There is a woman, living in Penticton, who decided to go all out for Christmas this year.
She decided the best gift she could give was to open her home on Christmas Day for a few hours, so anyone could drop by to celebrate the holiday together and enjoy a meal.
There have been times when she was alone, without family at Christmas-time, and she wanted to help people who were lonely or couldn’t afford a Christmas dinner for themselves.
At least 20 people said they wanted to attend, and others in the community offered to help with turkeys, pies and other food. When asked about the dangers of letting strangers into her home, she replied she could take care of herself, but also said people needed to have faith in each other, and not label everyone bad.
“What happened to the days when we all helped each other out and cared for one another?” she asked.
With all the negativity in discussions about the less fortunate in our society, it’s understandable why she would ask such a question. The answer is, it hasn’t gone anyplace.
From personal gestures like hers to food banks and other organizations, people are showing they care in different ways.
On Dec. 25, in communities across the province, there are volunteers who are giving up all or part of their Christmas Day to serve lunches and dinners to those in need.
All year long, people donate food, money and time to food banks, but in the weeks leading up to Christmas, that effort intensifies as they rush to fill hampers and distribute them — many thousands of hampers around the province — in time to make the holiday a little brighter.
Though it is Christmas, we shouldn’t think about this as a Christian or even just a western thing. All around the world, people of every faith, ethnicity, culture and nationality make it their responsibility to care for others.
And most beautiful of all, the caring isn’t limited to just one season, it goes on every day of the year.
So, to these people who are giving of themselves to care for others, from the Penticton woman who doesn’t want people to be lonely at Christmas, to the group digging a new well in the summer sun, we say thank you. Thank you for making the world a better place.