This is the season of giving: giving thanks, giving parties, giving back. Somehow in the busy days and endless worry about making ends meet, we still remember others who make our own budget challenges seem small by comparison. I love the essential premise of Thanksgiving; behind all the turkey basting, stuffing making, and front yard football playing, the holiday is quite simply about being grateful for how much – or even how little – you have.

When floods hit Louisiana last August, we got word about some hair and nail salon owners who lost all their tools and products, rendering them completely unable to work. These personal disasters don’t always get covered by mass media but they most certainly got broadcast by caring friends and colleagues in the beauty business. Between NAILS and our sister publication Modern Salon, we exchanged news we had received about stylists or nail techs who needed a helping hand and we let our readers and followers know. It’s a small thing, yet it makes us part of the solution.

Lots of opportunities serendipitously come your way for helping out; but if you want to plan your philanthropy a bit more, there are many exciting ways to go. “Parties With Purpose: Doing Good While Boosting Your Bottom Line” reveals the win-win of partnering with a charity this season to raise money for a good cause. When the party’s over you’ll have a deeper connection with the organization you selected, the respect of clients and community, and a real satisfaction of raising your level of giving.

It feels good, and right, to be a giver. Remember, though, that receiving with grace is the other side of the coin and it is not given the attention it deserves. I know many people who are excruciatingly bad at receiving. These are good people who sincerely want to help others and their hearts are big; yet when it comes to accepting a gift, or even a compliment, both hands go up as if to ward it off and the words “no, no, no I don’t need anything” come out.

Get over it! Don’t cheat people out of their own joy in giving to you, someone they love and respect. Learn to say “thank you” and really mean it when someone else picks up the tab at the restaurant or a heartfelt compliment comes your way. In fact, don’t be surprised if that really prickly client comes in one evening and hands you a pretty wrapped package; you very likely deserve it. Say thank you, offer her a glass of wine, and savor the spirit of Thanksgiving.

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