This time of year makes many of us think about family, friends, faith and others. I equate peace and tranquility with coming home to a warm, friendly and loving environment. No matter how busy I am or how “urban” the environment has been for the day, when I turn my car towards home my heart feels warm. My wife, Nancy, has a way of making me feel appreciated, successful and comfortable. Our home is always welcoming and informal. Especially during the Holidays, home is a place of magnificent smells, beautiful decorations, and a warm environment. I really feel bad when someone is standing by the road or intersection holding a rough cardboard sign begging. Any time this is heart-wrenching, but especially during this time of year. Sometimes I give, other times I don’t. I guess the key to giving is making a lifestyle choice to be a giver and not a taker. My choice is to be a giver. Not so much financially, all the time, but frequently in conversations I try to give encouragement and optimism. Making a difference may just mean thinking about another’s needs, desires, wants and dreams. Listen for needs, emotions and cares of the people you talk with. Offer yourself: your stories, your concerns, your emotions and your empathy. In this day and age, great value is found in altruistic efforts. Maybe this Holiday season will be a starting point for your lifestyle of giving.