December marks the beginning of the holiday season for most. For some though, it starts right after Halloween. The holidays are surrounded by decorations, lights, gifts, and probably the biggest indicator of the season, an empty bank account. We spend all of our money on decorating our homes to show that we have the most holiday spirit, buying ourselves discounted items on Black Friday, and buying the best and nicest gifts for our loved ones.
All of these things are great and should be celebrated to the fullest, however the season is not only about egoistical things. I think we could all benefit from becoming more altruistic during the holidays, and throughout the years. According to a news article from ABC10 News from 2017 a volunteer-based business found that in the holiday season they noticed a spike in number of volunteers. However, that number decreased right after the holiday season.
In recent years the holidays have seemed to become all about receiving the best gifts and not so much about giving to others. However, some families cannot afford expensive or a large number of gifts for their loved ones. Telling children that Santa brought them a large expensive gift could be detrimental to other children they attend school with who may not have gotten much or anything from Santa. It’s great that some people can afford expensive gifts for their children and that should not be shamed, however I think those who can afford expensive gifts should strive to be more altruistic and teach their children to be more altruistic as well.
Imagine everybody participating in the Salvation Army Angel Tree. It seems as though many children on that tree ask for basic needs as what they want for Christmas, so what if we as a society strove to become more altruistic. If we went through our closets and donated all of our clothes we didn’t wear anymore and old games and toys we simply don’t use anymore, we could give someone a great Christmas.
The holidays should be about giving to others, caring for others, and celebrating our loved ones. We could spend our excess time volunteering, donating stuff we don’t use anymore, or buying gifts for gift donation drives. If we can afford it why shouldn’t we?
There are a variety of ways we can help even in our own community. The Salvation Army and Walmart have partnered to help families in need in Crawford County. On the Walmart website one can find the Angel Tree page under Registry for Good Causes. There’s also the Crawford & Cherokee County Toys for Tots organization which can be found on the official website for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. The Wesley House also has a Christmas Distribution project they participate in every year to provide food to families in our community.
There are so many ways to get involved and help others, especially during the holiday season. This holiday season may be worse for those struggling due to unemployment from the pandemic. Even if it’s not much, whether it’s a few dollars donated to an organization or a few old coats, sweaters, or toys donated it’s always appreciated by others. So instead of selling or throwing away old stuff to make room for our new gifts, we should strive to care about others, be empathetic, and donate. It is the season of giving after all.