The true spirit of Christmas

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beautiful-christmas-treeChristmas is here. For Europe and almost half of the world this is a time for joy and celebration. For a day or two, we can relax and rejoice with our loved ones. But the true spirit of Christmas, regardless of religions is about giving and helping. Maybe we can leave our problems and disagreements aside and think how we can help one another. It’s not that difficult.

It happened in Bradford (UK), in one of the most inspiring stories I’ve come across recently. The city’s Muslims saved the synagogue, through a fundraising effort that allowed the restoration of the beautiful 132-year-old, but heavily damaged building. 

It happened just after the summer of 2012, when severe thunderstorms hit Washington, D.C., and an 8 year old boy rushed without second thought to help his neighbour repair her house. Not only did he give all his piggy bank money for the cause but he set up a lemonade stand to raise more money and stayed there for 3 days.

It happened this April, when a homeless man returned a $4.000 ring. The favour was returned to him and changed his life. The owner of the ring, was so moved that she went public with the man’s good deed, establishing a fund in his name. It raised $185,000.

It happened last July, when Former Lighthouse Point City Clerk Carol Landau decided to donate all her retirement savings to volunteer fire departments.

It happened this past spring, after the 2013 Boston Marathon. When Jeff Bauman lost both his legs by the bombs, his friends and family turned to online fundraising campaigns to help with medical expenses. The “Bucks for Bauman” page on GoFundMe has received more than $800,000 in pledges. An anonymous donation reached $15.000 alone.

I can see this same spirit in many occasions in Greece, in community support actions, revitalised due to the economic crisis and I’m pretty sure it’s alive in many other places all around the world, from Americas to Australia and from North to South pole. Maybe this Christmas, it’s a good opportunity to reevaluate our priorities and think how we can help one another and what we can offer to the common good.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year!