It’s that time of year again. You can hear the Christmas carols as you walk through stores and there’s a certain urgency that runs through the people who you pass on the street. I’m not sure that I’ve ever understood why everyone seems to be in such a hurry during this holiday season. I understand wanting to be close with your family as soon as you can, but when did it become more important for you to have a better gift than someone else? Now, I love receiving gifts just as much as the next person but I’ve found that it’s also really fun to give to someone else too.
Whenever I walk into Walmart or K-mart, I hear the sound of the bells that volunteers are ringing in hopes of gathering donations. Whenever I don’t have cash on me, or don’t have bills small enough, I feel a bit sad. I also know that it sounds really bad to say I don’t have bills "small enough," but when you budget things out it’s the truth. However, I hate to think that someone isn’t as fortunate as a lot of people I know. I have a roof over my head, I’m going to one of the best universities I could’ve applied to and I’ve got food and water. Along with that, I’ve got two parents who are still together and work hard to give me what I need. I think I can spare a little bit to give back.
The hustle and bustle that comes with the Christmas holiday is fun and exciting, but I think it’s shielding that true meaning of Christmas. The meaning that holds family, friendship, giving, and love to a higher degree of importance than what gifts we get. From a young age I’ve always loved the fact that holidays meant gatherings with family and celebrations. As I got older I started to notice things that made me not want to join in as much. I hate that. Now that I’m in college, I want to spend time with my family when I come home for holidays. I’m not going to spare my comfort for that though, no matter how much the true meaning (or my true meaning) of Christmas means to me.
That goes to say that some people don’t have these wonderful homes to go back to during the Christmas holiday -- or even Thanksgiving. Maybe they fight with their family or come from an abusive home. Maybe they’ve gone and done something wonderful for themselves, but their parents didn’t quite agree with it and now they’re on their own. Or maybe these people come from other broken homes: divorced parents, deceased parents or parents who decided they didn’t want a child anymore. There’s also those who don’t have a home to go to at all during the holidays. The Christmas holiday is meant for spreading love and cheer to those people. There’s so much that we can do with all the money we spend on other things. Like I said, I love getting gifts just as much as the next person, but it’s also important that we share the things that make us so fortunate with other people.
If you're a Christian like myself, you also know that along with the importance of giving back that this holiday is a religious one. Some of the meaning Christmas has for me comes with this religious background. Family, love and giving are all things I think are essential to my beliefs as a Christian. I promise you though, that's not the only reason that one should try and give back.
During this holiday season, think about this: what if it was you who wasn’t so fortunate? Wouldn’t you want that person walking past you or driving past you to at least acknowledge you? It’s important that we keep in mind the things that make us humans so great. We have the ability to sympathize, empathize, and show compassion. If you’ve got a couple extra dollars sitting in your pocket and you see someone who could use it more than you, think about sharing it. Don’t let it sit there while you ignore the person that you could potentially be at any point. These things could happen to any of us. If you aren’t going to volunteer all year round, take a moment during the Christmas holidays to help someone who isn’t as fortunate as you. I promise you that it’s worth it.