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Give a Little of Yourself This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday for many – a time to focus on family, friends, food and fun before the shopping frenzy kicks in. Why not kick it up a notch this year, and share even more fun times by giving a little thanks to your community. Joining forces with your family and friends will make your charitable activities even more meaningful and festive.   Here are a few ideas to help you get started: Purge and Donate Clean out your closets, cabinets, garage and basement and gather clean items in good repair to donate to a favorite charity like the Salvation Army,  Goodwill or a homeless or women’s shelter near you. To make the project more fun, stage a friendly competition to see who can come up with the biggest heap of donations. Caravan your collected items to your selected charity and then celebrate with your team afterwards. Participate…

5 Ways to Foster Gratitude All Year Round

Ever feel like you don’t have enough? You’re not alone. In this era of Insta-bragging, Facebook envy and Keeping Up with the Kardashians, many of us consciously or unconsciously compare ourselves to friends, neighbors and even celebrities – then beat ourselves up for not having as much as they appear to have. Fortunately, there’s a powerful antidote to comparing and despairing: gratitude. According to UC Davis Psychology Professor Robert Emmons (who also happens to be the world’s leading expert on the science of gratitude), cultivating an attitude of gratitude can increase happiness levels by as much as 25 percent while also encouraging self-esteem, hope, empathy and optimism. Here are five easy ways to foster a sense of gratitude in your home this Thanksgiving – and all year round: Count Your Blessings It’s often easy to overlook the small things in life we should be grateful for. Writing a daily list…

Five Ways To Give Back To Your Community Over The Holidays

12-25-14 SQ Blog FBWhile the holiday season is a great time to count our blessings, it’s an even better time to help those who are less fortunate. While making a financial contribution to your favorite charity is a wonderful holiday gesture, many of us forget that we can give back in a more hands-on way by volunteering locally. In addition to making a difference and teaching your kids that the holidays are about giving (and not just getting), community outreach can be a great family bonding activity. Here are five ideas for giving back to your community that can be fun for the whole family.

  1. Adopt a family. Many local organizations and religious groups can help you sponsor an underserved family in your area over the holiday season. Sponsoring can entail anything from buying food and gifts to preparing meals and spending the holidays with your adopted family. If you’re worried that you don’t have enough financial resources to spare, remember that the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.