Now that October is over, many people have started to look forward to the next holiday season. Those would be Thanksgiving and all of the December holidays, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and many more and while many people look at these holidays with a sense of fondness and nostalgia some people are not as fortunate and think of this time of the year as one of the most stressful times. For many, this time of the year is a joyous one that helps us to remember important moments in religions or even major historical events.

Unfortunately, many of the deeper meanings of these winter holidays have been lost as time marches on. Thanksgiving and Christmas especially have become holidays that really thrive off of gluttony and greed. The real meanings of these holidays have been lost and have become manufactured and they do not care so much for the reason for the season but that feed off of the greed of corporate America. However, while cisgendered, straight, white, Christian, men looking into how many ways they can sell the same cheap Christmas-themed trash over and over again, there are people who are genuinely without anything during this time of the year. Thanksgiving and the other December holidays I think are missing the point entirely, this is the time of year to give to those who are less fortunate than ourselves and look inward into how we can be better people for the year ahead.

There are a lot of great ways to get involved and help your community around the holiday season. Many of which are pretty obvious and very specific to the holidays but there are other actions we can be taken yearround to help those who need it. Specific to the holidays, donate toys to charities for kids can get presents for Christmas. But outside of your local toys-for-tots, you can also help donate coats during the winter months and even donate period products, nonperishable foods, warm clothes, and blankets whenever, many of these things do not expire and are great during the whole year. Especially around Thanksgiving people will donate time to foodbanks and be servers at Thanksgiving buffets for homeless people.

However, did you know that Thanksgiving is the most popular day to volunteer in this way? After the Holiday’s are over volunteering work in this capacity does not happen but you can go and volunteer and help out at any point, not just on the Holidays.

In addition, and perhaps one of my favorites, vote in favor of politicians who are genuinely concerned and interested in helping homeless people and families in need. If you do not have the time or resources to go and help you can always help to make an impact in this way too. You could even reach out to those in positions of authority right now as your way to help make a difference in someone’s life.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that it should not have to be the holidays for you to feel the need to volunteer, donate, or take a stance. You can do these any time of the year and I think many people forget that. It is a really wonderful thing to help others but if your reasoning is that it is Christmas maybe you should reevaluate your thinking. Giving and helping are needed all year round, not just the holidays.


Lydia Mardin can be contacted at

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