“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” So says the classic holiday song. For many, this season does offer up some wonderful moments of joy.

It is important to also be aware that this is a time of the year when the needs of many in our communities are magnified. There has been a great legacy over many generations in Canada of an impressive level of generosity through this wonderful, but need-filled season of the year. It has made a significant difference in the lives of countless people and families.

This kind of seasonal generosity is wonderful to participate in, and provides each of us with an opportunity to contribute to community-building. I have a friend who moved to Ontario from Newfoundland a few years ago, and I am often astounded by his generosity. There are community agencies that provide gifts for children, and he is so moved by the need that he makes the decision to contribute above-and-beyond every year. And while we all have different means, and there may be different opportunities to contribute that are close to our own hearts, we all do have the opportunity to be generous.

That generosity doesn’t need to be seasonal. Even after the weather has stopped turning cold, it can still be a bona fide part of our day-to-day character. As we make the choice to cultivate a spirit of generosity at all times of the year, the opportunity to impact our community never stops. When I see the generosity of people like my friend from Newfoundland, I often think, “how great would it be if I never needed to be reminded?”

We at Thinking Forward wish all of you the very best this season, and encourage you to make choices that build stronger communities.