As we approach the holiday season, many of us are feeling the warmth and joy that comes with this time of year. For some, Christmas is a religious holiday but for most, it is a cultural holiday, a time to come together with loved ones in warmth and to celebrate that.
Regardless of our beliefs, we can all appreciate the beauty of this time of year. The twinkling lights, the festive decorations, the delicious food and drinks, and the excitement of gift-giving all contribute to the joy of the season. It is a time to show love and kindness to others, and to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Not everyone is able to experience the fullness of the Christmas season. For many, the cost of living crisis is a harsh reality that makes it difficult to enjoy the holidays. Inflation is rising, wages are stagnant, and the gap between the rich and the poor is growing. For those who are struggling, the thought of buying gifts, decorating their homes, or even putting food on the table can be overwhelming.
As humanists, we believe that everyone has the equal right to a dignified standard of living. We join with all those of goodwill in urging policymakers to take action to address the root causes of poverty and inequality, and we encourage everyone to do what they can to support those who are struggling.
We encourage humanists to make a special effort within their own communities and networks, and we know that many do so. At the height of the first wave of the Covid pandemic, one third of Humanists UK members reported that they volunteered, formally or informally, in response to that crisis. As the winter chill begins to bite, we expect many in our humanist community will show that same spirit again. For some this will be as simple as calling an elderly acquaintance on the phone, or inviting a neighbour to Christmas lunch. But it could also mean donating food and clothing to organisations like BanktheFood or the Trussell Trust, or by giving time to charities like Crisis, supporting rough sleepers.
Despite the challenges we face this year, it is still possible for us all to find joy and meaning in the holiday season. We can choose to focus on the things that matter most and – like our ancestors in the darkness of previous winters – bring warmth and light to the cold darkness in which we may find ourselves.
For further comment or information, media should contact Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 7324 3072 or 07534 248 596.
Humanists UK is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people. Powered by 100,000 members and supporters, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. We provide ceremonies, pastoral care, education, and support services benefitting over a million people every year and our campaigns advance humanist thinking on ethical issues, human rights, and equal treatment for all.