Mature adult Caucasian woman is standing with mid adult Hispanic woman as they pack cardboard boxees full of donated food in charity food bank. Other volunteers are lined up behind them, also sorting donated groceries into boxes. Hispanic woman is writing on checklist on clipboard.
Mature adult Caucasian woman is standing with mid adult Hispanic woman as they pack cardboard boxees full of donated food in charity food bank. Other volunteers are lined up behind them, also sorting donated groceries into boxes. Hispanic woman is writing on checklist on clipboard. Steve Debenport

MIND YOU: One must-do to feel good this Christmas

In the US they celebrate Thanksgiving, which has just passed. The day has a history from when the Mayflower landed the Pilgrims from Plymouth, England at Cape Cod in America.

The surviving members of that group gave thanks to God after their first successful harvest in 1681.

These days, it is celebrated on the fourth Friday of each November.

For many it has become a day of celebration, of football and beer and barbecues.

There's nothing wrong with that. However, the reason I mention it is that like other festivities, the commercial aspects have taken over and outweigh the original intent. Think of Halloween, Australia Day, Christmas, Easter.

The giving of thanks, the gratitude for surviving, sharing the love of family or friends and the joy of simple things get subverted by profit-making. Many of us get caught up in the hype driven by commercial interests whose aim is to make as much money as possible.

It has become about selfishness not selflessness.

If you are not engaging in buying gifts or putting on a massive Christmas meal then you may feel left out or guilty because you are unable to meet the false expectations that are being pushed so hard at this time of year - and that is entirely unfair for many.

If the year hasn't been kind, or the sadness of loss, poor health, memories of family separation, lack of work or support and income are factors, this can be a tough time.

As we come up to the end of year, there is an opportunity to reflect on the year and find those small things we are grateful for.

This might be the perfect time to change how you and your family approach Christmas and perhaps take an opportunity to connect with those amazing community organisations that support people who are homeless, aged, lonely or sick.

You can do this by making a gift of your energy and effort by donating time to serve the community.

 

We have a wonderful friend who each year asks all businesses and individuals to donate food and gifts that are made into hampers. These packages are provided to families who are struggling.

 

If you are ready to get back to the true meaning of Christmas, have a chat to your family and see what joy you can bring in giving to others.



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