This year.

Christmas is coming.

Some of us actively avoid all of the trimmings and trappings of this season, while others of us revel in them. I am firmly set in the latter category, but this year.....

This year....

This year has been so up and down that no amount of mulled wine or carol singing could effectively take the edge off.

The world is suffering. Each day we are being inundated with such heartbreaking images and I don't know about you, but I am feeling it in a way that I never have before. 

I have empathy, don't get me wrong, but I am not an overly sensitive person. I would struggle to do my job well if I let every, little thing get to me. That's how I know that this is different. 

To be sat at the dinner table, my eyes welling with tears for seemingly no reason is just not like me at all. And no, I'm not PMSing or pregnant (don't even go there). 

I'm just sad. 

And sick at the horrendous and unnecessary things that are happening in the world.

The indiscriminate slaughtering of masses of people. The denial of rights and protection based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. The complicit ignorance of those of us who aren't directly affected allowing all of it to continue.

That is why I can't (won't) sit idle this year. I want to help. I know that I can help. 

I can help by promoting tolerance and mutual understanding, and by allying myself with those who are being discriminated against. I can help by protesting and signing petitions and by contacting those who can directly affect change. Most importantly, I can help by donating time and money to organizations that work tirelessly to do all of the above.

So, that's what I will be doing. I'll start this Christmas by donating money - in lieu of extravagant gifts and in honor of those that I hold dear - to the causes that feel most immediate to me. 

We all have a responsibility to help shape the world into a place that is safe for everyone and I know that I will only be able to enjoy the holidays this year if I feel like my efforts may help others to be able to enjoy this time as well.

If you feel as affected as I do then I hope you will also consider taking action - whether it is in addition to or instead of your gift giving this year. Our help is needed and we CAN help. 

Some ideas, if you need them:

How Can I Help People in Aleppo?

In Aleppo, we are the ones we've been waiting for


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