file photo

True spirit revealed with the season of giving

When the restrictions and COVID-measures rolled out, I heard a lot of people from cities getting upset over cancelled parties and gatherings. And yes, there were these murmurs in smaller towns and villages as well, but what surprised me was just how many people were more upset over how someone else won’t get Christmas, how folks in seniors’ homes won’t get to see their families, how kids won’t get their toys under their trees or how families won’t unite over the holidays.

Locally, I saw organizations from food banks to schools and the Chamber of Commerce to individuals, pulling all stops, finding ways to get around the restrictions and ensure it ends up being a happy Christmas for everyone. From distributing over 500 hampers in Houston to school kids and orphans, collecting toys through Cram the Cruiser in Granisle and Burns Lake and rallying together the community to write cards for seniors, people in these communities were constantly buzzing with ideas to make this year’s Christmas extra special despite the restrictions.

All this giving, reminded me of a survey that was released last year by the Charities Aid Foundation, a UK-based organization, on 10 Years of Giving trends across the globe. While the U.S.A. ranked number one on the list of generosity, Canada ranked sixth among the 128 countries surveyed over a period of 10 years. Both these countries’ generosity quotient has gone down over the years according to the survey. Seven of the top 10 countries on the generosity meter, are among the wealthiest in the world, but interestingly, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, the other three on the list, are all classified by the UN as lower-middle-income countries.

The report’s authors made a very interesting observation over what makes a country more generous. They say in the report, “There is no one trait that points to a country’s generosity. Top performing countries represent a wide range of geographies, religions, cultures and levels of wealth – what they all have in common is simply an inspiring willingness to give.”

That’s also what I have observed in the past few days where people with limited means themselves have been making bottle donations in the names of charities, giving that one dollar extra on their bills at the end of a shopping trip towards a charity or are simply going out of their way to make someone else smile, no matter the caste, religion, region of the giver and receiver.

Christmas so far had been mostly about sparkly lights, tree decorations, exchanging gifts and family pictures.

This year however, I have seen what the season of giving really means on a larger scale and I am absolutely loving everything about it. Giving gifts, making donations, spreading happiness; it is just so heartening to see so many people around the globe, thinking about bringing a smile to someone else’s faces, all at the same time. And all of this especially during one of the most difficult years financially, emotionally and mentally. I hope this spirit of giving only multiplies and so does the joy around the globe.

All of us here at the Houston Today family, wish you and your family a very Happy Holiday season!

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Provincial grant tapped to finance downtown project

Butler and 10th next on improvement list

RDBN. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Houston Soccer club. (Submitted/Houston Today)
Houston Soccer gets record number of registrations

Club will have a soccer season amidst COVID restrictions

District of Houston
Safe Restart grant spending firmed up

Will help cover losses from recreation fees

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Most Read