Over the last few weeks downtown State College has been getting progressively brighter due to the strands of Christmas lights decorating the houses. A big part of this has been from the work of the fraternities who have taken the time to illuminate their houses. This effort has resulted in the spreading of the beloved holiday mood throughout the local community.
The holiday season is a time of year in which everyone attempts to take a step back and become more engaged in civic matters. Houses are decorated throughout the community, people have their neighbors and friends over for dinner, and individuals get involved in charity events for the less fortunate. Although these things are great, it draws the question of why it isn’t as prevalent in other times of the year?
People seem to be willing to donate their time and money during the holidays due to the mood of generosity built by the community. Donations are given to Santa Claus as he rings his bell on the side of the street and people provide Christmas presents to children whose families can’t afford them. The opportunity for civic engagement is almost everywhere during the holiday season after bypassing the frenzy that is holiday shopping. However, come mid January, the decorations come down and with them the civic seems to go as well.
Granted, it would be difficult to maintain the same kind of unified community involvement the entire year, but if the community attempted to give back once every couple months it would do a lot of good. The holiday season seems like the most ideal time for outreach efforts however people can have large impacts on their communities at all times of the year.