we’d bust out our credit cards, buy a bunch of consumer junk, and get stuck with an enormous MasterCard bill.

That’s not “better.”

(As Homer Simpson said, “It wouldn’t feel like Christmas without opening a big bill in January!”)

Here’s the full story:

Yes, it’s better to give. But it’s BEST to feel gratitude.

The holidays are a time when you should reflect on everything that’s awesome about your life.

Even if you’re going through a tough time, you still have a billion reasons to feel grateful:

  • You’re alive.
  • You’re healthy.
  • You live in the 21st century.
  • You have access to clean water, clean air, and sanitation.
  • You have access to refrigeration and indoor heating.
  • You don’t have smallpox.
  • You live during an era with more human freedoms and advanced technology than any previous point in history … and it’s only getting better.

You get the idea. :-)

What happens when you reflect on all your reasons to be grateful?

You stop wanting “more.” You already have waaayyyyy more than enough.

Instead, you start wanting to give.

  • Can I help someone who’s struggling?
  • Can I bring clean air/water/sanitation to someone who doesn’t have it?
  • Can I create more freedom for my family or friends?

When giving comes from a place of gratitude, it’s more likely to involve meaningful gifts. And it’s less likely to involve a massive credit card bill.

Just sayin’. :-)

Happy Holidays from Afford Anything.

Thanks to Flickr / Paparutzi for today’s photo.


  1. says

    Hey Paula:

    Just wanted to say YOU’RE awesome! Thanks for all you do and keep sharing the great vibes and common sense. You rock, my friend! Peace and joy for the new year.

  2. says

    Traveling to a developing country (Guatemala) has really helped me appreciate living in an industrialized nation. Though I admit I still occasionally stress unnecessarily about First World Problems.

  3. says

    Thanks for creating your awesome blog and all the help you’ve given.
    Thanks for reminding me of all the things I have to be thankful for. I’m so glad I don’t have smallpox!!
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  4. says

    When I start feeling down or crabby, I try to remind myself of this. Besides having my basic needs met, I have a job I love and a wonderful family and significant other. When I sit down and think about it, I have so many reasons to be grateful :)

    Hope you had a great Christmas and wishing you a happy new year!

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