The Malta Independent 18 June 2024, Tuesday
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TMID Editorial: Christmas and coming together as a community

Saturday, 2 December 2023, 11:25 Last update: about 8 months ago

The countdown to Christmas and New Year has begun. Black Friday has come and passed, a time when many people shop in the hopes of getting a good deal and getting at least some of their Christmas gifts out of the way.

December will see people heading to shops to continue purchasing in preparation for Christmas. People will plan family lunches and dinners at home or book at restaurants, staff parties will be held, as will gift exchanges between family members, friends and perhaps colleagues. 

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Some may choose to travel abroad, and experience a snowy Christmas. This period can tend to incur many expenses.

But it shouldn’t just be about gifts. Yes, the period has been commercialised, but what it should really be about is bringing us together. Together with our families as the holidays kick in, but also together as a community.

Malta isn’t a perfect country. There are people struggling to make ends meet. There are others who are going through a very difficult period medically and who need support. There are homes and shelters that could use our support to help them continue offering the best services they can to people who need and rely on them.

There are two major fund raising activities that occur each year during this period. The first, is L-Istrina in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund, and the second, is the Dar tal-Providenza New Year’s Day fundraiser.

Each year, people in Malta show their generous nature by donating to these good causes. It is this generous nature which is truly heartwarming. Supporting these two initiatives is important and it is not only people who contribute to them either, companies and businesses also do so.

Inflations took its toll this year, but one hopes that this will not impact the donations being made much.

These are not the only two organisations that could use support, there are plenty of others out there. Perhaps an orphanage looking for some gifts for children, or a home for the homeless needing some provisions… the list goes on. There are plenty out there that could use support. If supporting them monetarily isn’t possible, volunteering is always an option.

The period could also be a lonely time. An elderly neighbour who perhaps lost their partner years ago, or someone who is living in Malta for work while their family is still back home. It is not an easy time for people in such situations. Where possible, we should all strive to be good neighbours and offer friendship and support. A conversation here and there, calling a relative who is alone, making a connection with someone who is going through a hard time can make a difference. In truth, we should strive to offer such friendship and support year round.

We should all strive to treat this festive period as one where we bring people and communities together, where we support those who need it.

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