Sunday, 5 December 2010

A Thought for Others

It is winter, it is cold and with the holidays approaching many find themselves in crisis, for various reasons.   There are a myriad of charities out there who help others, especially at this time of year.   I wonder though how many people take the time of think of others who need our help. 

There was an article this year stating that women, in particular, spend more on themselves at this time of year then they do their friends, which was not particularly shocking to me, given how many people (mostly women) I see out shopping and the amount of responsibility that traditionally falls to women over the holiday season - presents, cards, cooking, decorating.   However, I find it odd that we spend so much money on our family, friends and having a good time but some appear to forget how hard this time of year can be for others.

Being on my own, I tend to think of this as a peaceful time and a time for reflection, and nearly every year since I have been separated from my family, my thoughts inevitably turn to those who find winter and the holidays particularly difficult to endure and those are not alone by choice.   To this end, it at this time of year I take particular care to find a local charity who helps those in crisis.   Usually I choose a homeless charity: some ask for parcels (many supply lists of essential items to help with creating beneficial gifts) or ask for volunteers, either unskilled to help with general matters, or skilled especially therapists, counsellors, advisors prepared to offer their services and skills at the temporary shelters set-up when shops and other businesses shut down.

This year I am thinking of contributing to a charity that assists people who are dealing with mental health issues which can become worse as the holiday period, full of cheer for most, approaches.  I am not sure who or how I can help, but I will be spending the next few weeks finding something appropriate.

Just to be clear, I regularly contribute to my chosen charities throughout the year; however, in winter I feel I must try to do more, as I have a roof over my head, central heating and access to everything I need and even though I am alone over the holidays, it is by choice, not enforced as it is for so many others.

I wonder, does anybody else indulge in more charitable acts over the Yule/Christmas/Winter Holiday period?