The Spirit of Christmas


The more ad-weary among us have wondered if the spirit of Christmas is shopping, but after a few cleansing breaths we can see that it’s really about stepping outside ourselves to serve others in some way. Whether it’s a bottle of Aunt Gertie’s favorite perfume, donating a turkey dinner, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or shoveling snow for an elderly neighbor, we are making someone’s day a bit brighter.

We are inspired by stories of a person’s need being met by a generous heart. And our great-grandparents were, too. Here’s a December 24, 1899 article from The New York Times:



Now, with the power of social media, we can make our charitable giving less haphazard and even more effective. Today is #GivingTuesday, a designated day of charitable giving. It was first created three years ago, in response to the uber-consumerist traditions of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

givingTues2 Check out their website (or Facebook or Twitter) for more info on how you can get involved today. You can even share your story on their Facebook page and on Twitter. They are going for the Guinness World Record for most online charitable donations in a single day! Wouldn’t that be awesome? Many local television and radio stations are also participating, offering apps for your smartphone that make it easy to check out the needs of local schools and charities in your neighborhood. Amazon has also set up Amazon Smile, where you select your charity, make purchases through that site instead of the regular Amazon site, and Amazon donates 0.5% of certain purchased items (indicated on the screen whether the item qualifies). There are a lot of charities participating, so if you don’t immediately see your favorite (our fave is S.O.M.E. – So Others Might Eat – and it’s on there!), there’s a search bar you can use.

In the spirit of giving, I want to offer the first twenty commenters of this post a gift. No strings, no random drawing later. If you’ve already read all of my books, feel free to gift it to someone else. Just let me know which one of the following you would prefer:

Your choice of ebook (please indicate your preferred file format – epub or mobi):

…or my new release, Unseemly Haste!



Or, you can choose an audiobook instead:




Not familiar with The Concordia Wells Mysteries? Read more about the books by clicking on the blue square below:

Concordia logo FINAL small

What’s your favorite charity? Have you heard of Giving Tuesday? I’d love to hear from you.

Until next time,


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10 thoughts on “The Spirit of Christmas”

  1. PatriciaPatricia

    Well, I haven’t heard of giving Tuesday, but I have been dropping a few singles into the red pails outside the supermarket for the bell ringers. I guess that counts even if I did it on days other than Tuesday. I love the idea though. Let’s keep it going.

    Happy holiday kick-off!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  2. Kassandra LambKassandra Lamb

    Oh I love that story about the little girl and “Billie.” 😀

    Earlier in the year when I realized I was actually going to make money off my books this year, I vowed to tithe the profits to my church, specifically to their outreach program for the homeless. So that’s what I will be doing this GivingTuesday.

  3. PhilPhil

    Nice story, and a great post about giving back. I try to do a charity run each year for a good cause. Next one is in Feb.

  4. Judy BloomJudy Bloom

    I have been disabled for a few months now but I found myself longing to get out of my head and out of my house. I have been volunteering with an animal rescue group and donating clothing to the shelter. I get back so much more than I give. Spending time socializing an animal that has been hurt by humans is so rewarding. Animals truly live in the moment and the more love you show them, the more love they give in return.


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