Whether you grew up cutting coupons with your Mom for groceries, or now can afford $30 lunches at a posh downtown Poke restaurant – most likely you’ve eaten a slice of SPAM.

For my Muslim, Jewish, SDA and other non-swine-eating family, let me tell you … this canned, ready-to-eat, rounded rectangular meatloaf in a can is a culinary innovation.

The Big Misconceptions of Food and Holidays

SPAM is widely misconceived as mystery meat, but in actuality consists of only six ingredients – cooked pork, salt, water, potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrate.  It may not be the healthiest meal in the world, but the recipe is pretty straightforward.

Like SPAM, how we celebrate the holidays gets wildly misconstrued year after year. We get bombarded with ads and peer pressure from family and friends to splurge on material gifts as an expression our love and appreciation.

Every holiday season, we have a panic attack about the credit card bill(s) coming due in January, and how we’ll rob Peter to pay Paul to pay down the debt and make ends meet.

Let’s try a different recipe for giving this holiday season

The holidays are a time to release from the pressures of life, reflect on what’s important, and give to those in need.

So I’m proposing a new recipe for giving, inspired by the so-called mystery meat of global fame and admiration:

  • Stingy with money and generous with time
  • Protective of personal values
  • Attentive to ones we love
  • Mindful of true wealth

Stingy with money and generous with time

We all have a budget to maintain; some budgets are bigger than others.  No matter the number, Santa has a job and helpers.  We don’t need you fill in with a 20-item gift list for every person you encountered this year.  Instead be generous with your time by volunteering at a local charity or mentoring a youth interested in your field.

Protective of personal values

Traveling far and wide to fellowship with certain family members who are waiting to judge your relationships, career, and style choices is considered normal holiday tradition for many of us.  But maybe this year skip dinner at Auntie Pat’s and whip up a Friendsgiving meal with the people who share your lifestyle.  Family is family always — they’ll be aight missing you one year.

Attentive to ones we love

Days off from the normal grind are my favorite perk of the holidays.  I love what I do, but time for self-care is essential to success.  Why not spend that time caring for your family, friends, and the ones you love.  Something as simple as conversations with your partner about their goals for the year, a special project with your kids. Paying attention earns the love of your family many times over any material gift could ever.

Mindfulness of wealth

Wealth is measured by our personal values and goals. The money is required to facilitate our goals, no doubt.  But it’s not the metric by which we truly measure the value of a person. So let’s spend the free time of the holidays cooking up the ingredients to a wealthy life of attentiveness, empathy, giving, and love.

In the spirit of SPAM, MoCaFi is giving $1.00 to the National Urban League for every new cardholder from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.

Visit MoCaFi to download the app, enroll in our prepaid Mastercard® and be SPAMMY this holiday season!