The holidays are more than an obligation to give to others.
They are also an opportunity to give to others.
It is very easy to feel overwhelmed during the holiday season. Between work or school, family commitments, and the added stress of Christmas shopping, decorating, cooking, travel or welcoming relatives, it is all too easy to throw up your hands say ‘To heck with it!”
The urge to simply crawl into a hole – or at least a bundle of blankets on the couch – and watch terrible movies on Netflix until the season is over is understandable.
But rather than withdrawing, carve out a little time, or a few dollars, and reach out to do something for someone else this holiday season.
The Salvation Army is, as always, looking for more people to crew its kettles around the community. Various food banks, Christmas Bureaus, empty stocking drives, and blanket and coat drives are all crying out for help in the form of last-minute donations.
Giving back to the community, for many people, is seen as an obligation. At community newspapers, we see hundreds of ordinary local people every year who have volunteered their time and energy for everything from fundraising for disease research to helping pet shelters to aiding the homeless.
As diverse as their interests are, they almost always give the same response when asked why they do it.
“I wanted to give back.”
Most of us in Canada are astonishingly fortunate. We live in a technologically advanced, wealthy, and prosperous society. Most of us are doing okay, even if it often seems as if we’re just scraping by.
When we give to others, we give to ourselves. We give to the communities we live in, making them better places for our own and future generations. We gain the gift of new friends from our charity efforts. We gain the satisfaction of knowing that we are part of a wider community whose members care for one another. What better gift could there be?