Charity is for every season of the year
As Christmas approaches, attention focuses again on the needy. The Christian nativity story tells of a young couple with nowhere to safe to stay as the time for a baby’s birth draws near.
It tells of an innkeeper’s small but invaluable gesture and of joy in difficult times. It recounts the willingness of strangers to visit with support and of unexpected gifts from the wealthy.
Whatever your religious views and whatever your convictions about the realities and relevance of that birth, the story is inspirational. And each year it encourages vast numbers of people to be generous to those in need.
It is, in some respects, a cliché to observe that the “Christmas spirit” is short-lived and fades fast as the challenges of a new year grab the attention.
Many who read this blog are addicts themselves and more are friends or relatives of those in need of and engaged in recovery. They all understand the ongoing need for support and practical help. Taking life a day at a time covers many, many days beyond the few set aside for festivities.
All of us would probably accept that a good New Year Resolution would be to try to remain mindful of those in need and to continue to offer generous support long after Christmas is just a memory.
Many have no choice; they will never be able to ignore the needs of friends and loved ones in recovery which confront them every day.
But here is an idea. In whatever diary or calendar you keep in your pocket or on your computer or smartphone, make a note of one or two acts of generosity which you have offered during this festive season. And tie that note to some random day later in the year.
And resolve on that day, be it a sunny and sweltering moment in a summer heatwave or a wet Wednesday in autumn, to remember and repeat your Yuletide charity.