Tagged: the holidays

Give back this season

police officer boots

A police officer offers boots to a homeless man / IMAGE VIA Reuters

Since the photo of the New York City police officer a pair of brand new boots to a barefoot homeless man has gone viral in the past few weeks, you can’t help but feel touched by the way that officer went out of his way to give back. Since the holiday season is upon us, check out these acts of kindness you can fulfill this season that have big impacts, regardless of how small they seem.

Drop your coins in the Salvation Army’s red kettles. If you’ve been around the city at all over the past few weeks, you may have seen the Salvation Army’s red kettles out on the corners with volunteers ringing a bell and asking for donations. As you go holiday shopping, leave change in your pocket and as you walk by, just drop it in. It is as easy as that.

Participate in a gift drive. Regardless of whichever holiday you celebrate, chances are you will be receiving a gift this season. Consider buying a toy or other type of gift for a local gift drive. If you live near an area that was hard hit by Hurricane Sandy, scope out any gift drives that may be taking place to benefit those who lost their homes to the disaster.

Donate clothes. Winter is around the corner and many don’t have access to necessary cold-weather attire that we don’t think twice about wearing. Donate old coats, sweaters, hats and gloves to your nearest Salvation Army!

Help someone who is elderly. Whether you’re shoveling snow for the elderly woman next door or helping carry groceries to her car, she’ll appreciate assistance very much.

Pay for the person in line behind you. If you’re in line at Starbucks, secretly pay for the cup of coffee of the person behind you. It’s a great way to surprise someone in a really pleasant way.

Write a letter to a soldier. Programs such as Letters to Soldiers set you up with someone in the armed forces that you can write to. You can even set up a pen pal correspondence with someone.

Hold the door for someone. Holding the door for the person behind you goes such a long way despite seeming so insignificant. So just do it!

Letter writing remains a holiday tradition

By Sanah Faroke, Staff Writer
@sanahfaroke

Each year, around this time, my mailbox begins to fill more than usual. Dozens of letters and cheesy photo cards pile in from many people I haven’t spoken to in months to wish me a happy holiday! But why partake in this yearly tradition of holiday cheer?

Holiday mail

Sending letters brings holiday cheer / IMAGE VIA bigpictureclasses.com

Well, for one, I am obsessed with buying holiday stationary. What? You thought grandma was the only one who stalked the aisles of Barnes and Noble to find the perfect stationary? Snail mail isn’t only for the elderly, and it’s not only for the holidays either.
Snail mail has been a tradition I’ve had with friends who moved away or I didn’t get to see as often. Now that I’ve transferred from the tropics of Miami to the wintery Boston, writing letters has become more prominent in my ways of communicating.

In this ever advancing world of technology where everything is becoming so instant, it’s kind of hard to keep hold of reality. Yes, sure, it can be extremely hard to write out a letter to my friend about what is going on in my life, school, love interests and stresses and have to wait weeks for a response when I know I can just text or call her. But that’s the beauty of it. I’m one of those people who want things instantly, but with writing letters, I force myself to regain some patience that many of us have lost with technology.

And while I wait for a response, I manage to do other things instead of being glued to my phone, like I usually am. I’m sure (I hope) I’m not the only one who takes pleasure in sliding a hand over the handwritten scribbles on a page or actually spraying perfume on the pages being sent. I love mailing little things such as nail polish, CDs, photos and even the New England leaves. It’s something I’ve gathered and put together for my friends before I mail it, and a lot goes into what I send. Anyone can send an e-card for Christmas, but you can’t really do much with it or remember someone by it.

Getting the mail becomes so much more fun throughout the year because I have something to look forward to, something tangible and real. It reminds me of home and the loved ones who never stopped loving me while I was away. So yes, snail mail brings me joy―joy during the jolly holidays, joy during a random week in December and joy even during finals week. It’s possible.