With the Christmas season coming to an end, take some time to remember the less fortunate.

We all know Christmas as being the most wonderful time of the year. The gifts you wake up to, the lovely Christmas breakfast with your family, spending your entire day with your family members, enjoying a huge dinner. This season is a bright one for most. It is very difficult to complain even a little bit on this day. I am one of those people who are cheerful on Christmas day and just find it to be one of the best days ever.

However, there are many out there who do not even have 10% of what you do. There are kids that wake up in war-torn countries and poverty. They wake up with the joy that they are still alive, not the excitement for their new gifts. The more I grow, the more I have started to think about this. This has caused me to be uncomfortable on Christmas day. Even though the day is joyful and bright, there is always a feeling of sadness inside me. Knowing that there are kids out there who do not wake up with the same excitement as I did growing up is heartbreaking.

Children, D.R. Congo (Zaire), Central Africa

There are parents out there who wish they could be giving their children toys but inside, they are just trying to manage feeding them. Kids in Sierra Leone are fearing developing HIV/AIDs because of the outbreak there. There are kids in the Middle East that are waking up to the sound of bombs in the morning. Please read about what is happening in Yemen right now. Children in Haiti or Kenya or Burundi or Congo waking up with no food or shoes on their feet. However, children in North America or Europe are waking up to toys and electronics worth hundreds of dollars.

A child in Canada woke up to a new iPad, but a child in Congo woke up to no food. A child in Syria woke up to the sounds of bombs outside their window.

If that does not cause you some discomfort, I do not know what will. I try to remind myself that all this I have can be taken away from me in a blink of an eye. I stare at my Christmas tree but remember that for someone else, they only see pictures of these decorated trees or hear stories of them. Their parents do not tell them of Santa Claus because they can not afford this fun tradition. A tradition that we can not imagine not having in western society.

Someone once told me to give your expensive gifts from yourself and the cheaper ones from Santa Claus.

At first, I did not understand it. Now I realize why they say to do that and fully agree with it. There are kids even in your own community that are not as fortunate. Their parents can not afford the latest video game console or the new iPad for Christmas. They go to school with excitement over the gifts they did get though anyways after Christmas. If they hear that Santa Claus brought the other children iPads but only brought them a stuffed animal or some clothes, they will experience confusion. The confusion as to why Santa Claus favours some children over others. Tell your kids you brought them that fancy new iPad or the new console. Let Santa Claus bring them clothing, smaller toys, stuffed animals, chocolate, etc.

There are ways you can help (big or small) during this season.

It might be too late to help for Christmas now but you can always help out. There are charitable organizations in your neighbourhood that help support less fortunate children in your own city. Drop off toys to a foster home, bring some cheer to a Sick Kids hospital, etc. There are ways you can help just your own community that will bring smiles to people’s faces. Including the parents who are struggling to provide food for their kids but just want to see them happy. They sacrifice so much to give their kids a decent Christmas.

If you want to help out internationally, there are many reputable charities that will help you do that. I do recommend researching as much as possible to make sure you know where your money is going. A charity I love in the Middle East is “Meca for Peace.” They work for the rights and well-being of the children in the Middle East. Any donation helps! I recommend checking out the Send A Cow charity to help out families in developing countries. There are many other awesome foundations to support! Also ask your local church if they are affiliated with any third world countries. My church sends individuals from here to Kenya to help out. Consider supporting them by either visiting the country with them, or donating for their trip.

It only takes one person to change the world. If you are crazy enough to think you can change the world, you will.

I hope this post opens your eyes a little bit this Christmas season. Not everyone is as fortunate as you. Just the fact that you can sit there reading this blog post on your fancy phone or computer, you are already privileged. You may have your own problems in life, but I can promise you that things do get better. If children waking up to the sounds of bombs, seeing their parents get killed, watching their families die from malnutrition, etc. can find a reason to smile, YOU CAN TOO! This all might sound cliché but it is true. It is something that you should think about, something you pass onto your future children to think about. Let’s raise a generation that wants to change the nation. Not one that believes their actions have no worldwide impact.

Let’s be the generation that rises up to change the Nation!

Hope you all have had a lovely Christmas and an even more wonderful New Years. Stay blessed and stay thankful for what you do have. I know I am grateful for my loved ones this year.

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