It’s that time of year again! Thanksgiving Day is this Thursday, and then we have less than four weeks until Christmas. We tend to get into a festive mood during this time of year that often includes gift giving to family, friends, and charity.

As I’m writing this, the Lancaster County Community Foundation is hosting a 24-hour giving program called the Extraordinary Give or Extra Give for short. The Extra Give will benefit more than 500 Lancaster County charitable organizations. As of mid-day Friday, the 22nd, the program had already generated nearly $5,000,000, and the total is likely to top $10,000,000 before the program ends at midnight.

During this season of giving, I think it is most natural for us to think about what we are giving. What are we getting for our children or grandchildren for Christmas? What should we get this year for our best friend? How much should we give to our favorite charities during the Extra Give?
I’d like to propose that an equally important question to contemplate is why we are giving. Are we simply caught up in the traditions of the season, or is our generosity rooted in deeper motivations?

Thanksgiving Day is a time we dedicate as a nation to be grateful for all that we have. Christmas is a time we celebrate Jesus’ birth which was a demonstration of God’s generosity to humankind. It’s my perspective that the basis for these holidays, God’s generosity and our gratitude in response, should be the true motivation for our giving now or anytime of the year!
I know it’s a hectic time of year, but I encourage you to stop and reflect. When we take time to think about God’s goodness and generosity to us, we should naturally be motivated to give.