Spreading happiness

MALLIKA JHAVERI
Monday, 11 December 2017

Christmas is all about merrymaking and spreading cheer. Some youngsters believe in sharing the joy by doing charity

It’s that joyous time of the year again… the time of some red and green cheer. It’s the season to stock up on eggnog, deck your halls and your tree and listen to Mariah Carey (extra festive versions of course) on repeat. Christmas brings out the child in all of us and sometimes the Grinch as well…. But we’re more interested in the former. Generosity and the spirit of giving are what Christmas stands for and here’s how you can truly embrace their essence.

Christmas is all about merrymaking and spreading cheer. Some youngsters believe in sharing the joy by doing charity

It’s that joyous time of the year again… the time of some red and green cheer. It’s the season to stock up on eggnog, deck your halls and your tree and listen to Mariah Carey (extra festive versions of course) on repeat. Christmas brings out the child in all of us and sometimes the Grinch as well…. But we’re more interested in the former. Generosity and the spirit of giving are what Christmas stands for and here’s how you can truly embrace their essence.

CHARITY, NOT VANITY
When we think Christmas, we think Santa and all the gifts his little elves make for us which in our commercial capitalist nation implies all the money we spend on them. We nag our parents for the latest gadgets and clothes to uphold the festive spirit, irrespective of the price tag it comes with. What we essentially do is add more water to a brimming ocean. Whereas what we need to do is add water to the dried up streams. The essence here is, give to those who don’t have. If we donate one-tenth of what we spend on ourselves, a massive difference can be made. Manish Kharage, a Second Year Mass Media student from Jai Hind College, Mumbai, dresses up as Santa Claus and gives bags of chocolate to street children. “The sheer happiness I feel when they smile and say, ‘Thank You’ is better than any gift I could ever receive. We don’t realise that when we spend thousands on shiny new things, these kids can’t even afford to spend a rupee,” he says and adds, “If we can give even 10 rupees worth of chocolate to them, they treat it like it’s worth a thousand.”

Mallika Bhandawat, a Std XII student, spends her Christmas teaching English to underprivileged women at Manpasand Life, a non-governmental organisation. “Teaching someone a language is something that will last them a lifetime, and it really is a gift that keeps on increasing on giving.”

OHANA MEANS FAMILY
It’s does not take too much to embrace the festive spirit. Even something as simple as spending more quality time with your family counts. Anushka Shah, a First Year Arts student from Jai Hind College, says, “I love spending more time with my grandparents during my holidays. So many of us barely even talk to them on a daily basis. So I make it a point to spend lots of time with them. And it makes them so happy.”

Shah believes that Christmas should be all about family. “Instead of going out with your friends, which you do all year long, stay in with your grandparents, cook them a meal or watch a movie with them. It really will make their day.”

We couldn’t agree more with her. We take our elders for granted and hardly spend any time with them. So we urge you to give your grandparents some attention this season and make them happy.

INSIDE OUT
When we’re happy on the inside, it shows on the outside. We can only spread the Christmas cheer if we truly feel it internally. This season, why not try to make yourself happy, so you can make others happy? Yash Khakhar, who is pursuing his Bachelor of Management degree from H R College of Commerce and Economics, has a unique way of spreading joy in this season. He says, “I do one good deed everyday, whether it’s teaching the little kids in my building football or helping my old neighbour a the stairs. They’re small things, but they make me happy and I try doing my bit for others. After all, Christmas is about having a big heart.”

Every morning, Khakhar puts out a bowl of milk and some biscuits to feed the stray dog that stays under his building. He believes that if everyone did something small everyday, the city would be a happier place. “Doing something just for show has no meaning, only do it if you truly want to,” he says.

OLD IS THE NEW GOLD
One of the best things you can do this Christmas is donate your old possessions to those who would have better use for it. “Every Christmas, my church collects old books, clothes and toys, and I literally donate a carton full of each,” says Malvika Miskita, a student from Government Law College. “If we look into our cupboards we’ll find so many things that we’ve probably worn just once in our lives. What’s the point of letting it wither in there, when you can give it to someone who’ll really cherish it?” Miskita asks. She and her family donate bucketfuls of goodies every year. “It makes us happy to know that we are literally being Santa’s Helpers for so many kids,” she says.

This year, if you have anything that you’re never going to use, give it to someone who will, and trust us you will feel amazing about it.

Remember, there’s a lot more to this season that just spending obscene amounts on yourself. Give back to society, spend quality time with your family, spread some love (and goodies too) and truly embrace the spirit of Christmas!

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