This time of year can be all about excitement and anticipation for many, but for some, there’s a sadness that lingers in the air. Be it loss of family or a loved one, loss of a job, or just overall sadness and depression, it’s important that we help those that need it most. It is especially difficult during this time of the year when many sacrifice and give. Our neighbors and communities need our support. We get so wrapped up in our own family and friends that we forget the importance of spreading holiday cheer.
Many people volunteer to feed the homeless during the holidays. Some donate to local charities or at their local stores when cashing out. Opportunities to help are all around us, but what about the people that suffer in silence. How about your neighbor that just recently lost their spouse? It’s so important, especially during the holidays, that we pay attention to the world around us. Invite that neighbor to Christmas dinner and surprise them with a special gift. Lifting the spirits of those around us is imperative!
Countless women go through miscarriages daily. Talk about suffering in silence. If you know someone dealing with such a loss, send them a secret Santa gift, a sweet teddy bear, or an edible delivery of fruit. Every thought counts! When suffering from having a miscarriage, you can feel very alone. No matter who is around, it still feels as though no one understands the void. A sweet gesture during this time can make her feel seen and loved.
The first Christmas after losing a parent can be devastating. The memories of the holidays spent with them can become sad and depressing. A simple gesture of kindness can go such a long way. Spend some time at the hospital with a patient who has dementia. Some hospitals and nursing homes allow small groups to volunteer and spend time with their patients. I volunteered with a group of friends, years ago and it was profoundly eye-opening. The stories they shared were numerous with special memories remaining. I danced with one patient to the tunes of Frank Sinatra and listened to the stories of a woman’s childhood growing up in New York. The memories of that day may have only lasted a little while for them, but they will last a lifetime for me!
Look around and I’m sure you can find someone in need. Think outside of the box as well. Think about those right in your own backyard. There are many who aren’t supported by local charity organizations in the ways they may need. Also, some won’t ask for help and prefer to suffer alone rather than feel like they’re burdening others with their problems. Again, the opportunities to help are all around us. Just pay attention and see the difference you can make.