The Holiday stress point

The holidays can be a very stressful time, of course, but as much as you’d like to take it easy and relax, please take a moment to look past your loved ones to the stranger on the street.

Some people aren’t able to buy gifts, decorate their house and share the rather expensive holiday season.

Luckily, the east Scarborough area has great opportunities that allow us to give to others in the spirit of Christmas.

For the 15th year, Toronto Police 43 Division has organized a toy drive in an attempt to collect toys for 2,000 children in the Scarborough community.

There are other places in our area collecting toys and other goods for families in need.

The West Hill Salvation Army is gathering goods for Christmas hampers that will contain breads, vegetables, tins of cranberries and other food products. They are in the process of collecting names of families in need and will be distributing the hampers a few days before Christmas.

Local churches and schools are arranging many holiday events that focus on giving as well.

Homerooms at Pope John Paul II Secondary School will be pooling their money to buy gifts for members of a needy family. The homerooms are each assigned to one family, and are told the ages and genders of the children they are shopping for.

The students work together to purchase, choose and wrap the gift before Christmas.

Even if you can’t afford to donate money or a canned good, you can spread the holiday spirit in small actions that cost you nothing but time.

Giving to those around us and those in need should be the true focus of the holidays. Instead, advertisements depict images of credit card bills dancing in our heads or the stressed out elf who comes home from a long shift at the North Pole.

There was a time when the holidays were about giving, rather than merely spending money and looking for a good deal. There was a time when alleviating stress wasn’t a selling point associated with buying gifts for our loved ones.

Many of us, especially the media, have forgotten about people who are less fortunate than ourselves.

While you’re sitting in front of a TV this holiday season, and staying warm with family and friends, don’t think of your credit card bill or smile over that great deal you got on your mom’s Christmas gift.

Think about others who aren’t as lucky as you are. Spread your wealth and happiness this holiday season and be grateful for all you have.