Christmas Cheer? Alive & Thriving!

Christmas Cheer? Alive & Thriving!


Who said that Christmas is a Bah! Humbug!? Why, that would be the fictitious Charles Dickens character Ebenezer Scrooge. The word “scrooge” eventually entered the English lexicon, someone who is a miserly person.

But even Scrooge eventually saw the light though it took the ghost of Robert Marley and three well timed appearances by spirits to convince him that he was on the wrong path in life. These days, we can all get caught up in the hub bub of the holiday season and forget the true meaning of the holiday – that a Savior was born—Immanuel—which means God with us.

Merry ChristmasThankfully, there are people and businesses who understand that this is a especially important time of the year to give, a way to ease human suffering by voluntarily sharing the wealth. It may not be “Peace on Earth” right now, but there are enough hints that goodwill is being spread even under trying conditions:

Spreading Warmth – The Salvation Army now has 150,000 blankets and 30,000 pillows to distribute to those in need thanks to the men and women of Southwest Airlines. Southwest employees made this donation to the Dallas/Fort Worth Command of The Salvation Army last week, which will be supplemented by more blankets and pillows to Army facilities across the US.

“Southwest Airlines continues to partner with the Salvation Army in support of the communities we serve,” said Debra Benton, Southwest Airlines Director of Community Relations and Charitable Giving. “With the winter months upon us, we know individuals need these blankets and pillows, and we’re happy to be able to provide them.”

Spreading Cheer – The American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes teamed up to ask Americans to write letters to our troops as part of a Holiday Mail For Heroes campaign. As a result, hundreds of thousands of holiday letters will be sent to service members and veterans around the world.

“The Red Cross has just witnessed an outpouring of care for our service men and women, veterans and military families,” said Sherri Brown, senior vice president of American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces. “Americans are making sure that every one of our heroes who cannot be home for the holidays receives a card.”

Spreading Joy – It takes a large business to do big things, therefore it is no surprise that Walmart was behind an effort to help military families with donations of toys, food, books, gift cards, and gift packages. With 3,000 military parents helped and 10,000 dependents the benefit of such giving, this Christmas will be a brighter one for many.

“This has been an especially difficult year for our military families and their children. They’re not only dealing with deployments but also the economic recession,” said Operation Homefront chief executive officer, Jim Knotts. “Through the generosity of Walmart, these donated toys and books will allow the military families to provide a happy holiday for their children while using their limited resources on the vital basic needs.”

Spreading Hope – Seriously ill children and their families can feel especially alone, even isolated at Christmas. Sickness can make it difficult for people to plan and pay for their holiday celebration but thanks to a new line of celebrity designed T-shirts benefiting the Starlight Children’s Foundation, hope will brighten considerably for many.

The T-shirts are set to go on sale (retail $12.80) this Saturday in select Forever 21 stores and online at Each celebrity’s original artwork will be up for auction at Starlight’s eBay store (, starting Dec. 21.

“I am excited to be designing a T-shirt on behalf of Starlight and Forever 21,” said Starlight Children’s Foundation Spokesperson Corbin Bleu. “As a Starlight ambassador I have been inspired by the children and families I have had the privilege of meeting along the way, and by the strength they’ve shown in the hardest of times. I encourage everyone to get involved with Starlight and help lift the spirits of these brave children.”

You Can Help

So what can you do to make a difference this Christmas? Many things! You can visit a shut in; shovel an elderly neighbor’s sidewalk; cook a meal; bring food to a needy family; invite guests to your Christmas meal; donate money to your favorite charity; and so much more. And don’t let it stop with Christmas – let your giving heart continue to pour out all year long, spreading warmth, cheer, joy, and hope all year long.

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Sources: Southwest Airlines, American Red Cross/Pitney Bowes, Walmart, and Forever 21.


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Categories: Money News

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".