On January 5th, I wrote a post called The Whole Pay it Forward Thing, you can click on that link to see that post.
As of today, 4 of the 5 people that responded to my post have received their gifts from me, including one today where I surprised a friend at their job with some home made baked items. I've had the 5th one set for a while but haven't been able to connect since she was super busy planning a wedding and changing careers but I am hopeful that we shall meet up for a pint before the end of 2013. Additionally, there have been a number of random times during the year where I just hit someone up with some type of surprise gift.
This whole "Pay it Forward" attitude has been an intentional recurring theme for me this year and I need to tell you all just how great it is.
One thing I've been wanting to do recently, and I will but the timing has been off, is to buy a military member lunch. I go to Whole Foods for lunch pretty regularly and often I will see soldiers that serve locally in there and have had this idea to just be there in front of or behind them in line and put their lunch on my tab. the timing hasn't worked itself out yet but it will and I can't wait.
I am one of those people who loves gadgets, technology and all sorts of neat stuff. I don't have an obnoxious amount of "things", I don't see a reason to plus, I couldn't afford to. However, I do like having thing and this whole exercise in giving has been a great way to focus on things that are more important, on the people that are important and on the people that have less than I do.
One of my other philanthropic commitments this year was to help fun Hurricane Sandy charities. In addition to cash donations, on several occasions I have donated all of my commissions from my Amazon associates account.
For a second, this almost started to feel like a long brag session but it isn't. The point of all of this is to express the joy that all of this giving had brought me. Most understand that there is a certain joy in receiving and many have heard the expression, "'tis better to give than to receive" but few make an experiment of it for a year to find out of it is true; I did this year and it is pretty great.
Special thanks to my old neighborhood pal Darcie for starting me on my quest. I am planning to put out the 5 gift thing again next year.