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Ho, ho, ho my gosh!

Between Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and even Giving Tuesday, it can seem at times like Christmas has been reduced to a financial transaction. Our hearts are in the right place – we want to get a good deal so we can buy even more gifts for our family and friends, or give to the charities of our choosing – but our modern holiday shopping has “evolved” into a somewhat detached experience.

And make no mistake, my own habit puts me squarely in the middle of the “1-click” buying phenomenon.

I’ve even done my part to perpetuate it by putting together a couple of holiday shopping guides (see below; there are some seriously great ideas in there), but I’m keenly aware that one of the greatest gifts we can give is our time and our service to others.

To that end I’m challenging myself to come up with one act of service for each of the special people in my life who – don’t worry kids – I also give store-bought gifts for. (It’s entirely possible that my husband will finally get more room in our closet after I clear out some space. Shhhhhhh!)

And maybe even more exciting, each day in December I’ve decided to play secret Santa to folks I come across during the course of my day. So far I’ve left a coveted “$10 off your next shopping trip” coupon on the grocery store shelf for someone to find, I paid for the latte of the person behind me in the coffee line, and today I think I’ll leave a $5 bill somewhere and watch as someone finds it. Can you imagine the look on their face?! I can’t wait!

Who could you be secret Santa to? If that doesn’t ring your sleigh bells, maybe a homemade (healthy) treat would be just the thing to show someone on your list that you cared enough to make them a special something. Try the Dark Chocolate Detox Bites recipe below and wrap them up in pretty packaging for a child’s teacher or your hairdresser.

For more fun ideas, check out my “Healthy Holiday Gifts” board on Pinterest.

It’s so rewarding (and not much more effort) to give a little of ourselves at the holidays instead of just exercising our clicking finger.

Have a happy, healthy week!

– Marilyn


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