Ho ho ho, the holidays are here! If you’re like me, you’re wondering, “How did this happen?” 2011 flew by faster than I thought possible.

Each year I’m amazed at how quickly the year goes by. One minute I’m hearing back to school ads on the radio and then before I know it, Santa greets me at the grocery store, ringing that little bell in my ear.

Ok enough with the shock . . . there’s really nothing to do at this point but to embrace it! Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, New Years – they’re approaching and it’s time to step up and make this a season one to remember for many years to come.

Now I’m getting to my point. What I know for sure (and now I sound like Oprah) is that the term “Give to Get” really is true. Whenever I give of my time and talents, I reap a harvest of contentment and joy. What I also know is that without planning on my part, the chance of actually doing something for someone else decreases with each holiday party and activity.

Now is the time to make a plan to give. I promise that by giving to others this season, we will all grab our own pocket of joy amidst the craziness of the season!

Why not start small by giving to one of the organizations I’ve listed below? After that, you may feel so good that you want to do more. Find a place to volunteer your time – at a school, a shelter, a hospital, etc. The opportunities for giving are endless and no effort is too small. Ok, time to start . . .

Check out these great places to GIVE TO GET this holiday season:

HomesForOurTroops.org (support our troops)
Operationsmile.org – (help those with a cleft palate)
Cradlestocrayons.org – (support homeless and low income children)
ASPCA.org – American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (support animals)
MOWAA.org – Meals on Wheels (support senior citizens)
Foodforthepeople.org – (support poor in the world)
www.worldvision.org -World Vision (support underprivileged everywhere)
www.sharedhope.org - Shared Hope International
(support victims of human trafficking)

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza and Happy New Year to all of you! May this be the year we all GIVE TO GET!