Extending kindness beyond the ‘holiday spirit’ and season

Reflecting on community role in active kindness year-round

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With Christmas merely days away, the ‘holiday season’ will soon come to an end and everyday life will resume just before the New Year.

Through December the rest of the year, but December especially there are so many acts of kindness to be seen and many that will affect people long after the lights and trees come down.

In food, clothing and gift banks we see a tremendous outpouring of kindness from the community.

Locally, there has been incredible response from the Lacombe community to fill the food bank shelves, week after week, as various groups dedicate their holiday meals, gatherings and more in the name of the food bank.

For non-profit organizations, people supply socks, warm coats, hats, touques, mitts and the like that are usually given out to the most vulnerable populations, those living rough or families struggling to stay warm.

Gift banks and programs, such as Santas Anonymous in Lacombe, go a long way to providing a little extra happiness to families in need, thanks to the kindness and generosity of the community.

A lifestyle that perpetuates kindness should not end Dec. 31st.

It should be recognized and lived all year round, if for no other reason than making the world a little less scary for each other.

This past year has been a year of surprises if nothing else at all, but we must come together to prepare for what is to come. Economically, Alberta is still unstable and many people are still searching for jobs, or are worried about paying pills and supporting themselves or their families.

Politically, there is dissent among many of the largest and strongest nations, as well as continuing wars throughout many countries.

It’s important to remember that not all communities are coming together in the way Lacombe is so lucky to be able to during this time.

On a world scale, the magic of Christmas can seem insignificant, but it is not so.

To see it, you only need to be able to see the good in people that hope, joy and passion are the drivers behind Christmas.

This is seen through community events, family get-togethers or in the face of any volunteer who gets to help someone in need.

The magic of Christmas is seen in people who need a new pair of socks and a hot meal when they finally get these things.

The magic of Christmas is also in the silence where we dedicate our thoughts and efforts to those who are less fortunate, those who have lost jobs or family members.

It is in the compassion we show while taking a moment to pick up extra food or toys for a donation, and it is in the patience we aim to teach children.

The magic of the season is seen throughout the month, but can be felt all year.

A kind hand up to someone who needs it can help them get on their feet long enough to stand tall and proud. A genuine interaction, conversation or kind Christmas wish can mean the world to grandparents, parents and friends who fall out of touch.

Enjoy the Christmas season, whether you celebrate the holiday personally or not. There truly is something special about the season that can be ignited to spark the best in humanity. Find that spark and keep it throughout the coming year.

Take time for yourself, for your needs and your own rehabilitation, so that when the magic of the Christmas season seems to fade, it is easier to find within yourself.

Bring the joy, peace and passion forward in each week and month until next year, when it becomes time to look back at the growth and kindness you have shared.