Christmas Cheer

presents under the tree

Although it's been a most difficult year for many, there have also been moments of light and loveliness. There are always good people and good organizations that continue to work year after year to lighten the load that others carry. But this past year in particular, the load has been heavier and harder to bear. The isolation and loneliness have taken a toll, mentally and physically. The shutdown of businesses and loss of employment lead to anger and arguments and even violence.

So all the good deeds and kindnesses that we may have taken for granted somewhat in the past, have become even more meaningful today. The Christmas holiday season is a great reminder that life does go on, hope still exists and people do care.

Right here in our own community, and I'm sure things are similar in other communities around the world, we have organizations and volunteers working hard to bring joy. One such is Beacon Community Services. From their Shoal Centre in Sidney, BC, staff organize the delivery of meals each and every Thursday, one hot meal and two frozen. Delivered mostly to those who need the help, no questions asked. Goodhearted volunteers help pack and deliver over two hundred meals weekly and at Christmas extra meals are included. And this includes dessert! Many seniors and others who live alone also received a personal visit and a Christmas goody bag.

On Salt Spring island, residents at the extended care each looked forward to a personalized bag of Christmas gifts and goodies, all of which was organized by a volunteer. Staff first took the time to find out what each person might enjoy and then the shopping for over thirty people took place, with time and attention paid to make sure all were surprised and delighted.

In our own condo building, residents made the rounds handing out poinsettas, leaving presents at the door, and even playing Christmas music in the hallways. And all year round, folks are looking after each other, here, and in communities everywhere.

Christmas, even more perhaps than at Thanksgiving, is a good time to reflect on the good in our lives. We've had a year of gloom and anxiety but if we think back, we can likely remember a smile, a sympathetic word, a warm greeting, an act of kindness, everyday small gestures that warm our hearts and help us realize there is still joy and light and love in the world.

We at Greenangels wish you all a New Year filled with peace and warmth and small acts of random kindness.