Opinion: When Christmas goes, we stop giving

Andrea Hefferan | Staff Writer

Christmas time brings joy, hope, and cheer. This season highlights everyone’s best qualities. There are smiles on every person’s face. We are all helping each other out as best we can. It is what makes this time of year so magical.

Inevitably, the spell is broken. The magic ends. As soon as winter break is behind us, we resume living our boring, ordinary lives. Our selfish lives.

No longer will we go down to Matthew 25 every weekend. No longer will we freely donate to much-needed causes. No longer will we pay for the person behind us at Starbucks. It is back to the well-oiled machine that is our daily routine. The problem is, need does not disappear just because we forget about it.

The holidays are the time when we suddenly become aware of how much is needed even in our own community. When the season is over, the lenses are removed and we neglect to think of others. But the people in need require just as much in the middle of July as they do in December. They are likely only getting what is necessary for them during the latter.

During these months, we love doing service projects and are more than willing to spare a couple of dollars for that fundraiser our school is holding. Everyone is asking for something, and we feel compelled to donate what we can. It is almost an unspoken competition between us–how much we can give. But for some reason, the end of the Christmas season seems to be the end of our goodwill, too.

We are not going out of our way to avoid donating, but after Christmas, it is a little harder to get into our pocketbooks. Reluctantly, we might give some spare change. Weekends will be spent doing homework or hanging out with friends. All of those places that are crowded with volunteers during Christmas are empty.

And it is not for a lack of money, or time. Between Black Friday and New Year’s Day, our money is spent faster than you can say “Merry Christmas.” Yet we still find enough cash to give to all of the charities that come knocking at our door. And while it can be hard to find time to volunteer, if we truly enjoyed doing it and made it a priority for us, we would make time for it; however, for most of us it is not, so we put it on the backburner until next year.   

We need to continue our holly jolly giving spree beyond merely these three weeks. Being kind and generous is a year round obligation that we must fulfill. If we have the means, we should give just as much as we do during the holidays throughout the entire year. Whether it be our time, talents, or treasure, anything we give will be appreciated–whether there be snow on the ground or not.