Washington, DC - Hanukah and Christmas coincide this year. The first day of Hanukah is December 24th, Christmas Eve. It is a time for revelry and companionship. But, for too many Americans the holiday season can be the loneliest time of the year.
"So, before we start unwrapping presents and lifting a toast to our loved ones, take a moment to consider the unloved and unwanted people whether they are near to us or far from us. They can use a cup of good cheer right about now," says Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
"The Centers For Disease Control debunks the notion that suicide rates increase during the holiday season. In fact, their statistics show that there are fewer suicides reported in December than at any other time of the year. But, the fact remains that we all have neighbors and relatives who feel depressed at a time when the rest of us are looking forward to the festivities of the season. You don't have to think long and hard to recall who these individuals might be," says Weber.
"They are the forgotten ones who live on the streets of our cities or in nearby nursing homes. They are the heroes on the front lines defending us against the terrorist horde and those whose tours of duty ended when they lost limbs and returned home to find themselves in need. They are uncles, aunts, cousins and those who live alone having outlived their friends and relations - the ones we call our elderly orphans.
"Nor do you have to think of what you can do to bring a smile to their faces. Even the simplest gesture of your concern can make their day. Buy or bake a cake or cookies and take the time out of your day to pay them a visit. Better yet, invite them into your homes and make them a part of your own celebrations. The important thing is that you reach out to them. An inexpensive holiday gift even a greeting card is always welcome. But it is your time that is perhaps the most precious gift you can give at this time of the year."