Christmas not always a happy time - OpEd, The Chronicle

Christmas not always a happy time

The Chronicle, 5 December 2017

It’s not just a schmaltzy song lyric.

According to daily happiness surveys conducted by Gallup, Christmas Day really is the happiest day of the year, with 66 percent reporting maximum enjoyment and minimum stress.

But for some, it’s the reverse. One in twenty people report they don’t have enough money to afford gifts for friends and family. For others, Christmas is a poignant reminder of loss. 

Thankfully, a plethora of Canberra charities are working to ensure that more people experience joy this Christmas season.

Lifeline is running a “Save a Seat” campaign, asking for donations to help them save more seats from becoming empty at the Christmas table.

OzHarvest is seeking donations of money and quality food, so they can distribute it to local charities that support Canberra’s disadvantaged.

The RSPCA is collecting gifts so the pets who’ll spend Christmas in their shelter feel special too. They also remind us to think carefully before buying a pet as a present – sadly too many become unwanted gifts.

And if you’re on your own on Christmas Day, make your way to our oldest church, St John’s, where the volunteers put on a full lunch for everyone who turns up.

Take care of yourself and your community, and I’ll be back in touch next year.

Andrew Leigh is the Federal Member for Fenner.

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.