Editorial,  holidays,  Lead News,  new canaan,  Opinion

Editorial: Holidays are time for giving

Yes, the holidays can be rough. Between trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on a shoestring budget, preparing the ideal holiday meal, the onslaught of relatives and the tower of holiday invitations blocking your door it can become a bit overwhelming.
But for right now let’s forget about all of that (because it really doesn’t matter) and focus on the actual point of the holidays (and no it’s not presents).
The real focus of the holidays is to gather with loved ones and spread some good in the world.
So this year, I’m asking you to do your part by making a donation.
Donate your time to help someone else. You can volunteer at a soup kitchen or a hospital or a shelter and really help someone. You can also help an elderly neighbor with the snow or just pop by and say hello. You don’t have to give away every morsel of your time, but you would be amazed by what a few minutes of kindness can do for someone else.
Donate your smile. It gets stressful out there, especially in the crowded store parking lots and congested check out lines. Retail workers are working, they are not out there in the retail salt mines to make your day harder. So smile at the over exhausted cashier that hasn’t had a break in four-plus hours, take a spare moment to say hello and make polite small talk (as a former retail employee, I can tell you it genuinely brightens a shift when we’re treated like humans instead of scanning robots).
Donate with your wallet. I know you probably can’t spare a few bucks for [insert this charity here] as they shiver outside your grocery store. I get that, you need to save the green for all the gifts you intend to dispense, well you can give charitably while shopping. There are thousands of different charity based shops that use their sales proceeds to help others. There are shops where you can buy a shirt to help save an elephant. There are shoes you can buy that will also provide shoes for a child in need. There are so many organizations out there that make products to help others. Take a quick online search and you’ll find that your shopping can plant a tree, provide a meal, save an animal, save a person, clothe a person, provide education, provide medical supplies, fund medical research, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and more. By shopping through a company that gives, you get to extend the good you’re doing with your gift. And remember you can always make a charitable donation in someone’s name if you’re stumped on what to get them. One of the opportunities for Shelton residents to display their generosity begins Saturday, with the White Hills Volunteer Fire Co.’s community tree-lighting ceremony, held in conjunction with the Toys 4 Kids drive. People can come to the firehouse at 2 School Street for the tree lighting at 6 p.m., and toys will also be accepted that night for the Toys 4 Kids drive.
Each year, through the generosity of Shelton residents, the fire company provides truckloads of new, unwrapped toys for families in need through programs like Team Toys 4 Kids. Santa is expected to visit the tree lighting to officially kick off the toy drive.
So donate something this holiday season. Take a moment to give back and perhaps all of the other holiday worries won’t seem as stressful after all.
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