A different kind of holiday giving

The holidays are going to be different this year. There’s nothing quite like holiday family gatherings, but none of us want to put loved ones at risk. Moderation will prevail for many, and we’re going to have to see some of our loved ones via zoom.

Some have hardly noticed a personal impact, other than their employer sending them home to work, while others have been severely impacted by the pandemic of 2020. Small retail business and restaurants have closed for good as a result of the pandemic, leaving many without income. Both sides of this dynamic create opportunities for a different kind of giving this holiday season.

Many families are spending more time at home. Adults are working virtually from home while at the same time some students are attending classes online. Suddenly the home is feeling smaller. Instead of going the retail route for holiday giving, might an investment in the home be a worthy alternative? Adding workspace is practical, immediately useful, and might be appreciated more than something that’ll end up in a closet, or the garage, after a period.

Spare space, in the form of bonus rooms, extra bedrooms, and infrequently used formal dining rooms are being repurposed to serve as home workspace for adults and students alike. Common upgrades include shelving, storage and filing, a desk, upgraded lighting and electrical to run computers and printers. Carpeting over tile floors absorbs sound. Internet connections via a router or wi-fi round out the basic needs. Depending on how much time people plan to spend in that space, we’ve done a few faux fireplaces this year, to add an extra accent to a room.

Might your spouse, or child, get more use and enjoyment out of a room makeover as a holiday gift vs. a more traditional gift?

And while many have survived the health and economic effects of this pandemic relatively unscathed, know that there are those who have not. Owners of small businesses, and their staff, closed due to the economic fallout of 2020 are struggling to find work and make ends meet.

The holidays are a time of giving and many charities and organizations that help the needy could really use some extra giving right now. Whether you clean out the pantry, purchase an extra bag of groceries at the supermarket or write a check so a charity can purchase what they happen to need most badly, all donations will be greatly appreciated this holiday season. And if your finances are tight, volunteering at a charity is both appreciated and fulfilling work.

It’s going to be a different kind of holiday season. Consider a different kind of holiday giving?