Tis the Season for Service

December 5, 2009
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December. Tis the season for family dinners, homemade eggnog, and service to the community. It is once again the time for kindness, compassion, generosity, and forgiveness. All of this holiday spirit leaves me with only one question: Why?
Don’t get me wrong, I like this time of year just as much as the next guy; I’m a big fan of the Pillsbury Christmas cookies, not to mention two weeks out of school is completely fine. But honestly people, what gives our selfish society the right to devote twenty-five special days towards “reaching out” to others? I’m a nice guy, I really am, and I’m a practicing Christian; I know that Jesus wants us to help our brothers and sisters in need. But why for only one-twelfth of a year that is consistently filled with struggles? Where were we last summer when our respectable neighbors’ lives turned upside-down, complements of a hopeless foreclosure? How about when the man on the highway exit ramp, the one with the weathered jacket, held out a dented soup can and silently begged for assistance on Halloween; did you answer his call? Forgive me, I’m no saint either. So why now, why December? Why did the neighbors join my family for lasagna last night? They probably don’t even like our cooking. And why did I empty my spare change into a red Salvation Army bucket after buying a pack of gum today? All I got in return was a ringing eardrum and “Happy Holidays Sir.” I’m well aware that the holidays are, have been, and always will be happy. Can someone please just tell me why?
By now, you’re probably wishing I’d shut up about all of this service junk; you’re anxious to finish the article and criticize me for being a hypocrite. Well, I’m sorry to say I saw you coming.
The holiday season is never going to change; it’ll always be filled with joy and hospitality. However, the rest of our year could certainly benefit from a service makeover. Here’s my plan: I vow to serve those in need in whatever ways possible this December, whether it simply be by cooking dinner for my parents or dropping a dollar bill into a shiny, red, jingling bucket. But, come June, I vow to do the same thing, to serve those in need in whatever ways possible, whether it be by supplying a shoulder to cry on for a suffering friend or tossing a few coins into a pleading, dented soup can. This is a promise. Please, hold me to it.
I can’t change our society, our country, our world, all by myself. Furthermore, no sixteen year-old can truly promise to go out of his way to serve others three hundred sixty-five days a year. So, I take June. Who wants January..?

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