This time of year seems to me to be so commercial. I try to ignore it because I actually dislike people equating price tags to how someone feels about them. Although, we did try not to do presents this year and that didn’t wholly succeed either. We have, in our own way, had some tough times this year and it felt right to reward ourselves a little for surviving it. In our house is a sort of compromise. We gave to quite a few charities this year but also spent a little on each other. We gave ourselves a budget and plan, in the new year, to purchase membership to a heritage organisation so we can continue to visit historic places. But, it is the charity giving that really fills me with warmth and comfort this time of year. Sure, we might not have been able to give lots of money, but we gave what we could and selected a few great organisations. It was spread across animals and humans in need alike. And I hope what we could give will help these organisations do something wonderful. And even if the money only goes towards their running costs, it makes me happy that I have helped out, even in a small way.
I am always sad and find it hard that we need charities to help people and animals. And I always wish I could do more, but like so many I always feel like I don’t have enough time to devote to volunteering and in some cases, I think volunteering might eat me alive inside. So, I do what I can and leave volunteering for the true saints.
The stories that really make me sad are people who go into debt just to prove they care about someone. I cannot believe that anyone would want that if they truly cared about that person. I am also sad when I see piles of presents just for one person. Who needs all that stuff? You can’t take it with you. And if you could afford all that, why don’t you help out a fellow resident of this planet?
As I was growing up, we often attended a local Quaker Meeting. While I wouldn’t say I am wholly a Quaker, I think some of the values set in, like helping those in need. I also watched many who tried to live a simpler life and I think that is where my feelings this time of year come from. I watched many go on their own personal journeys of changing their life over those years and thought it was only for the fringe element of adults. They would change their diets to be more organic or vegetarian. They would become activists for the things they loved. They would search for their passions. Now that I am an adult, I totally get what they were doing and don’t find it so strange. Simplifying my wants and needs is a big part of this journey for me so I can truly understand myself and it all starts with my values, like donating rather than giving presents.