Hey so, it is Christmas now.
Yeah, I know, it really snuck up on all of us this time.
You may be thinking, “Um, it’s July. It is not Christmas right now.” And you’d be right. But you’re also wrong. It is Christmas now, I don’t know what to tell you.
Thankfully, since it came out of nowhere this time, don’t feel bad you didn’t buy any presents, or decorate a tree, or eat a preposterous amount of sucrose-infused carbs.
In fact, there’s only one thing we need to do.
You know how around December, people often say things like “why can’t we be like all year round?” Usually people say that in reference to the spirit of giving, the desire for peace on Earth, joy to the world, etc.
Well, it’s now not December and you have the perfect opportunity to act like it’s Christmas at a completely different part of the year because like I said, it is somehow now Christmas. What are the odds?
And you’re probably thinking, “Oh, I get it. Be nice to people. Sing songs. Be jolly.” And yeah, you can do that. But also you can take this seriously because like I said it is Christmas and Christmas isn’t something you commit to half-heartedly.
If you don’t, people start calling you a Scrooge or a Grinch, insults that are somehow way more effective 1/12th of the year. Like, if I called you “grouchy” or “not a team player” you’d be like “well… OK” but once you get called a Scrooge or a Grinch around Christmas you’re like “Oh crap I guess my attitude is really standing out right now.”
And since it is Christmas right now, you are standing out a whole lot right now, ya Scrooge.
But look. You don’t have to start singing carols or watching poorly-produced claymation from the 60’s, even though claymation from that era is like… inherently terrible. Have you ever watched Gumby? It’s so awful. It’s so incredibly awful.
Yeah, you don’t have to do that. Just get in the spirit. The Christmas spirit. This theoretical spirit that commercials tell you causes you to open doors for strangers, smile at strangers, and offer glass bottles of Coke to those same strangers. Where… where can you buy glass bottles of Coke nowadays? Why would you want to drink from something that could break and cut you if put it down too hard?
Anyway, the spirit of Christmas. That thing. Often called the spirit of giving. Cause Christmas is about giving. Cause we give gifts. Remember the gifts I said you didn’t have to buy? Well you still don’t. At least, not for you friends and family and great Aunt Francesca.
But here’s the thing about Christmas, the dirty little secret. When it comes around in December, people give a crap-ton of money to charities. Like, a whole lot. Which is great. Many charities I’ve talked to and/or been involved with talk about how Christmas is usually a windfall time for them. Many organizations get more than they need so they have reserves to last them for several months.
And many of these organizations actually need that windfall to last them for months, because they then enter a dry spell, or whatever the opposite of a windfall is to make this metaphor work better. There are months and months where they sometimes see a dip in giving, usually because people are paying off Christmas bills and/or getting ready for tax season.
And that all makes sense. But I think when I hear people talk about how great “the spirit of Christmas” is, that so many people are being kind and giving (or, at least, they say they are while swearing like lumberjack at tangled-up Christmas lights) and then… don’t follow up on it. And I’m including myself here.
Ever December, I lament that there aren’t more societally-informed times that encourage people to think about giving again, to think about those less fortunate. Sure, we always have reminders and I’m sure you yourself probably support a group or organization that does good work for those who need it. But it’s only once a year where there’s this incentive for everyone to do it, all at once.
So now that is is Christmas again for some reason, I guess it’s a good a time as any to try and be the kind, giving people we wish more people were all year round. And I don’t have a lot to give, money-wise. Really, I’m strapped. But I’m going to find a group I care about a give what I can right now because I want to keep that spirit alive.
Plus, December Christmas isn’t even an accurate date for the birth of Christ so it could have happened at any time of year so why not celebrate it now anyway?
There are a lot of great organizations out there, even ones in your local neighbourhood. Get to know them. Not just their brochures, but the people behind them. See what they do, how they do it, what challenges they face, and what they wish they had more help with. You don’t have to give money, but a listening ear or any other kind of support means a lot. Heck, even give them some glass bottles of Coke. Why not?
Cause it’s the time of year where we think about giving more. The thing we should think about doing more, anymore.
So Merry Christmas! Embrace the spirit of giving! Gumby is terrible! To all a good night, etc.!