I know that it might not be a ‘Merry Christmas’ for everyone in our community, especially with the struggles of the past two years, with many families and local businesses facing obstacles due to COVID-19 restrictions. Our community has this ability to support and strengthen those who are struggling, so as hard as it can be to admit - don’t be afraid to reach out when you might need help. Often those who give back to those in need have been in a similar situation before, and they were helped when they needed it.
When I first moved back to Weyburn, after the birth of my son, I admit that I was in that situation where I needed support from others. After all, I was still on maternity leave, and didn’t have a lot of income to make my Christmas merry at that time. I reached out for support to the wonderful Adopt a Family program at the Salvation Army, and a kind-hearted anonymous benefactor sponsored my family for that Christmas.
This meant that we had a little extra food in our fridge and cabinets. It also meant that we had extra little Christmas gifts and age-appropriate toys for my son that were included in the Christmas hamper.
My budget has been pretty tight this past year, and I know how anxiety kicks in when you get close to having no money in your account. For many this anxiety can get worse around Christmas, when they feel the pressures of the ‘giving season’.
I would just like to remind my readers there are more ways to give back to your community than with monetary donations. I do want to celebrate the individuals, organizations and businesses who can brighten the lives of others by making big donations, because those funds do really make a difference.
For those of us who are struggling, consider an act of kindness instead. Shovel the sidewalk of a neighbour who might have long hours at work, or is unable to get out to shovel their walk. For those who love to bake, or are good at homemade crafts, you can always make little gifts for residents in long-term care homes. Another suggestion would be to write a letter and send it someone in a long-term care home, or who is serving in our military services.
Sometimes the best way to give to others is just to be an understanding listener. Take a coffee date with a close friend, where both of you get a chance to just vent out some of the anxiety, and most importantly take an opportunity to celebrate the good. Shining a spotlight on the good is something we all need in life.