Christmas means a lot of different things to different people. If you are a Christian, you are celebrating the birth of Christ – a holy day of celebration to commemorate the birth of Jesus. For many who are not Christians or may not have a religious attachment to Christmas, it is still an important holiday because it is a time of fun and festivity. For the retail economy, it is the busiest time of the year.
As December approaches, it is also a good time to reflect on what Christmas is all about. While we think of having a fun time with presents, great food and wonderful company, it is also a time to reflect on many in our community who may not be as fortunate. For every child opening a present on Christmas day, there are many who has to do without. While some are blessed with loving family and friends, many are lonely during the festive season. Make a pledge to do Christmas differently this year by paying it forward.
- Thinking about volunteering to give back something to your community, this is the season to be doing something about that. Take some time to search for a charity that has the same passions as you do. Ask around with friends and family – many may already be volunteering. Do not know where to start – try here.
- Every time you visit the mall to shop, think about matching that gift with a donation. You have heard about the song “12-Days of Christmas” – now try to make it into a call for action. For each of the days, think about making a donation – however small or large – to 12 different worthy causes. If you are looking for ideas, there is no better place than www.giving.sg — it is safe and convenient to give online. I guarantee that you will feel great about yourself this Christmas when you complete the 12-days of giving!
- Christmas time is a tough time for people who do not have anyone to share the festivities with — you can pay it forward by seeking out those who are lonely. Whether it is someone you know, or visiting an aged home – there is no greater spirit than sharing that joy of companionship. Take the time to reach out even to one person who is alone whom you can share a visit with. This gesture will mean a lot and may not even require using your credit card!
This year, reflect on what Christmas means to you. Continue to celebrate and enjoy Christmas to the fullest but give a thought to others who are less fortunate. And make a call-to-action to Pay-it-Forward. You will have a different hangover and feel better when New Year rolls around!