Now that the “season of giving” has run its course, it’s time for a new way of thinking:
The season of taking.
Now, hold on to your Santa hat, put down the eggnog that’s a few days past the expiration date and drop that snickerdoodle, I’m not suggesting anything revolutionary.
What I’m saying is that Christmas is a lovely time for gifts and giving and sharing. It’s a time for showing those we care about to what degree we like them.
It’s a time for happy thoughts, great memories and expressing your faith — no matter what that is.
But it’s over. The stores can put their Christmas stuff away for nine months while we recover from the overpartying (not me anymore), the overeating (kind of me) and the overspending (uhhh, eggnog, anyone?).
What I want to do with 2011 is take it and toss it away. Oh, I have squeezed the good stuff out of the orange, and scraped the white meat off of the bone.
I want you to join me in making the month of January a season of taking from henceforth and forevermore.
See, there are so many good things we can take from every year. (Unadulterated sappiness alert! If you don’t like an occasional sappy column, please turn your head and cough.)
Christmas time offers plenty of chance for taking: I call them takeaways. They are the things we can take away from 2011 (especially the last couple of months) and use them to our advantage.
The Christmas season showcases thousands of people in our area who are genuinely awesome people. They give because they can, help because they want to and do for others because it’s the right thing to do.
Prime example: Lynne Newman of Chambersburg, Pa., who has organized and led a free Christmas dinner for the past 20 years, is Jewish. She doesn’t celebrate the traditional Christmas holiday, yet she and hundreds of volunteers — Jewish and Christian — work side by side to continue a tradition that brings food and gifts to the needy and lonely at Christmas.
Lynne, you truly are a miracle worker. Thanks for all that you do. We can take away a ton from you. Your selflessness and humanity are inspirational.
If we can take the “do-good” spirit and increase our giving for others even by one deed in 2012, haven’t we started making the world a better place, already? Imagine if even 50% of us did one more thing charitable or good for the environment? It doesn’t have to be world-changing, does it?
Start recycling, help out at your church or temple or mosque.
Volunteer at the local animal shelter. Give $50 to the United Way or another charity next year instead of buying your kid another DVD she’s going to watch once.