You know, the day after Christmas is probably my least favorite day of the year. Especially as a kid, I really disliked it and dreaded it.
The reason I disliked it so much was probably because all the joy, excitement, and expectation that filled the months preceding the holidays were gone. As a child, I vividly remember the day after Christmas. My house was typically silent, whereas the day before, it was full of laughter and kind chatter. I looked around me, and my extended family had their bags packed up and sitting by the door, and we were saying goodbye to them. The dishes in the sink were piled high in wait of washing, and wrapping paper and ribbons were strewn all over the floor waiting for someone to pick them up.
I also remember the first Christmas where I chose not to follow tradition. Instead, I asked for donations to an organization in my community that I was passionate about. As a kid that year, Christmas day was a little odd, but the day after, it all felt worth it. Instead of waking up and feeling sad, I woke up with rejuvenated joy, knowing that my gift would last much longer than one day. My gift would bring joy to others.
This Christmas, I don’t doubt you deserve to be showered with gifts, especially consider that, toward the end of the year, we sometimes feel burdened with the weight of whatever has happened—good or bad—during the year. You probably have a few items in mind that you have been wanting for a while. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! It’s ok to treat yourself or to receive much deserved gifts from your loved ones.
However, there is so much more to the holiday season than that! It is an opportunity to do good and spread joy to those around you. It is an opportunity to help those who do not have the resources you have. It is an opportunity for you to bring light into a messy, dark, crazy world, just like light was brought to the world for us.
This Christmas, would you consider giving the gift that lasts? If you chose to donate $25 a month for this next year, you would be giving 25 people in the developing world access to clean water. That’s incredible. Months after you have said goodbye to relatives, washed the dishes, and cleaned up the wrapping paper from your Christmas celebrations, people around the world will be drinking water that is safe for them because of you! Also, I guarantee that you will also have joy that lasts!