By: Avanti Giridharan
Tis’ the season to be kindly, la la la! This year is going to be ending very soon. But no year can come to an end without Christmas. Since the very beginning, Christmas has been about togetherness and the joy of giving. We could all certainly use some giving, especially at a time when so much has been taken from us.
The real essence of Christmas lies in doing good. You don’t have to distribute a million bucks to make a difference. If you’re in a position to help, there are several small things that you could do to brighten up this Christmas for others.
Before you start giving to others, it’s important to acknowledge and be grateful for everything that’s been given to you. We all have people and moments in our lives we simply couldn’t do without. Take a few minutes to think about them. Allow yourself to feel hope in living this beautiful life. End it with a silent thank you. There’s nothing better than Gratitude to make anyone happier.
2. Checking in:
Devote a couple minutes of your time to check in with your loved ones. Give them a call to ask about how they’re doing, their health, life etc. It’s important to be there and offer to help during tough times. Also consider getting in touch with some old best friends by dropping them a text. Don’t forget to let people know how much you love and miss them! Our relationships only flourish when we cultivate and strengthen them.
3. Support Local/Small Businesses:
The lock down has resulted in several small businesses being closed down. Many more were destroyed in the inner city riots. Such businesses are the backbone of the economy, yet they’re struggling to stay afloat. Since physically or financially supporting them may not be an option for everyone, there are a few other things that you could do: Leaving a positive review on their website, telling people about them and giving them a shout out on your social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram ) will increase their customer base.
4. Care Packages:
Gift Shopping is often confusing and expensive. So why not personalize them by making something out of your own hands? It could be a favorite dish or something handmade. If you have the time, making a ‘Care Package’ is one of the best gifts you can give someone. You know best what kind of packages your family and friends would like, but here are some ideas: A quirky card, a photo of the two of you, a heartfelt letter/song, something precious from your home or even a souvenir from when you last met. You could include any or all of these in your package. Most importantly, wrap the items up, add a refreshing scent and put them in a pretty bag. Your Care Package is ready to make others smile.
The most direct form of giving is through helping out at a charity. In case you have money to spare, spending it on others or a cause you’re passionate about will do wonders for our society. You could take out a few hours to volunteer at a local shelter or NGO. If the other two aren’t conducive to you, just give away some of your old stuff. We all have objects and clothes we no longer need or use. They’re just lying around, taking up space. There are many who would greatly benefit from it. You can look up charities/organisations that accept such donations online. Those planning on a pet can adopt one from an animal shelter. Every little thing you do matters.
Now this may sound a little random but hear me out! In our digitally fast-paced lives, none of us have the time to appreciate or enjoy our natural surroundings. As the world gets increasingly industrialized, the pollution will continue to increase. And along with it, the drop in air quality and more diseases. One simple solution to combat that is to have a few plants around your house and desk in the office. Most houseplants are very small and require little to no effort in their upkeep. You can purchase them online or from a local nursery. Plants have been scientifically proven to increase focus, reduce depression, increase health, motivate and improve air quality in their surroundings. By getting a few plants for your balcony/doorstep/office desk, you’re helping everyone in your vicinity by improving their health and lives. Not to mention the immense contribution you’ll be making to the environment.
These things aren’t only applicable for this year, but every year of your life. In a world where you can be anything, don’t be morally bereft. In times like these, our society needs all the good it can get. Being a little kinder than you have to be will go a long way in making the world a better place for all of us.