By Emily Wei, Lifestyle Columnist
Welcome to one of the most notorious months of the year, December! This is a month infamous for its association with hot chocolate, candy canes, and snow days. Not only this, but it seems that opinions on December have quite a spectrum, ranging from complete infatuation to utter detest. I, for one, am on the former side of these points of view, however I can see how some may be on the latter. With all the commercials, advertisements, and billboards that seem to be bombarding us on a daily basis, it can be easy to lose the real meaning of this holiday season. This is why this column will hopefully give you a chance to remember the real message of this holiday season.
I am sure that by now, a lot of you have started your Christmas shopping, maybe even wrapping. However, answer this question; what is the first word you think of when you hear the word, “Christmas”? We like to deny it, but for the vast majority of us, it is “presents” or something along those lines. This is why, today, I will be talking about what the real meaning of this holiday should be. Of course, it is a mandatory childhood memory to wake up early on Christmas day and find that the plate of cookies and glass of milk you put out are empty and the Christmas tree is stocked with evidence that Santa Claus came last night. As one grows older, this feeling is replaced with the experience of waking up on Christmas day to a lively house filled with warmth and family. Although different experiences, they have an equally heartwarming effect. I hope that many of you are familiar with this feeling, nevertheless, there are countless people who do not get to experience this. This year, maybe take some time to think if your relative really needs that video game or if that money would be better spent towards a charity. There are countless charities across Nova Scotia that would be more than appreciative of anything you can do to help, whether it be volunteer work or a donation. Not only this, but assembling a gift basket with some food, household supplies, or necessities could brighten someone’s day immensely. You never know what anyone is going through, so even small acts of kindness such as an extra thank you, compliment, or gift for your neighbour, bus driver, or cashier might seem like a small gesture for you, but it can make all the difference for them.
I know that this column was predominantly focused on Christmas, but the message applies even for those who celebrate other holidays around this time of year. Holidays should not be thought of as a day for presents and new things, but rather a time to reflect and be grateful for what you already have. Our world is populated by almost 8 billion people. We walk by around 20 new people a day for a total of well over 200 000 people in our lifetime. Every person has their own life and circumstances. The person sitting beside you on the bus that fell asleep might be a single mom who just got off a 12 hour shift. The cashier you had while getting groceries might be stressing about their upcoming exam. The lady who held the door open for you might have just gotten a promotion at work. It’s impossible to have a positive impact on everyone, but we are all people. All of us appreciate small acts of kindness and the golden rule of treating others how you want to be treated never expires. We are the main characters in our own lives, but in almost everyone we encounter, we are featured for only a few seconds. It is what you choose to do with those few seconds that define who you are in your own film.