Each year as the holiday season approaches, life’s pace seems to quicken exponentially, hurtling us faster and faster through last-chance buying sprees to office parties, gift exchanges, and family meals to feed a cast of thousands. But even with so many things to do, people to see, and memories to make, many families still find the time to stop and focus on the fundamental sentiment of the season: giving.

Here are 5 way to harness the holiday spirit for use year-round:

  1. Spend time talking to one another - Although the holiday season entails its own kind of chaos, for many families it is the only time of year that everyone can sit down together without everyday distractions and look back at how the year panned out both personally and philanthropically.
  2. Send a holiday greeting and write a letter - Even if geographic limitations or time constraints prevent you from gathering as a family, start a dialogue that can last you throughout the year.
  3. Undertake a family giving project - Another way to spend time together this holiday season that won’t brake the bank or add a notch to your belt is to embark on a charitable project as a family.
  4. Forget Amazon, go online and shop for a worthy cause - There are loads of online resources available to help you locate charities doing good work in your neighborhood and around the world.
  5. Make a philanthropic New Year’s resolution - This year instead of simply resolving to get more exercise, stop biting your nails, or lose that last 10 pounds make a commitment to give of your time.

Read the full article on ways to harness holiday spirit year-round by Sarah Trzepacz at the National Center for Family Philanthropy.