The holidays are definitely one of the most wonderful times of the year. For me, it means spending an unconditional amount of time with my family. This year Christmas was a very busy event. Lots of scrambling to finish wrapping presents, decorating, baking delicious holiday treats, extravagant eve and day dinners with amazing food, endless laughter and many memories. Christmas when I was younger used to be all about the presents, but this year it was more about the time I got to spend with my family. I guess it has something to do with the whole maturing and growing up thing. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy receiving gifts and wasn’t absolutely grateful for them but it was more exciting for me to pick gifts for others, spend the time perfecting the wrapping and watching their reaction as they opened it.
Not only are the holidays meant to be a time of extra kindness and love towards your family, but also to others in the community. This piece of advice really hit me on Christmas day, when I went to Tim Horton’s. Usually there is next to nothing open, but for the past few years that I know of, the owner of Chestermere Tim Horton’s , opened the store for a few hours. I know at first it doesn’t seem like much, but he was working all by himself and the part that really hit home for me was he wasn’t open for profits, but instead he took your order and asked you to donate any amount you wished to the “Christmas with Dignity” charity. This is a local charity works to provide funds to community members that are in need of money to meet basic necessities such as food, utilities, dental and medical care. I just couldn’t get over how kind he was to take time out of his day in which he could have been spending time doing whatever else , but instead he was doing something that was helping other families and making a difference in the community. Being a part of that experience held something special in my heart because I knew my family and I were going to have our breakfast coffee and tea anyways, but this way we were helping someone else instead of just paying for our drinks.
This year, Christmas was a really special and memorable holiday. It really motivated me to be a better person towards others and even myself, as odd as that sounds. I cherish the time and memories that were made with my family, as well as the opportunity to learn about a new charity and really experience the true meaning of Christmas of giving back. Words can’t even express how grateful I am for everything I have in my life, and how much I respect I have for people who go out of their way and help others, like the owner of the Chestermere Tim Horton’s. I am definitely sad that the holidays are over, but at the same time I am excited for what the new year will bring. Hopefully it will be just as amazing, or more than 2011.