The Holiday Season has usually brought people a little closer, a few more smiles than you would normally see, and for a small time the ills of the world seem to fade a bit into the background.  This year may be hard to see the good in the world with rising unemployment, less jobs available, more people on food stamps than ever, and a feeling of uncertainty as we approach 2012 - then something happens that reminds you of the good in the world through the gift of Giving.

Over the last week a trend has been sweeping the country through the generosity of people - Secret Santa's popping up at K-Mart stores and paying off layaway accounts.  Stories have been coming in from all over the Midwest - Nebraska, Michigan, Illinois, Montana, Iowa, you name the state and you'll find dozens of stories popping up where the kindness of a total stranger has made someone's holiday that much more special.  The target of the kindness have been for those who seem to not be able to afford the holiday, especially toys and clothes for kids set aside by "impoverished parents".

Yahoo has been breaking these stories beyond the area where this is happening - reading just one of these stories of generosity will make the most cynical Grinch come to dig into their wallet.  My girlfriend told me to look at a story that came out about a young father who was standing in line at a K-Mart layaway counter in Indianapolis.  The man was wearing dirty clothes and worn-out boots, plus his three small children were with him.  He asked to pay something on his bill because he knew he wouldn't be able to afford it all before Christmas - then a mysterious woman stepped up to the counter.

The story goes that this woman said that she was paying for him - the man broke down with tears of joy.  Before this woman left the store, she had paid the layaway orders for as many as 50 people - then on the way out, she handed out $50 bills and paid for two carts of toys for a woman in line at the cash register.

Seeing this has to make you thing what else you can do this holiday season.  No donation is considered too small.  You may not be able to do what these Secret Santa's are doing at K-Mart, but you can think about what The Marine Corps Reserve is doing with our help at SoJO 104.9 - make a donation with "Toys For Tots".

This year marks the 65th Year that then Marine Corps Reserve have been doing Toys For Tots.  Their mission is to make sure those less fortunate are given a gift they may not get due to circumstances.  The foundations has collected over 500,000,000 toys - a staggering number that can only be attributed to the endless effort of the Marine Corps reserve.

Any donation to those less fortunate is something that will be appreciated - give someone a hot meal cause you see them hungry, provide a coat for someone you see cold, invite someone over that would not normally because they be alone for the holiday.  The Gift of Giving is something that will make you feel good - like Bill Murray said in the movie Scrooged about the miracle of  giving "It's great - It's a good feeling, and better than I've felt in a long time".

One Word to remember this year - GIVE.