As the holidays draw near I have found it hard to maintain a positive attitude.
Some people are constantly facing hard times and stressful situations, which makes it next to impossible to be in the mood for holiday magic. While we want nothing more than to provide our loved ones with toys, gifts and all the things that may bring smiles to their faces, we constantly struggle with hope of simply having enough.
There is nothing more fulfilling at this time than preparing a home-cooked meal with holiday smells of sweet potato pies, turkey, dressing and all the fixings as your home is filled with laughter from family and friends joining together to celebrate.
While these things alone should brighten everyone’s day, there is still a silent sadness in the community.
Many families won’t have the satisfaction of enjoying a simple meal in a warm home. A child may have to go without a warm coat and gloves this winter or the single mother or father in the grocery store who doesn’t have enough money at the checkout line will be forced to put back items that should complete the meal.
These things make it hard to maintain a positive attitude knowing there are others that face hard times at such alarming numbers. Little ones whose eyes should be all aglow will have to endure a dim reality. For elderly individuals having to make sure they can afford prescriptions and electricity, that may be their only Christmas wish.
At a time when our hearts are full of cheer and we are thankful for being able to go out and shop until we drop, let’s remember a small offering, a stocking or even a kind word may change someone’s life just because you felt they were worthy to be remembered.
What a wonderful feeling waking on Christmas morning to enjoy your day while knowing someone was blessed by your generosity.
In this community we are fortunate to have resources in place to allow us to give back. You can volunteer time, give monetary donations and also donate new and kindly used items. This is a chance to make a difference and to bring a smile to someone’s face. That may be just what is needed to motivate a change in their life.
Next year they might even be in a position to pay it forward. Isn’t this the reason for the season?
We are very thankful for those that give throughout the year because without you, some would not survive. We humbly thank you and ask the entire community to join in and help others during the holiday season. If you only have one dollar to give, it is appreciated.
One of my favorite parts of the holiday is taking my children to help feed the homeless during the Thanksgiving holiday. This teaches them that you can’t take life for granted and also instills in them to extend kindness where they can.
Being in need leaves some of us embarrassed and ashamed to seek assistance because there has never been a time in our lives where we could not depend on ourselves. We don’t want our neighbors and, in some cases, even our own families to know we are in dire straits.
There is no shame in going through tough times. The shame comes when we allow our stubborn pride to stand in the way of our family’s happiness.
This holiday my goal is to visit nursing homes with cards and gift baskets to make someone’s day a bit brighter. Spread a little cheer and have a wonderful holiday.
Angel Roberson, mother and emergency room technician at Providence St. Peter Hospital for 11 years, is a member of The Olympian’s Diversity Panel. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.