A Thing
The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 11, 2023 • Issue 23:12:01


The holiday spirit all year long

Winter solstice, a milestone people have celebrated for millennia, signifies the returning of light to the world with the passage of the year's shortest day. Different cultures and religions have various names for this period and distinct interpretations of its meaning, some giving it more significance than others. People who enjoy the giving spirit buy presents for one another and host festive gatherings decorated for the season. We, in the payments business, are busy supporting merchants during what is the busiest shopping time of the year for many.

In this hectic time, which can make or break a merchant's entire year, it's easy to lose sight of the real good will and generosity underlying the holidays. People pull out their cards and smartphones to make payments in various forms. Sales associates pack up purchases and hand them to shoppers with as big a smile as they can muster despite long lines and long days on their feet. And behind the hubbub is a genuine hope for peace and good will, something that can seem unattainable.

Individually, most of us are not likely to have the power to bring people together on a grand scale. However, when it comes to our individual spheres of influence, we can spread good will farther than we might think possible. Here are some ideas:

  • Practice kindness: Show kindness and empathy to others in your daily interactions. Smile, offer a helping hand or simply listen to someone who needs to talk.
  • Volunteer: Find local volunteer opportunities, such as helping at a soup kitchen or participating in a community clean-up. This can make a significant difference in the lives of others.
  • Donate: Donate what you can to charities and organizations that support causes you care about. Many organizations run holiday donation drives for food, clothing, toys, and more.
  • Get others involved: Invite friends and family to participate in acts of giving, such as sponsoring a family in need or collecting donations for a local charity.

  • Support small businesses: Do at least some of your holiday shopping at small, local businesses. This can help strengthen your community's economy and provide livelihoods for local entrepreneurs.
  • Foster understanding: Engage in conversations that promote understanding and empathy, especially with those who have different beliefs or backgrounds. Seek common ground.
  • Practice gratitude: Reflect on the things you are grateful for and encourage your loved ones to do the same. Gratitude can help foster a sense of contentment and goodwill.
  • Strengthen your bonds: Spend quality time with your loved ones and participate in community events and gatherings. Building strong connections can contribute to a sense of peace and goodwill—and your overall health.
  • Take care of yourself: Nurture your own well-being so you can be a source of positivity and support for others. Mindfulness and self-care practices can help reduce stress and promote inner peace.

You're likely already doing some of these things or taking other equally beneficial actions not included in this short list. But just imagine the ripple effect we could have if we consistently engaged in small acts of kindness and compassion throughout the year. end of article

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