Today is December 1 and as we head into the busy Christmas period, perhaps it is time to reflect on what these next few weeks mean for us as a community.
As individuals, we all like to receive and to give at this time of year.
But as we begin to see around us, this spirit of generosity is reflected in a wider sense through the huge number of Christmas appeals for donations for those less fortunate.
We know Shepparton is a giving community — the amount of dollars raised during the year for a bewildering variety of charities is testament to our generosity.
However, it is at Christmas time that this spirit of community kindness comes to the fore in a concentrated way.
We have Giving Trees in all the major supermarkets and gift baskets in shops and workplaces, businesses, schools and sporting clubs.
The list of organisations stepping up to make needy people’s Christmas a little cheerier seems endless. UnitingCare Kildonan, the Goulburn Valley Community Fund, FamilyCare, Berry St, the Salvos, St Vincent de Paul and of course our churches are just some of the local groups involved.
Then there are the social and community groups that step forward at this time of year, such as the CWA, whose members across the Goulburn Valley have been busy baking forits annual Christmas Fair fundraiser.
The annual Christmas For Those Alone Christmas lunch is a wonderful example of people giving up precious time with their loved ones to be with those less fortunate.
It is worth remembering that Christmas can be a difficult time for those who have either lost loved ones or who are struggling with illness and isolation.
From tin rattlers at traffic lights to Christmas carol organisers and Men’s Shed toy makers, the generous and joyous spirit of Christmas takes on many forms in our community.
So we believe it is important to celebrate these good things that happen here.
We aim to fill our pages with Spirit of Christmas stories and pictures during the next few weeks to hold up a mirror of cheer and wave a banner of happiness that confirms this is a good, generous and joyful place to live.
To share your Spirit of Christmas stories, give us a call on 58203221 or email [email protected]