- LIVING FOR FREE and GIVING
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Let's prove that the Spirit of Christmas is within us. How? It's simple. Help someone! And keep helping until the joy you gain changes your life, as it has mine and as it will change other lives. Then you'll never stop. For it is true that the more you give – of yourself – the more you will receive. And you will live in excitement, joy and abundance all your days.
On Christmas Eve, after nine days, I closed our 2019 FREE Spirit of Christmas shop. Thousands of new presents were donated and taken. Great thanks go to all those involved.
NEW SHOP OPENING! A FULLTIME SHOP WILL OPEN VERY SOON TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ALL HAVE AN ABUNDANCE: of clothes, accessories, furniture, electronics, books, household and gardening goods, tools, etc. Every thing we need. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP FOR 2 HOURS A WEEK FOR 6 MONTHS (total 48 hours) phone Den on 0490 444 226. This is believed to be a world first, apart from the full time shop Dennis ran in 2018.
Some Shop Testimonials: "Beautiful and amazing idea! Fantastic Christmas Spirit" , "Thanks for letting us help for a few hours. We loved it. Tabetha and Dash." "Thank you for bringing so much Love, Light and Joy to this Community. Kate." "Thank you so much. It means a lot to those of us doing it tough."
Dreams come true as we keep the Spirit of Christmas alive! Let's make TODAY, one of freely giving and receiving! And change ourselves – and won't that change everything?
In 2008 Dennis Stevenson opened his leased Brisbane house and gave everything away. You may have seen it on TV 9's Today Show with Lisa and Karl. Dennis said, "That was a remarkable time. You could feel the love in the house." Dennis uses his life to serve people, never charging anyone. He says, "If you need a hand, I've got two".
In 2009, he borrowed an empty shop in Gold Coast, Queensland a week before Christmas, called it 'Spirit of Christmas' and with community involvement and little cost, gave away thousands of new presents to help see no one went without. In 2014 and 2015 others opened free shops in Victoria and Queensland. In 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 Dennis opened his first NSW shops, in lovely Ocean Shores. In early 2018 he ran a free shop - open 24 hours every day for 4 months - in beautiful Brunswick Heads, northern NSW, beside the river. Over 15,000 free items were given away. (See full story on 'Shop Information' on left.)
Let's increase the world’s love by giving without expecting a return. The more giving, the more love – never-ending. Is this not the fastest, easiest, most exciting and fun way to demonstrate love? This reveals to everyone who we really are. Doubt and confusion are gone, replaced by certainty.
This changes everything we presently experience as we reduce the need for welfare (we now take care of each other, as it's meant to be), government involvement and thus high taxes. Religion and education morph into teaching love and developing our own and our children's brilliant individual creativity. Gone are jobs 'we have to do' replaced by creative and wonderfully productive activities we love to do – and that serve others.
Abundance (the best dance on Earth) replaces scarcity, fear, judgement and surprisingly, sickness.
Imagine people really opening themselves to freely giving and receiving? We discover that giving (and gratefully receiving) is the best game in town and one that brings great joy and happiness to all involved.
In 2008 Dennis ran a free stand on Sunday mornings at the organic market in Brisbane and later (until 2017) the Gold Coast, where he gave away free books, free pets (soft toys) and free life coaching sessions. He had 3 rocking horses, slippery dip, castle, crawl through, etc for kids to play on. Signs said, 'If you would like to donate some food, Den loves to eat." and "Discover your Life Purpose. Free consulatations".
Madonna King on live ABC radio outside the 2011 International Happiness Conference, where the keynote speaker was the Dali Lama, asked Dennis, one of a panel of four, if he was still rich (see 'In the Media' interview). He said, "I have wealth beyond belief ... but if you're talking about money, that's another matter." This raised some chuckles.
Dennis is a business and marketing consultant, motivational speaker, community and business trainer and life coach. To live his beliefs, he doesn’t charge anyone – for anything. This includes his talks, workshops and professional consultations. He enjoys the idea of helping create communities with a gift economy; freely helping and sharing with each other without ever creating an obligation or need for anyone to give back. When we do this, we will change our world. Is this not the very best way to create abundance? To share with each other what we aren't using?
In discussing how the free shops are possible, Dennis thanked the wonderful people who loaned shops, gave free insurance, juice for helpers, superb signs, mowed lawns, did painting, cleaned windows and took great photographs. He said that the shop volunteers and the people who bring in thousands of presents, and the lovely folk who created, host and register this free website as well as the very generous people in the media, are all superb examples of love in action. He says, "I wish everyone could see the joy of people who take their free gifts".
Let's be creative in how we help each other in 2020 and keep the spirit of Christmas alive with love in our hearts, judging no one.
Christmas (and other) shops since 2009:
|2009 Burleigh Gold Coast, Queensland|
|2010 Nundah, Brisbane, Qld Australia|
|2011 Clayfield, Brisbane|
|2012 Norman Park, Brisbane|
2013 Wangaratta, Nth Victoria
2014 Coolum, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
and in Wangaratta, Victoria.
2015 Shops are again in Coolum and Wangaratta.
2016 Shop in Ocean Shores, NSW.
2017 Shop (the first mid-year shop, October) in Jimboomba, Qld.
2017 Christmas Shop 2nd in Ocean Shores.
2018 Free Shop (open 24 hours every day for 4 months) in Brunswick Heads NSW.
2018 3rd Free Xmas Shop in Ocean Shores NSW. Dec 17-24.
2019 4th Free Xmas Shop was in Ocean Shores NSW. December 16-24.
Coming early 2020 – A Free Shop to be open 24 hours every day, forever.
Live Brisbane Broadcast 96.5 FM
96.5 FM did a direct broadcast from the Spirit of Christmas shop from 3pm to 6pm. What a wonderful team! Many people who visited our shop say they heard about it on 96.5 FM.
This is how Dennis does it. So can you for Christmas 2020
- Gather some friends to enjoy a special event in your life. Perhaps three to six generous, reliable people. Read the ideas and view the photographs on this site. Meet up and each choose a task you enjoy. Write out some simple steps.
- Find and borrow an empty shop with parking. Call it "Spirit of Christmas (your city)". Open for a week or so before Christmas. Include the day of Christmas Eve if you can.
- People are very helpful. Borrow tables, covers, stands, mirror etc.
- Get free Public Liability insurance.
- Ask local businesses to donate cleaning for windows and floors, shop signs and paint if needed. We always make sure the shop looks lovely.
- Collect new gifts (or anything that looks absolutely brand new). It's best to ask families, not companies. The shops are a community activity and businesses do more than enough to help already. Please, nothing 'second hand'. It's a gift shop, not an Op Shop. People need to be able to wrap their presents and give new Christmas presents. Fill the shop ready for your grand opening.
- Tell everyone. Write a News Release (see sample). When the lovely folk on TV, radio, papers, groups and clubs hear of your shop, they'll tell everyone and do what they can to help. People will bring in loads of new gifts and, together, we'll bring the true Spirit of Christmas alive.
CHRISTMAS IS A SONG OF LOVE FOR EVERY HEART TO SING
The magic of Christmas is filling empty hearts and lives with generous gifts.
Giving of yourself is the greatest gift of all.
Christmas is not a season, but a state of mind.
Christmas is truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.
The joy of Christmas is in brightening other lives.
One of the nice things about Christmas is that you can make people forget the past with a present.
Christmas is a time to be jolly ... and to remember those who aren't.
Christmas is a wish that everyone's cup overflows.
To truly enjoy Christmas, we must bear others burdens and ease others' loads.
Do all the good you can by all the means you can, in every way you can.
Anyone who believes that men and women are equal has never seen a man trying to wrap a Christmas present.
Christmas is when most of us are as generous as we would always wish to be.
"There will come a time, I know, when people will take delight in one another, when each will be like a star to the other, and when each will listen to his fellow as to music. The free men will walk upon the earth, men great in their freedom. They will walk with open hearts, and the heart of each will be pure of envy and greed, and therefore all mankind will be without malice, and there will be nothing to divorce the heart from reason. Then life will be one great service to man! His figure will be raised to lofty heights -- for to free men, all heights are attainable. Then we shall live in truth and freedom and in beauty, and those will be accounted the best who will the more widely embrace the world with their hearts, and whose love of it will be the profoundest; those will be the best who will be the freest; for in them is the greatest beauty. Then will all life be great, and the people will be great who live that life." Maxim Gorky