So, it’s Christmas once again and there’s a strong feeling of deja vu in the air. Covid is still news as the Omicron variant spreads and, in the UK, the threat of a new lockdown is on the horizon. News is constantly coming out about how little right-wing Governments care for the lives of the people they rule and even democracy itself come to that. Lying and alternate ‘facts’ have inexplicably become okay with a lot of people but only if these align with their incredibly distorted world-view. Partisanship is worse than ever with both sides vilifying the other as the far-right wingnuts disappear down into the rabbit hole of total virtual insanity and see weird conspiracies all over the place.
I must admit that I like that word. It means that there might be some light at the end of the deep dark tunnel that we’ve been living in lately. Yet, I see acts of kindness daily, people smiling at each other under their masks and children still getting excited about what delights Christmas Day will bring.
Last year, I published a post at Christmas, at the height of the Covid crisis, explaining why we should all be grateful. I’m going to do something similar again this year as I think we might need it. I got my inspiration from a trip to my local high street to buy some Christmas cards. As I find it hard to get out and about at times, I had missed the fact that we had a Best Before Cafe in our shopping centre.
I noticed it as I was waiting for my wife to finish looking at some Christmas cards and I wandered over to have a look. There were counters piled high with food: bread, fresh vegetables and cans and bottles of all sorts. Anyone can come in and fill a bag for a suggested donation of just £2. A bag of bread is free. The shop was doing good business.
I was shocked. I suppose that living in a relatively rich country, which also has hordes of people who might be identified as ‘super rich’ living in it, the fact that people might go hungry is incongruous. However, the fact that children might go hungry is a sin.
I made a donation which was easy. All I had to do was put my hand in my pocket. However, the lady I gave the money to had donated something a million times more valuable, her time. So, this Christmas it might be worth thinking about those who go hungry and also appreciate those who have given their time to help others.
In the UK, we also donate to food charities FareShare and The Trussell Trust. A moment spent on the internet will point you towards local food charities in your area. Go out and have a look for yourself.
Time is a resource that can never be given back or topped up. Yet, volunteers in all sorts of charities gladly give their time to help others. Let us remember them. Let us also remember all our health workers who have not just given their time but sometimes their lives in trying to save others. Especially, think of our doctors and nurses on Christmas Day when many of them will be working and not at home with their families.
We should be grateful that these people are in the world.
I hope that you all have a happy and peaceful Christmas this year.