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Get in the true holiday spirit right now: Gift disaster relief donations today.

October 12, 2017 at 5:00 AM

I know many of you have made donations to the various non-profits that are providing support and care for victims of the storms here and in the Caribbean, and the devastating earthquakes in Mexico.

With so much heartache happening here, and around the globe, I am going to make a bold suggestion:

Skip giving friends and family Christmas and Chanukah gifts.

Yes, you heard me right. I have a better way for you and your loved ones to connect with the true holiday spirit.

Use the money you usually spend on gifts to make a donation to a cause that you know is important to each person on your holiday gift list. Right now so many of us are looking for ways to do more, to connect more, to hold on tight to our humanity. Well, I can’t think of a better way than to contribute to causes that work so hard 24/7/365 to deliver that across the globe. You can make a donation in honor of your friends and family. Many charities are set up to deliver an email or snail-mail note to the person to let them know about your donation/gift. But if they can’t do that, then you can send your own note. I happen to think that’s even nicer; whether it’s an e-note, an in-person chat, or good old letter, taking the time to connect is the glue that strengthens all our relationships.

Not sure what charity would be most meaningful for someone on your list? Even better! Ask. Explain what you are doing this holiday season, and you want to make sure your donation in their honor is to a cause they care deeply about supporting. Don’t hint. Don’t lead. Listen. You might learn something about that person, or be introduced to a cause you aren’t aware of. How is that not a wonderful gift for all?

And one quick bit of Suze money advice: If you file an itemized tax return, your gift giving can help reduce your taxable income. Keep receipts for all your gifts to non-profits so you’re set for next tax filing season.

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