high school just got simpler

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Last Minute Christmas

Christmas has to be one of my favorite holidays. It is getting closer, and many people wait until the last minute. That's understandable, since there is so much going on: shopping, snow, fun, and parties. 

But there is a downside to this almost perfect season:
  • Commercials about buying, sales, and so much stuff that no one needs.
  • Getting things you don't need, or really even want for that matter.
  • Waste.There is so much trash during Christmas. Trying to get rid of clutter isn't easy during Christmas, with wrapping paper, decorations, and packaging.
  • Focusing on getting presents. What happened to giving?
  • The less fortunate. When you are chowing away on cookies, or playing with a new gadget, remember that there are millions of people who are struggling to make ends meet this holiday season.
I recently went on an outreach trip with my church to an area that is struggling with food. Seeing the people reactions to a simple bag of groceries has opened my eyes to the true meaning of Christmas. Giving your time and love is a much better gift than anything that can be bought. We focus so much on buying and buying and buying, that we forget why we are purchasing things in the first place. Seeing the joy in someone's eyes when they know you thought about them is something that can't be bought. 

I spent a weekend sorting, packaging, and handing out food to hundreds of families. So instead of going to the store at the "last minute" this year to buy that present, go donate your time, or money, to those who truly need it.

Need help getting started? Here are some ideas:
  • Help out at a food pantry. Pantries are incredibly busy this time of the year, especially since it is so cold.
  • Take a friend to the zoo, instead of buying something. The local zoo in my area has thousands of decorations for Christmas, which would brighten up anyone's Christmas.
  • Shovel someone's driveway. This simple act can really help out this winter, especially if you ask for nothing in return.
  • Getting clothes for Christmas? Then donate your old clothes to Goodwill or a used clothing outlet.
There is still time to help. Volunteer, donate, or simply enjoy this season with someone else who needs it.
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