Editorial: A Time to Be Thankful


Julia Tran

Christmas isn't all about the presents. It's also about being thankful.

The Editorial Board

As school gets out on Friday, Dec. 20 for winter break, students and staff will exhale a sigh of relief and overflow with joy about having two weeks off from school. 

It’s a well-deserved time of rest for hardworking students who spend nights on end staying up late to finish homework assignments, or studying for a test. We can finally make up for our irregular sleep schedules, and take time to relax. 

During winter break comes the holiday season, one of the most cheerful times of the year — specifically the time of year for America’s favorite holiday, Christmas. 

When celebrating the holidays this year, it’s important to be thankful, not only for what we receive, but for what we already have. Over the course of the season, it’s easy to become greedy, creating long lists of what we want. We forget to focus on the other aspects of Christmas, which include more than just getting a brand new pair of shoes, or the most up to date version of the iPhone. Rather than only requesting everything we might want, we should also remember to make time to think of others.

According to The Washington Post, “more than 550,000 Americans experience homelessness on a typical night, and 1.4 million will spend some time in a shelter in a given year.” Many of these homeless Americans will live out Christmas Day on the streets, deprived of food, water, and shelter, which are basic human needs we commonly take for granted.

Locally, in Multnomah County, a third of households struggle to pay for their basic needs. They are generally unable to afford the basic things that we use every day, such as paper towels, toothpaste, or a pair of socks. Not only does this make it hard for parents to leave Christmas gifts under the tree for their children, but it also makes it a challenge to simply support themselves. Despite receiving assistance from various safety net programs, these families still struggle “to afford housing, food, transportation and healthcare.”

Throughout the month of December, La Salle hosts an annual Christmas drive to provide for more than 40 families of Lot Whitcomb Elementary School. On top of this and the several hours of required service for sophomores, juniors, and seniors, giving back to the community is something we should make an effort to do more often, whether it’s skipping our morning run for coffee, and donating that money to someone in need, or volunteering at Blanchet House on a night we aren’t too busy. 

In this time of celebration and cheer, let’s remember that Christmas isn’t all about presents. Instead, it’s a time to recognize the less fortunate, and help out those in our community. This holiday season, we should be thankful for the simpler things, and appreciate all the good that we have been fortunate enough to experience in our lives.