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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Annamarie Parker
Annamarie Parker
Copy Editor

I am an English, Writing major with a double minor in German and journalism. I'm also pursuing my TESOL certificate while working for Housing and Residence Life. I love to travel and meet new people.

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Give more than just gifts this season


As the holiday season is upon us, thoughts of gift giving, get-togethers and an endless amount of food comes to mind. But it is the approach of the holiday season that often makes me remember that the best things about the holidays aren’t things at all.

After all, it’s very easy, and very American, to get excited about the prospect of new things. When I watched the news on Black Friday, I was horrified that we live in a time where lives can be lost in the pursuit of a good sale.

But the holidays shouldn’t be like that, nor do they have to be. There is plenty about holidays that goes beyond shopping.

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It’s during the holidays that I’m reminded of the year my family “adopted” a less fortunate family through our church. We collected money and then used it to make sure the family had a wonderful Christmas. We bought them Christmas dinner, extra food and even presents for all of the family members. But the part of the experience that had the biggest impact was when I went across town, with my own family, to deliver everything to them. I saw, with my young eyes, what it would be like if I wasn’t as fortunate as I was.

Not only did it make me thankful for what I did have, but its something that I always think about every time I find myself getting caught up in the season.

Giving your time is always more personal than giving money and it allows you to experience the impact of your actions. This is especially relevant with the currently crumbling American economy. This year people may find themselves not able to donate money to charities as they normally would during the holiday season. But there are plenty of ways to give little things, like time, instead of money, that can make just as much of an impact.

In Marquette, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities during this time of year. The Volunteer Center at NMU is a great place to start when looking for volunteer opportunities. But if you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to a specific organization or outreach, there are still ways to help out.

It doesn’t have to be much to make a big difference to someone. Simply shoveling the walk of an elderly neighbor can mean a lot to him or her and even make you feel better about yourself. It is not at all tough to donate a few cans of food to a food bank or clean out your closet and donate your old clothing. Return all those beer bottles in your basement and put the profits in the Salvation Army bucket outside of the grocery store.

The holiday season isn’t really all about trees, lights, wrapping paper and the newest iPod. The holidays should be about people, sharing and appreciating what you’ve got, something that I actively do. Not only do I have a loving family and good health, but I was afforded the opportunity to go to college and get an education.

So when your finals are all done and you’re sitting the couch in your underwear watching The Hills, take the time to consider the lives of others. Give a little bit of yourself this holiday season — work in a soup kitchen or help out at the senior center. It doesn’t take much time and you will end up thanking yourself.

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