The True Christmas Spirit

”06880″ reader Adam Stolpen writes:

We are deep in the sprint that runs from the candy glut of Halloween straight through to sobering up on New Year’s Day.  It’s fun — but it’s also a time to do things for other people.

I’ve always thought that since Christmas Eve and Christmas day are so important to our Christian neighbors, that members of the Jewish community — and others who are not Christian — could pull together on that occasion and volunteer to do those jobs which they do the rest of the year.  It could free them up to be with family and friends, and celebrate their important occasion while we pitch in and do what real New England neighbors do.

I’m not talking about handling elective brain surgery, but delivering meals; answering phones for the town, hospitals, the police department, or whatever.

I have absolutely no idea how to move this forward or organize it — but I am sure you do.

Thanks, Adam — and by “you,” I am sure you mean our very wise, compassionate and creative “06880” readers.

Anyone can click the “Comments” link at the top of this story.  As Adam did, suggest a specific task.  Add details on how to offer help:  a phone number, email or website. 

Then — if readers want to help — they can contact those organizations, businesses, hospitals or whatever directly.  Voilà!

Sounds like a great idea — and a fantastic way to build community.

I have just one request:  On December 26, please let us know how it went.

Not a job to volunteer for on Christmas Eve.

5 responses to “The True Christmas Spirit

  1. This post reminded me of the early years at the Gillespie Center. We depended upon volunteers to be open during the day on weekends. The religious community provided the volunteers. Temple Israel took every Sunday morning (including Easter) and Christmas Day. This has always been a marvelous community w/ a true Interfaith spirit.

  2. the gesture itself is exactly what – when people ask exactly what it is that i like about westport- what i like about it. everything else i can find anywhere else but that sort of thought is special and from what i remember being told it has always been this way.

  3. The Dude Abides

    Westport has always had that kind of compassion within its constituency since the 1950’s. Trouble with Mr. Stolpen’s proposal is that I think most Jewish folk actually celebrate Christmas in some form or other. Reminds me of the great retort by our new Supreme Court Justice when asked where she was on Christmas day when the Detroit nutcase tried to land there: “I was probably with all the other Jews at the Chinese buffet.” I like her candor and we need more of that anti-political correctness. The opposite seems to merely perpetuate our biases.

  4. Amen.

  5. When I worked at Merrill Lynch in the 80s and early 90s I was always very impressed by an old Merrill holiday tradition: on Christmas Day non-Christians would man the phones at all Merrill offices worldwide, which were open to the public, helping anyone who wished to call a friend or relative anywhere in the world to do so. With Merrill under new ownership, and with Facebook and email now prevalent, I don’t know if that wonderful tradition is still maintained.