I quote from Havamal :
" Hail to hosts a guest is in the hall. Where shall he sit down ?
To please him quickly give him a place in front of the blazing fire."
" There must be a fire for the frozen knees of all arriving guests,
Food and clothing for those who come over the hills to your hall. "
Now I am not suggesting that you invite people into your homes by any means ! What I am suggesting is that we give of our time and money, if and where possible. That we listen to those in need instead of critcising, and try to understand, instead of condemning those less fortunate. There are a multitude of things that we can do to help those in need in our communities this holiday season. Food Banks have been short of foodstuffs for the past few holiday seasons because of the poor economy. Almost every community has some sort of Food Bank set up to help those in need, and all will take either donations of food or money. If you are going to donate food you should call ahead to see what it is they need. Some communities have food kitchens set up to feed the poor and homeless. If you feel uncomfortable giving money, or food, volunteer to cook, serve, or help clean up. I doubt that any of these kitchens would ever turn down help and some have real needs.
War veterans at the moment are in dire need of help. They are returning to a country that appreciates what they have done for us, but that does not really understand fully the mission they were sent there to do. This has led to depression among these returning vets, and if I read the articles correctly, a suicide rate of 12 to 15 %. ( According to a Center For a New American Security Suicide Report, in 2009, there were 1,868 veterans who attempted suicide ! This was reported in the Huffington Post. ) Even if that number is actually only half of that reported, it is a national disgrace. These men, and women, deserve so much more from us ! There are many reputable organizations trying to help veterans re - adjust to civilian life. They need monetary help as well so give if you can! One of the biggest problems facing returning veterans is employment. In an economy where the unemployment rate is over 9 % it is very difficult for these veterans to find work, and I am sure that repeated interviews with no results adds to their feelings of isolation and depression. If you own a business and can hire a veteran than I urge you to do so ! One small thing I do whenever I see anyone in uniform is to say, " Thank you", to them for what they do for us. You would be surprised at the startled reactions I get to this simple gesture. I don't think very many of them hear those two simple little words from very many civilians.
Can we help everyone in need this holiday season ? Of course not ! Whatever your plans during these holidays are, I hope that you will put aside a little money, or maybe some of your time for those less fortunate who are in need . If everyone were to give just a little it might be just enough to ease the pain, hunger and suffering of so many, at what should be the happiest time of the year ! Besides, it is the Asatru thing to do.
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !