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Editorial: Get into the spirit of giving

With a week until Christmas and two weeks until the new year, it may feel like the crunch is on to get into the holiday spirit ... regardless of how you REALLY feel.

But such spirit is guided less by the calendar than understanding what’s involved with this special time of year ... and it begins with giving.

A guide here could easily be what Albert Schweitzer once said, “You must give some time to your fellow men. Even if it’s a little thing, do something for others — something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.”

Time — people not only try to use it wisely but also guard it as if it was a precious metal or jewel. It’s hard to underestimate the value time has, to the individual in possession of it, and the recipient of it.

Perhaps this is why a gift of time can mean so much., and it can come in so many different shapes and sizes. A gift of time can be as quick as an offer to pick something up at the grocery store or help shovel the walk. It can be as involved as participating in cooking a meal or offering to serve as a baby-sitter. Or it might simply be a willingness to lend some kind of hand, a sympathetic ear or words of encouragement.

A gift of time has the ability to change lives, from the person who receives the present to the individual giving it. In particular, this comes about through volunteering. Franklin County is full of organizations that are looking for people willing to help. You can pair your own interests to any number of groups. Sports, music, the environment, books, there are places that one can put their talents and interests to work.

If all this isn’t enough, there’s still time to make a purchase of some kind of gift. A word of caution here, though, from the Roman poet Statius, “Impulse manages everything badly.”

Take the time to think about a gift that shows imagination and thought has gone into the process. That’s also time well spent.

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