Walking through the shopping malls and large retail stores, we have been assaulted with Halloween candy, a snippet of Thanksgiving decor, and a whole lot of Christmas. The pace has been set and it’s full speed ahead. We are now fully immersed in the “holidays.”
Some have been humming Christmas songs quietly and others are ignoring the holidays altogether. Everyone finds themselves somewhere on the spectrum of “festive” to “abstinence.” Individual family histories, past events, and current conditions all play a role.
The holiday season can be very depressing for those without family.
We can’t walk anywhere, read or view social media, watch live broadcasts, or simply shop at the grocery store without being subjected to the punishing display of how the holidays “should be” for families. They are huddled together under the Christmas tree, having opened their gifts, smiling and laughing, playing games, and enjoying each other’s company.
But, is this realistic? It most definitely is not the majority. The fact is that this so-called elite Christmas family is largely a myth. For some, it’s their choice and for others, it’s what they have always wanted.
It is during the months of November and December that we need to be especially mindful of those who are alone. This would include our homeless population, shut-ins, widowed, divorced, and single individuals. They need our support and love.
The fact is you don’t have to spend very much money to enjoy the holidays or to help someone else enjoy Christmas. There are so many other ways to help make the holiday season special for anyone.
10 Ways to Spread Christmas Cheer
- Write a letter, draw a picture, or send a card to our servicemen and women who are away from their families. Read here for instructions: Operation Christmas Cards
- Send a Christmas stocking to a US military veteran: Instructions and list of items are here: Soldier’s Angels
- Gift homemade treats and holiday cards to our local first responders who work every holiday to include; fire, police, sheriff, dispatch.
- Spread holiday cheer to university/college students who are not able to travel home for the holidays.
- Volunteer at a local warming center and/or food kitchen on Christmas Day. This could be a great new holiday tradition for your family.
- Take a warm meal or plate of goodies to your neighbor who will be spending the holidays by themselves.
- Donate extra food in your cupboard to organizations that provide meals for others.
- Spend a few hours sorting through your closets and dresser drawers. Take all the clothing that no longer fits to a local non-profit organization that gives the clothing away to those in need.
- In the weeks before and after Christmas, schedule to donate blood for the American Red Cross. They are always in need during this time. You can schedule directly online: American Red Cross Blood Services
- If you can, invite someone with no family at Christmas time to spend the holidays with you. Ask them to stay over Christmas Eve night and to enjoy all Christmas festivities with you and your family on Christmas Day.
This is a small list of ideas, but it’s a starting point. There are so many different things we can do and ways we can help others who are less fortunate than ourselves. Let this be a part of your Christmas tradition this year and for years to come.
It’s not how much money you spend on presents that matters, it’s the time you spend together. -Julie Corbett
©2019 Julie Corbett