Let's extend the season into the New Year
I sat listening as the reality of the "Season" was explained to a newbie. "There will be all kinds of meals, food and useful items given to the hungry, homeless and poor for the next few weeks, but the end of the month marks the beginning of the empty winter months of January and February when there is nothing". The newbie, like so many others, had never thought about how bleak January and February are, particularly in contrast to the plenty of the "Season".
I call the phenomena the Christmas Switch, switched on for the few weeks leading up to Christmas and switched off on "Naked Greed Day" (aka Boxing Day). It happens every year like clockwork.
So what do I want? World peace, an end to homelessness and poverty, affordable housing, win 6-49 ...
On a more practical note I do have a want for those who feel called to do something during this season. Remember that hunger, homelessness and poverty exist year round, especially those dark months of the post "Season" blues. Get together with friends, colleagues or members of your congregation and begin planning and preparations to share the spirit of the "Season" outside the season in January or February when it is badly needed.
A food drive for the Food Bank, to restock their shelves and remind people that hunger is still there in January and February, that hunger is a year round reality for far to many of our fellow citizens. An out of season turkey dinner for the hungry and homeless. Warm clothing, blankets, mitts, gloves, goodie packs are still badly needed in January and February.
It is even more needed, more appreciated in those bleak months. Consider the fact that the homeless have to carry their possessions with them. How much could you carry around with you - all the time. Piles and piles of goods given during the short "Season" just go to waste, left behind abandoned, to heavy to carry.
I know that doing something in January or February is not as easy as in December. I also know that William Arthur Ward was correct in telling people "... to focus your energies on answers -- not excuses".
MCC East, with a little ingenuity, opened the loading bay doors to serve soup and sandwiches to the hungry and homeless on a freezing cold Saturday evening. The people from the Hillside Church braved treacherous streets and made it through the snow to serve their monthly lunch on this first Sunday of December, hot chili, pasta and coffee.
Thoughtfulness, ingenuity and effort. With those ingredients we can make this January and February less bleak and spread some of the spirit of the Season into the gloomy days of January and February. Just a thought seed for those who find themselves wondering "what can I do to make a difference this Season/year?"
Next year we will start to work on March through November.