From our vantage point in the world of Atlanta real estate, it’s striking how much of the holiday cheer in our city involves sharing with folks who may not be as fortunate just now. All kinds of Atlanta organizations and neighborhoods make sure that the good feelings people have in the Holiday season can be expressed in good works, too.

At least one Atlanta charitable endeavor welcomes volunteers of all ages, so that parents and children can pitch in side-by-side. Lift Up Atlantaassists homeless and low-income families with food, shelter, clothing, and job training. This career education part of their outreach includes free computer training, as well as women’s empowerment workshops and career counseling. The list of skillsthat Lift Up Atlanta seeks among their volunteers is specific, extensive, and interesting, ranging from driving and moving/hauling to computer skills and proposal writing. If you could see your family joining together to pack holiday family baskets or serve in their hot meal program, then get in touch. It’s a memory awaiting you together and a feeling you won’t soon forget.

There’s still time to donate Christmas gifts for the patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, too. New, un-Christmas-wrapped gifts can be brought to any of CHOA’s three locations: Children’s at Egleston, Hughes Spalding, and Scottish Rite.

And, of course, the grandfather and grandmother of all children’s toy drives, the Marine Corp’s Toys for Totshad drop-off sites all over Atlanta, including Publix supermarkets and QuikTrip convenience stores. The Atlanta version of Toys for Tots is also assisted by the Georgia State Troopers, who accept donations at any of their County offices. Another bonus in Atlanta is that Disney will donate $5 to Toys for Tots, every time you donate a new, unwrapped gift at a Disney Store.

And don’t forget, the holiday food drive in Alpharetta has collection points at Alpharetta City Hall, the Arts Center, the Wills Park Rec Center, the Adult Activity Center at North Park, at Avalon Concierge & Valet, and at the Alpharetta Presbyterian Church, and First Baptist Church.

As joyous as the holiday season can be, it also can bring a wistful feeling sometimes. It seems natural to recall at this time the best of holidays gone by, and with those memories some comparisons might creep in. One way to pull our thoughts – and our hearts – back into the present is to share some of our own good fortune with others. While the customary Christmas gifts can grow routine, or even seem more like obligations, the times we reach out beyond our own lives at this season are very likely times we’ll remember fondly, and they’re sure to change that wistful mood.