EDITORIAL: Spirit of giving can brighten faded smiles

We Say: Not all may see Christmas with cheer, but the spirit of giving is universal.

Christmas Day is upon us. And while the holidays are a special time for most of us, a time to gather with family and celebrate all that we have. For some, the holidays can be a difficult time.

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed during the holiday season. Between work or school, family commitments, and the added stress of Christmas shopping, decorating, cooking, travel or welcoming relatives, it is all too easy to throw up your hands say ‘To heck with it!” For others, the Christmas season can bring back painful memories or serve as a reminder of something now missing from their lives.

The urge to simply crawl into a hole – or at least a bundle of blankets on the couch – and watch terrible movies on Netflix until the season is over is understandable.

So as we gather to celebrate the Christmas season, make sure to reach out to those around you who might not find the holidays a happy occasion. And whether the holidays bring a sense of unease or fill you with joy, the spirit of giving can help brighten all of our holiday seasons.

Giving back to your community is a truly rewarding experience for many people. It doesn’t have to be Christmastime to make a difference in the lives of those around you. How you choose to help is up to you. It doesn’t matter if it’s fundraising for disease research, helping out at a pet shelter or giving back to the homeless.

When we give to others, we give to ourselves. We give to the communities we live in, making them better places for our own and future generations. We gain the gift of new friends from our charity efforts. We gain the satisfaction of knowing that we are part of a wider community whose members care for one another. What better gift could there be?