The month of December is a crazy time of year. Rather, from Thanksgiving on is crazy. Crazy shopping. Crazy traffic. Crazy people... Because of all of this craziness, I think we forget the real reason for the season. I don't think Christmas is about getting, getting, getting, but giving. Giving to others. Giving to friends and family. Giving to those in need. We live in a greedy society where people only look forward to getting and receiving gifts rather than giving. Don't get me wrong, the real reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. But with that, we should focus on giving to others rather than constantly wanting and receiving presents.
This year was my first Christmas season at college—my first Christmas season when I was away for most of the month where everything 'Christmasy' happens. From decorating the tree, to listening to Christmas music, to baking cookies, to Christmas shopping, it was hard to be away from it all and come home and feel like I needed to be in the Christmas spirit.
Aside from all of that, I love buying gifts for other people. Not just money or gift cards or stupid trinkets, but thoughtful gifts that mean something to someone and ones that they'll actually use. I could shop all day for other people but not even spend 20 dollars on myself. I know, being a broke college student, that most people don't expect gifts, but it's something I want to do, so I do it. Giving back is something that I love to do. So many people have given me so much and have put so much into my life that I constantly want to give back to others. I want to make others feel how I feel whenever I have things given to me or when someone puts thought into my present.
It truly is the season of giving. So, put a dollar into the Salvation Army bucket. Donate money to a charity. Donate a toy at Toys R Us for a child who will wake up with no Christmas presents. Because there are people out there who will not wake up with gifts underneath a tree, let alone in a warm house surrounded by family. Remember there are people out there who are more fortunate than you and people who are less fortunate than you. It's important to be thankful each day for everything that you have and in turn, focus on the gift of giving.
So remember that, as this Christmas season comes to an end. Be happy. Be thankful. There are things that are free in this world that you can give to others. Give a smile, give your spirit, give your whole heart. People can be nasty during this time of year. People get stressed and overwhelmed. So give generosity, give your patience, give your compassion and show that you care. You never know what someone is going through and how far that small act of kindness can go. Finally, remember to give to others always. Not just because it's Christmas, but because you want to. Because we are called to serve others and help others. Pay it forward. Make a difference. e the difference. Change the world.
"Be the change you wish to see in the world" ~Mahatma Gandhi