Spread the gift of giving


Story by Baker Orange Editorial Board

With the holiday season knocking and Santa prepping for takeoff, shoppers are rushing to get the best deals, families are scrounging to decorate their houses for entertaining and college students are cramming for finals and dreaming of a much-needed vacation.

While we understand how easy it can be to get caught up in daily life during such a busy time of year, the Baker Orange staff urges our fellow students to remember those in need this holiday season and spread the gift of giving.

Despite what the abominable commercial industries might have us believe, the true spirit of the holidays lies not in the number of presents we have under our own tree, but in the joy we can bring to our friends and neighbors. This year, we recommend that students remember the reason behind the season and do more giving than receiving.

As children in elementary school, we crafted cotton ball snowmen or handprinted ornaments and spent the season giving the most precious gifts we had: our time and joy. It didn’t matter that the Polly Pockets or Hotwheels we were gifting to our friends were out of our own toy box and were worn from use, giving was giving, and giving felt great.

For this holiday season, we suggest that the Baker community remember how it felt to have a child’s heart during the holidays, when Christmas time meant replaying old music classics, breaking out into the snow for fun and spending time with the people we love simply because we love them.

Though most Americans, especially those of us in college, have plenty to be thankful for during the holidays, so many families, some hiding right next door, struggle more than ever around Christmas. With some families unable to put food in their children’s mouths on a daily basis, how could they hope to give the ones they love a storybook holiday season with presents under a tree and a roof over their heads for Santa’s sled to land on? The answer to their white Christmas is shockingly simple, and it’s people like us.

Instead of dedicating more time and energy scrolling and shopping for the newest television sets or phone cases, we should spend our time giving the gifts that count to people who are sorely in need this Christmas. To a family with little to nothing, a simple donation or moment of your time is worth the world.

There are no shortages of opportunities to give during the holiday season. Here in Baldwin City alone there are a plethora of places in need of helping hands. At the First United Methodist Church, located right off of campus, the Baldwin City Food Pantry is always accepting food donations for families who cannot afford the supplies for holiday meals. A few 50-cent cans of green beans, corn, cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie filling could mean a full belly and satisfied smile for someone this Christmas. Another common practice to help families during Christmas is the adopt-a-family programs that can be found almost anywhere.

Whether you decide to give your time locally to a senior citizen at Vintage Park Assisted Living or give your financial support to a family size of your choice at the Baldwin City Police Department, or whether you donate to the Salvation Army guy with the ringing bell at your local Walmart, any gift you give may save the season for someone somewhere. Though you may never see their face or know their name, you will know you made a difference in someone’s life. Besides, once you start giving, you might just find you like the feeling!

You don’t have to be religious to get into the spirit of the holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, the holiday season is a great opportunity to give to those in need this winter. So, while you’re jamming to Christmas tunes or watching “It’s A Wonderful Life,” remember to think of the little gifts we often forget this time of year. Give just to give, love just to love and have a happy holidays!