Too often, the stress and strain of the holiday season keep us from feeling the joy of Christmas. Today, Rob West talks about how to get past the stress and find the true Christmas spirit, something he says starts with gratitude. God became flesh in Jesus Christ to free us from sin that we might spend eternity with Him. That was the ultimate act of generosity, and we can show our gratitude by being generous ourselves. That’s the real secret of finding the Christmas spirit: giving to others. To help with that, we’ve got a great article on the MoneyWise website called 25 Acts of Generosity During Your Christmas Season. Here are a few. Some involve money, but not all. Leave a big tip with a note for your server the next time you eat out? Include a few verses from The Christmas Story in Luke 2, or lyrics from your favorite Christmas hymn. Make an extra batch or two of Christmas cookies and share them with your neighbors. You’ve heard about paying it forward? How about paying it backward?When you’re in a fast food drive-thru line, pay for the person behind you. Imagine their surprise watching your tail lights as you drive away. Send over dinner to a single mom or a foster family. If you can’t cook, consider giving grocery gift cards. You could also buy a foster family or single mom a Christmas tree or Christmas gifts. Christmas can be a financially stressful season for those folks. If you have the means, find ways to relieve that pressure for those in need. How about putting together a basket of water bottles, snacks, and encouraging notes for your mail carriers and delivery people? This is a crazy season for them with very long hours. Make your house a refreshment stop for them on their route. Or have your kids help you put together Ziploc bags of water bottles and treats along with a church invitation that you can give to homeless people you see as you drive around. And here are a few that don’t involve money: Take some time to read the Christmas Story from Luke 2 to your family. That’s a great holiday tradition and a reminder of the real reason for the season. Write a few encouraging notes to people you know need it. A brief message of encouragement and a Scripture verse go a long way. Have a video chat with your parents and grandparents who may live far away. Put aside 30 minutes to talk with them and have the kids join in. Ask them if they have any prayer requests and spend some time praying with them. It’s the next best thing to being there. Spend some time thinking about how God has provided for you and protected you this year. Think of specifics and thank Him for those things. Encourage everyone in your family to do the same. Those are just a few of the 25 acts of generosity you can do during your Christmas season. You’ll find the rest in the article at MoneyWise.com. LISTENER QUESTIONS Next, Rob answers the following listener questions: ●My financial advisor suggests that Long Term Care insurance is something I might need. Is that a good idea? ●We sold a townhome and made a profit that we didn’t need to roll into our new home. What should we do with this money? Pay off car loans? ●We’re thinking about retiring in ten years at age 62. We have some retirement savings, but are considering a reverse mortgage to offset our Social Security income. What are the pros and cons of going this route? ●I’m a former drug addict. I’ve been a Christian for four years. Unfortunately, I messed up my finances in the past and am trying to get things turned around. Is there a Christian organization that helps make loans to folks with less than great credit? Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000 or email them to [email protected] Also, visit our website at MoneyWise.org where you can connect with a MoneyWise Coach, join the MoneyWise Community, and even download the free MoneyWise app. Like and Follow us on Facebook at MoneyWise Media for videos and the very latest discussion! Remember that it’s your prayerful and financial support that keeps MoneyWise on the air. Help us continue this outreach by clicking theDonate tab on our website.