Winston Churchill, a British Prime Minister, famously said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” A lifetime is an incredibly long time to wait to have one’s best intentions rewarded. Thankfully, one doesn’t have to wait; the effects of generosity and compassion are powerful and immediate. To deny someone giving a gift is to deny that person the opportunity to feel generous. The act of generosity and ability to make a difference in someone’s life can inspire someone else to do the same. In this way, generosity will be heightened and valued.
Although people may argue the holidays are just a festival of greed, generosity is actually the cornerstone of the holiday season. The holiday season is a wonderful time of year, there is something about the holidays that makes everyone feel a little more alive, it’s a feeling everyone tries to hold on to for the entire year. Peoples’ homes are welcoming thanks to the sparkling tinsel, twinkling lights and peppermint scented candles, not to mention the tempting scent of freshly baked goodies! Then it’s all about cherishing every cozy and festive moment with the ones that are loved. The holidays are a time most people treasure and look forward to all year long. Everyone gets to spend time with family and friends, get a break from school to relax and have a chance to reflect on the things that are truly important in life.
One of the most amazing aspects of the giving season is the ability it has to bring out the best in people. As the holiday season is setting in everyone takes into consideration the importance of being compassionate and generous in every way possible but not letting it come to an end with the spirit of the season. During the holidays, people really stress being generous and helping out those in need. They will volunteer at shelters and donate money to those less fortunate in order to make the season magical and wonderful for everyone.
No one should be longing and yearning during the holidays, and many people will do what is necessary to guarantee that this won’t happen. But why do people feel the sudden urge to lend a helping hand? What makes people have a change of heart during the holidays? There are an endless amount of reasons why people become more generous during the holiday season. One of the most leading reasons that spark this deed is that people want to help make the holiday experience more joyful and magical. By reaching out and giving they allow this idea to become a reality. These selfless acts of kindness and helping others in need increases the upbeat and happy emotions and feelings that come along with the holiday season. This could be the real reason everyone seems to be 10 times more jolly during the holidays.
Generosity means giving ones time and energy to those around them, whether their family, friends or just someone in need and that is exactly what this NYPD officer demonstrated. On a very cold 35-degree night in Times Square, Larry DePrimo put the needs of a homeless man as his first priority. “You could see the blisters on his feet from 15 feet away, I knew I had to help him,” Deprimo told CNN. He went to a nearby Sketchers store to buy a pair of thermal socks and $75 insulated winter boots(“Boot-Buying NYPD”). The officer had no idea that an inspired passerby was taking a photo as he knelt down to put a pair of boots on the homeless man’s feet. “This man’s face lit up like it was Christmas and like he had just been given literally a million dollars,” she told the Today Show(“Boot-Buying NYPD”).
This officers inpiring act of generosity is an important reminder to give back during the holiday season. What better way to promote one of the core aspects of the holidays and to warm peoples’ hearts, than by being a compassionate and charitable individual during the season of giving. It is incredible that the holidays can encourage this much generosity and kindness from people, but with the help of the media shoving Christmas ads in our face every 15 minutes, it pushes and inspires everyone to be a little more warm and caring to those around them.
Coca-Cola showed its advocation for generosity by airing its commercial that demonstreated the importance of giving back this holiday season. At the heart of the “Coca-Cola Christmas” ad is a giant red Coca-Cola dispenser placed in the middle of a community reading two choices to choose from: Keep Spreading the Joy or #Share the Good. As these people came out of their homes and saw the gift they were given their faces lit up with joy and smiles from ear to ear. By choosing #Share the Good a tiny red box strung from a red balloon would be sent off into the town and shared with someone new. As they opened it they were greeted with a christmas ornament and note that reads, “Someone special shared this with you. Keep spreading the joy!”
This ad aims at spreading the joy of christmas through gifting Coca-Cola to those who are making the holidays a reality. Similar to the Coca-Cola commercial here is another major brand focusing thier marketing strategy on kindness and being away from loved ones during the holiday season. Cereal company, General Mills, released another ad, featuring their number one product Cheerios, in which an elderly grandmother is home for the holidays with her baby grandson telling him the story of how their lives may be seperated by distance, but during the holidays, they are closer together than ever. (CelebrityParentsMag).
Commercials and ads such as these have a long lasting legacy of spreading festive cheer during the holiday season and everyone knows these much-loved campaigns mark the unofficial countdown to Christmas. However their focus on bringing people together and celebrating the festivities of the season remain true to the values of their marketing campaign year round. Today, everyone’s main motive seems to be the well-being of their selves rather than the well-being of others. Soon after Thanksgiving comes to an end Americans are in full-out hunting mode.
They’re alert, focused and ready to pounce on any and every Black Friday deal they set their sights on. For every one of these deranged shoppers there are dozens of people who hate this greedy practice, especially since it takes place after a day everyone’s supposed to be counting their blessings. For decades Black Friday was a tradition for many families, getting up early to head to packed sores and fight for hot deals. That has changed in recent years as holiday sales are starting as early as November 1st. Employees are being forced to stay in and work overtime during the holidays when they should be at home bundled up by the fire spending quality time with their family.
The holidays should be a time of family bonding, reminicing on old memories and making lots of new ones, not being forced to stand on ones feet for countless hours as family members wonder when their coming home. What was once a singular day to get stellar deals has become nearly a two-month holiday season. Some of the largest retailers such as Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and so many more are all competeting on who opens the earliest or who has the best deals and prices to have the most people fighting in and out of their aisles. Each of these companies are demonstrating how they are helping diminsh the importance of Black Friday (Karp).
The nearly 200,000 signatures on part-time Target employee Anthony Hardwick’s petition to “Save Thanksgiving” is proof that both employees and customers of Target are beginning to see this endless race by retailers to one-up each other as dehumanizing and ridiculous (Leonard). As Black Friday continues to fade in importance so does its costumers. One of the glories of this time of year is that it offers so many opportunities to help others, whether it be by volunteering at one of the charitable events taking place or making a contribution to a favorite cause. Even just dropping a few coins or bills into a Salvation Army bucket can make a long lasting impact in someone’s life. People need to not lose the generous spirit of the holiday season when the calendar turns to January and past.
There are needs to be met in the community all the time, not just from November to December. The spirit of the holidays is not about buying the latest and greatest elecctronic gadget. This is a time when people reflect on those who may not be able to afford presents under the Christmas tree, or who will be separated from loved ones. It is a time of generosity towards others by giving of ones spirit, not just giving material items. This is a time when everyone holds their loved ones close and celebrate the blessing that have been given. All in all, the holiday season is more than a hectic binge of spending and receiving gifts. Rewards and presents shouldn’t be the heart and soul of Christmas, everyone should be appreciative of the blessings they have been given whether or not that’s through gifts.
Famous actors, Mila Kunis and husband Ashton Kutcher have taken a stance and chose not to reward their children with presents this holiday season. Instead, they would like to make a charitable donation to the Children’s Hospital and focus on spending time with the family during the holidays (Sblendorio). Don’t let the holiday complaing drown the sights of the real spirit of giving this season. Always be willing to give an extra hand to those in need and it will surely be rewarded. Give others a reason to feel gratitude by going out of the way to show care and support. Charity that comes from the heart is an expression of love and compassion that will be received at the level of the heart. Take the famous words of Winston Churchill into consideration when thinking about how to give back this holiday season and continue spreading the joy.