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Tips on Christmas Charity: From Donating Warm Clothes to Providing Food & Shelter
Christmas is a time to indulge, reflect & make merry. However, most importantly, it is a ready excuse for us to look after our despairing brothers & sisters and to disassociate ourselves from our usual rounds of self-centeredness.
From a diseased variety of selfishness. From our unholy, yearlong, commitment to feed only our bodies and senses. At the cost of our immortal souls.
Come what may.
This blog post is my attempt to reclaim the narrative of Christmas. To relive the occasion in its original & pristine glory. In the way that our great-grandparents once enjoyed it – back when the world was a kinder place. When giving was cherished, and taking (in every negative sense) was frowned upon.
In the interests of full disclosure, I will also mention in detail my ‘giving strategy’ on this Christmas. So that you can beat me to the curb, and spread love to all the people beyond my reach. Should you choose to take the initiative!
Grand idea for a competition, right?
Reclaiming Christmas (One Strike at a Time!)
But first, let me rant a bit against all the people who have smeared the festival’s good reputation.
People who go about their business, without even so much as looking beyond their car windshields. To the homeless men, women & children who lie helplessly on the cold street floors of their sprawling cities.
Looking wretchedly on, as others in possession of a greater share of the earth’s blessings, pass by uncaringly.
Wishing against all hope that a Good Samaritan would chance to glance their way. And perhaps, just maybe, throw a warm piece of bread. Or even reach into his (or her) pocket, and dispense with a penny. A pound note would probably be asking too much. The bad state of the economy is a good excuse.
Sounds very Dickensian, I know. But it’s the truth!
Just go on down to London’s East End in the middle of winter, and you’ll see what I mean.
We’re all guilty of living within our own selves too much of the time. Confined within our own limited bubbles of thought and lifestyle.
I admit to it too. I am complicit in this system, just like everyone else. And the first swing of the mallet should land on my own head. Before I recommend the ordeal for someone else.
It’s only fair.
Christmas, after all (and first & foremost), is a time of contemplation. Without which there can be no hope of much rectification in this world. Or an equal spread of happiness for all.
Waging a Battle against Our Selves is Hard
This apathy has consequences. Even if we don’t choose to yield to it. Or look it in the eye during the bulk of our waking moments.
Because facing up to our own minds is hard. Most people don’t like to involve themselves in this painful exercise. And they have good reason not to!
In an already cruel world, who would want to put up with the results of such a pursuit?
With the thought that maybe the problem isn’t so much with the world at large. But with our own (individual) selves.
Michael Jackson sang about this consumerist disease beautifully in the 80s. In his iconic ‘Man in the Mirror’ number. Which, ironically, has become the go-to anthem for acclaimed British brands like Harrods and Burberry. To fetch in even more money from their Christmas sales than what they make the year round.
In a sad state of affairs in which the gap between the haves and the have-nots is only getting wider.
Putting the Light Back On (There’s Still Hope Left in the World)
But enough with these expressions of my silent anguish!
Christmas time will soon be upon us, and I (for one) want to put the sparkle back on its anticipation.
Because whether you’re a faithful believer or a skeptic, you can’t deny that the festival comes with its inherent share of excitement.
Nobody can rob Christmas off this effect.
I could whip myself a mug of eggnog to create that familiar warm buzz within my soul. Or go out shopping with two of my best mates. In the hope that, together, we’d be able to score some great discount deals from Sainsbury’s. Or even go skating in Central Park.
But I have a better idea.
And based on the psychological tirade (against modern culture) that you’ve read above, I’d wager that you’ll be able to make a good guess.
This Christmas, I’ll choose to play my role in putting out all the fires that I’ve so identified.
By becoming the best example of minimalism that you know.
The exact opposite of Dr. Seuss’s ‘The Grinch’. A character which unfortunately everyone turns into at this time of the year.
Things I’ll Happily Go out Of My Way to give (My ‘Tips’ – as it were…)
More precisely, I’ll sift through my overflowing closet a week before the big day, and find any:
That I can part with.
Stuff that I’ve been hoarding in the form of hidden luxuries for ages, and which I can live without.
Other than that, I’ll give away my savings for the year. In addition, I bought some warm clothes for winters from Khaadi store nearby. I thought why not donate these warm clothes on this Christmas. Therefore, I donated those warm clothes to a poor housekeeper in my locality. However, many people prefer to take ready cash instead of tangibles.
All we really need to do is help people on this auspicious event of the year. Celebrate not only ourselves but also others by helping them through donating clothes, Money, Daily use things etc.
And I’ll bake more than a dozen beef casseroles in my open (backward) kitchen. Not to devour them myself, but to satiate the hunger of any ‘Tiny Tim’s’ who may wish to take a bite. Little angels who, like the disabled character in the Christmas Carol novel, are unable to afford the treats.
There are many runaway kids like that in today’s Britain. And the thought of them going hungry to sleep on Christmas Eve really breaks my heart.
The ‘Greatest’ Advice: To Be Practical
Only this time, I’ll choose to do something practical with regard to these pent-up feelings.
Instead of going to sleep in my usual sobbing state. With only the thought of a mistaken ‘Well, at least I have good intentions…’ mental discourse to keep me company during the night.
Like most self-righteous types of people these days.
The kinds who can make great speeches when they’re moved enough by the plight of those less fortunate.
All day long, if need be.
However, who shrink from the slightest charitable calling – if it’s their resources that are on the line.