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November has been a busy month has it not? Those that know me on a more personal level know that I've spent the last six months preparing for a major life change. Change being the hard bitch that she is always leaves me poking at the things in my life with a sharp stick to examine the linings - both silver and otherwise.

We are two days away from the US celebration of the Thanksgiving Holiday. The official start to the Christmas Holiday season and the kick-off to the odd, shopping frenzy that takes over so many people I know. Yesterday I stood aghast (really!)(and I always wanted to use that word) listening (and biting my tongue) as one of my co-workers proudly announced that she was starting this season's shopping before she paid off last season's.

This really nagged at me. Over the last several years my family and I have found that our wants and needs (always two different things) have leaned more toward the intangible. When I'm asked what I want for my birthday my usual response is a long pause and then I reply "nothing", and I mean it.

The things in life that I want and feel I need on an ongoing basis include good health, more time to spend with family and friends, and more freedom to enjoy the time I have. Not exactly something one can pick up at the local retailer.

So I watch the television commercials, read the circulars in the paper and watch the frenzy of spending build around me with a fair share of confusion. But, as I've constantly voiced - Different isn't wrong.

Without getting too preachy I will ask this - if you participate in and enjoy the giving and getting of gifts over the holiday season please, do a little extra this year.

When you are picking out the perfect gift for your loved one think about those in need. A .99 pack of stretchy gloves, a scarf, some socks and especially a couple of packages of underwear will go a long way to making someone's day at your local homeless shelter or rescue mission.

Ask yourself if you even know where your local aid group is located.

As you purchase supplies for your family dinner think about a contribution to a local food bank. The miracle of their ability to compound dollars for food is truly a gift to someone in need.

However you choose to celebrate be grateful for the love and caring that surrounds you, and pass just a little of it on.

Happy Holidays.