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3 Tips for Experiencing the Joy of Giving

Tis the season! While we love it, sometimes the season can be a bit harried. The months seems full of feverishly rushing around town, obsessively browsing online, checking everyone off your list, crossing your fingers for on-time shipping, and then hurriedly wrapping presents. Am I right?

But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way! Let’s all pause, take a deep breath, and think about how we can experience the joy of the season. Particularly, I’d like to discuss three ways we can experience joy in giving.

In fact, I’ll let you in on a little secret… Did you see all those gifts stacked up in the photos here? Well, the secret is that those boxes are all empty. Yep they were just wrapped up for this photoshoot. But in the end, I realized that the empty boxes were quite symbolic. Truly, our giving is less about the tangible stuff and more about what’s in our heart.

So, let’s explore three ways to experience the joy of giving this season…

1. The Joy of Giving to Yourself

Of primary importance is the idea of taking care of yourself. This idea goes back to the notion expressed during the safety presentation on an airplane. Oh, you’ve probably all heard this instruction: “Put your own oxygen mask on first, before helping others.” 

How does this sage advice apply during the holidays? Well, you can’t give what you don’t have. If you are running on empty, you have nothing to give to others. So, you must fill your own cup full of joy before you can give joy to others.

Now, what fills you up? What gives you joy? That can vary from person to person. Maybe you benefit from meditation. Or maybe going on a long walk or hike refuels your spirit. Or perhaps you could simply benefit from some downtime by yourself watching a holiday movie.

Exercise, read, meditate, take a nap… Whatever works for you, do it! Trust me – you’ll be glad you did. Indeed, the holiday season is a marathon, not a sprint.

2. The Joy of Giving to Others

Then, once we take care of ourselves, we can better give to others. And as we are more thoughtful in giving to others, we ourselves can find more joy in the process

Here are a few tips for graciously giving to others.

  1. Give the gift of presence. Be present this holiday season. Sometimes it’s the little actions that matter the most. So, consider these small but powerful ideas. Set aside your phone. Converse with one another in a deep and meaningful way like you haven’t in a while. Look the person in the eyes. Make them feel important.
  2. Give the gift of thoughtfulness. Of course, when we think of giving at the holiday season, we think of gift giving. But let’s make our gift giving more than mindless buying and accumulating of stuff this season, shall we? Let’s be intentional in our gift giving. When giving gifts, remember, the gifts should be about the recipient – not about you. Consider the recipients likes, hobbies, interests, and preferences when making your buying decisions.
  3. Give the gift of adventure. Go create memories with your loved ones. Get out and do something! Maybe it’s a special trip during the holiday season, or maybe it’s as simple as a scavenger hunt around your hometown. Whatever it is, just do it. Give gifts that fill the memory bank and last a lifetime.

3. The Joy of Giving Back

Finally, it is essential to give back. Give back to others in your community. Expand your horizons, adjust your prospect, and make the world a better place in the process.

Our friend Pierce Bush, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Texas Chapter, often quotes his grandfather with these powerful words:

“Any definition of a successful life must include service to others.” – President George H.W. Bush

I just love that quote. Furthermore, living a life of giving to others leads to a life full of both meaning and adventure. As Pierce told me, “The best thing about giving is that it enables you to lead a life focused on others before self and keep a solid perspective on what matters most.”

So, let’s all think of just one way we can give back this holiday season. Giving back gives hope. And giving hope is priceless.

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” – Desmond Tutu

Now, wouldn’t you love to give the gift of hope and provide that light for others?

Keep scrolling for more details on the festive items we are wearing from J.McLaughlin

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What We’re Wearing

We are in love with the “innovative nostalgic” vibe of J.McLauglin. Indeed, they create wonderfully updated classics with the highest quality materials. Particularly at the holidays, their collection seems to hit all the right notes for festive frivolity!

What I’m Wearing

What He’s Wearing

As a side note, if you’re in Houston, then you’re in luck! In fact, we are lucky enough to have two brick and mortar stores in the city. Actually, one is within walking distance of my house! That sure came in handy when I went to shop for my guy’s holiday look shown here.

Here are the addresses of the two Houston locations. For more details, visit their website.

  • Houston – River Oaks
    • 1963 W. Gray Street
    • Houston, TX 77019
  • Houston – Town & Country
    • 600 W. Sam Houston North Parkway
    • Building 4A, Suite 490
    • West Houston, TX 77024

In Closing

Thanks so much for reading along. We hope you enjoyed the imagery, the fashion, and the message. Surely, we wish you a holiday season filled with joy!

Thank you to J.McLaughlin for sponsoring this article and for allowing me to be a part of their “The Joy Of…” campaign this holiday season. 

Photos by Maritere Rice


  1. sheri says:

    Hi Carrie,
    Ah, I got back from a very late work meeting tonight and it was nice to log on and see something so fun and festive!

    Nice to see Bob, too 🙂

    Is that your car?


    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks for saying that, Sheri! It was a joy to put this together. I loved the concept of J.Mclaughlin’s campaign.

      Regarding the car, no it’s not mine. But it belongs to one of B’s friends. He has owned it since he was 16! Over 40 years!!

  2. Elissa says:

    What an inspirational & loving post — thank you!

    1. Carrie says:

      Thank you for saying this! It was a pleasure to put together. A good reminder for myself. ?

  3. Erin says:

    Love this post and the beautiful pictures of you & the hubs & darling pup! ❤️??

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks, Erin. It’s a rare appearance for sure. 😉

  4. Nina says:

    This is a wonderful post! And y’all are just adorable!

    xx Nina

    1. Carrie says:

      Thank you so very much. Much love.

  5. Jenn Lake says:

    So sweet! Love this post so much!

    1. Carrie says:

      Thanks a bunch, Jenn! Loved the concept, so was thrilled to participate.

  6. Crystal says:

    I love everything about this shoot! You are adorable and that fringed skirt is amazing! Can you tell me about your fab red shoes?

  7. Gail says:

    So cute!! Love all these ideas and photos!

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