It’s hard to believe that it is just 2 ½ weeks until Christmas. Holiday parties and celebrations of the season are underway and everywhere you look, the decorations are up and the shopping is in full swing. And it seems that even the weather is contributing with beautiful snowy scenes that normally are seen only on holiday cards at this time of the year. Yes, for many of us, it is the most wonderful time of the year. But, such is not the case for everyone.
Each season, I set a goal of doing a minimum of 10 things that make the season just a little bit better for others. There are all kinds of ways to do something that makes a difference. If you personally know someone who is struggling, perhaps you give them a bit of money that you have saved up for holiday presents.
The holiday season is also referred to as the season of giving. It is so good to see all of the groups and organizations that are collecting toys and food and clothing, etc. for those in need. I know that I wish that I could give to every single group that is working so hard to make this season a special time for others but I can’t. So, what is a person to do when they don’t have the financial means to give to all of these causes? Well, I have developed my own personal way to give.
Each season, I set a goal of doing a minimum of 10 things that make the season just a little bit better for others. There are all kinds of ways to do something that makes a difference. If you personally know someone who is struggling, perhaps you give them a bit of money that you have saved up for holiday presents. And it is usually easy to get some extra groceries and join in with efforts that are being organized in your area to feed needy families. But, it is not all about money. Volunteering opportunities are everywhere to feed others, to gather toys, package goods of all kinds and deliver to those who are to receive these goods. For those who know how to knit or crochet or are willing to learn, it is the perfect opportunity to make a scarf or a cap or a blanket that can be donated to the military or cancer patients or to homes for the elderly.
There are those who love to sing who can visit hospitals and homes and share the songs of the season. One fond memory that I have is that of the neighbors gathering together on Christmas Eve and going caroling throughout the neighborhoods and then sharing some hot chocolate and cookies afterward. Perhaps you can make some time to call someone who may be very lonely at this time of the year and share a nice, long conversation. You might choose to actually pen a letter to someone who may usually only receive a quick email or text message during the year.
If you are a baker, an extra batch of cookies to share with the office staff is always appreciated. And, speaking of the office, why not organize a potluck where everyone can share a meal and conversation that doesn’t normally happen in the typical office setting. If you know that someone is alone, why not make a visit. If there is someone who is sick or recovering from surgery or illness, why not find out whether you might decorate their homes or provide them with a meal or take them shopping or to a doctor’s appointment as the case may be.
The choices are endless. Many cost you absolutely no money. Your imagination is the only limitation but anything, whether big or small, will be appreciated and make a difference. And no matter how happy you may make someone else with whatever you do, it will be hard to match the joy in your heart that you will have for doing what you did. This, to me, is the real spirit of the holiday season.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.