Valdosta Daily Times

December 28, 2013

A year-round spirit of Christmas

The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — With the presents open, the bird eaten, the trees in various stages of departure from homes, it is time to reflect on the true message of Ebenezer Scrooge.

At the end of his classic “A Christmas Carol,” Charles Dickens writes of how Scrooge has been transformed from a miser into a man who carries Christmas in his heart each and every day. Had Dickens written a sequel revealing the reformed Scrooge’s generosity in April or July or September then maybe more people would realize that we all have the potential to be as good as we are at Thanksgiving and Christmas no matter the day or date.

Too often, folks seem to box up the holiday generosity along with the Christmas ornaments this time of year.

From late November through Christmas, people and organizations scramble to ensure others have Thanksgiving meals, Christmas food and holiday toys, while the other 11 months of the year, charitable organizations often search for volunteers and contributions.

Make no mistake. South Georgia is a giving region. Its generosity has been apparent in recent weeks. Many South Georgians even sacrificed their family time to spend the holidays helping others.

Our community has been blessed by this spirit of helping those in need, but many of these needs do not start with Thanksgiving and end on Christmas.

Nor should we as a community see this past month as the only opportunity to volunteer for the good of others.

Various organizations offer opportunities to volunteer and contribute each month. Good deeds and goodwill toward others are in high demand each day of the year, and in that way, we can all carry the spirit of Christmas throughout each and every month.