Have you heard the scripture, “God loves a grumpy giver”?
Wait, that can’t be right. It says, “God loves a cheerful giver.” That makes a lot more sense.
I’m sure we’ve all experienced the joy that giving brings, and Christmas is the perfect time to spread joy.
During this season, it’s fun to give your money away. If you’ve done it, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, I dare you to try.
You could make an extra donation to your church or send gifts to families in developing countries. Or you could be on the lookout for spontaneous ways to give, such as leaving a big tip for a server who’s a single mom struggling to buy Christmas gifts for her kids.
Get this: Generosity is not only fun, it’s healthy. Research shows generous people live longer and are less stressed and depressed than stingy people.
One study followed 423 older couples for five years. It found generous couples who helped friends, relatives and neighbors reduced their risk of dying during the study period by about one half.
Choosing to be a Scrooge could be a health risk.
While writing my most recent book, “Everyday Millionaires,” I learned that 70% of millionaires set aside money in their budget every month for charitable giving, as opposed to 51% of nonmillionaires.
But you don’t have to wait to become a millionaire to start giving. These millionaires developed their giving habits long before they had a string of zeroes attached to their net worth.
Generosity is a mindset, whether you’re giving $10 or $10,000.
There are plenty of ways to bless people without spending a penny. Here are four ideas:
• Share your skills. How can you bless others with your talents? I know a professional photographer who organizes photo shoots around Christmas for families struggling to pay bills. He and his friends give away beautiful portraits those families could never afford to buy.
• Share your words. Is there someone in your life who needs encouragement or a thank you? Send a text, write a note or pull them aside in person. His or her face will light up brighter than a Christmas tree.
• Share your time. Intentionally plan out your time with family so it doesn’t get lost in the Christmas chaos. You also could spend time with people who are lonely during the holidays. Visit nursing homes or prisons, or find people who are celebrating the holidays away from home and invite them over.
• Share your possessions. Maybe you can’t buy someone a new bike, but you could let them borrow yours. Or you could donate some of your clothes, furniture or toys to a family in need.
Sharing your home is a great way to give, too. Open it up to friends and neighbors.
The joy of giving will outlast the shiny toys you open Christmas morning. But I want you to think of generosity as a new way of life, not only a seasonal mindset.
What kind of legacy do you want to leave? How do you want to be remembered? You can measure material things in dollars, but impacting someone’s life in a positive way is priceless.
• Chris Hogan is a two-time No. 1 national bestselling author, financial expert and host of “The Chris Hogan Show.” For more than a decade, Hogan has served at Ramsey Solutions, equipping and challenging people to take control of their money and reach their financial goals. Follow Hogan on Twitter and Instagram
@ChrisHogan360 and online at chrishogan360.com or facebook.com/chrishogan360.