Well, the time is ticking away towards the big Christmas day… celebrated by Christian and non Christian capitalists alike. As the deadline approaches, I am asked again and again about just which wine to recommend for this or that wonderful friend.
It’s hard to remain detached as I offer a bottle of 2011 Orena or perhaps a Grand Cru Classe St. Emilion. I’m a bit jealous. Each bottle that I sell is a bottle of something that I would love to drink myself. …or even be able to buy for a friend.
As you probably know though, I am in no position to shop for Christmas this year. My exciting prospect of working with friends at their new downtown eatery quickly disappeared in a mist of ignorance and bliss. After that, yet another agreement fell through and I was obliged recently to re-finance my house just to be able to pay my overdue bills.
The wonderful young banker that I’m working with has only made two or three mistakes, pushing the arrival of much needed financing back day by day by day. Today he assured me that I should be able to pay some bills by Wednesday or Thursday of next week. What a relief. All will be well for me.
I wouldn’t normally open my stressful financial situation to the perusal of all, but this time of year forces me to think about how others who might just be in a wOrse financial situation might be feeling.
For the last three months I have been riding the razors edge of having nearly no money for gas for my car, groceries for my fridge and literally no money for bills. It’s stressful and to top it off I have had to turn down invitations from friends to parties and other get-togethers.
The terrible thing though, is that I am far from alone. In 2009, one in ten Canadians were considered poor. That’s one in every ten people that you know. People being invited to parties that they can’t attend because they can’t afford the cab fare or the price of a hostess gift. Maybe it’s just the parking that’s out of their reach. Luckily this is not something that most of us have to consider.
In 2014 there were 2307 homeless people in Edmonton. 335 of those were children.
Now, wine and spirits are some of the best gifts a person can offer to friends. It’s always the right size, it doesn’t go bad and it’s not a knick knack that will sit unloved and embarrassed on the shelf of a person who doesn’t need anything new in the first place.
This year my new employers at Sherbrooke Liquor are selling Christmas Crowlers. That’s a fresh tapped litre of beer in big flip top can. $1 from the sale of each Crowler will go to the Christmas Bureau. These good elves provide meals and gifts for individuals and families in need.
There are many other ways to donate your hard earned time and money to people in our community that could use your help. A person can buy a meal for a homeless person through the Mustard Seed or donate to the Homeward Trust…or try Meals on Wheels or http://www.theneighbourcentre.ca/
My family and I are going to be fine. We have all that we need, but this year has taught me in the most unforgettable way that not everyone is fine and that financial trouble comes to even the most sober and hardworking of us. It doesn’t take more than a few weeks without work to have disastrous consequences.
Please take the time this holiday season to find out what you can do for the people in your community that represent the 10 percent. Donate time or money. So many wonderful people are approaching the happy holiday without the funds to make it fun.
Each of us can make a big difference to someone in need but we need to acknowledge that the need is there. It’s there… and if each of us do a little bit, Christmas can be a little more fun for everyone.