UNITED STATES—Christmas, I swear this is the one time of year that I absolutely, and yes, I mean absolutely adore! It’s something about the giving spirit that makes me 10 times more excited than what I normally am during the other 11 months of the year. Ask anybody who knows me and they will tell you right away that I’m a giver at heart.

I give without thinking and I do it because not only is it the right thing to do, but it makes me feel good to see others happy. Those red kettles from the red cross, I’m always known to drop several dollars into the kettle whenever I spot one at the grocery store or mall. People even question sometimes why I continue to drop dollars in multiple kettles after I’ve already completed a donation. My response: “Someone needs it more than I do.”

This week alone, I finally finished up my Christmas shopping, yes, I had been aiming for the past few weeks to get things done, but with work, work, and school, it’s not as easy as one would hope people. I wish it were. I found myself picking additional gifts for family members who I had already purchased gifts for, but when you catch a bargain, it’s sometimes difficult to pass things up.

I heard something on the radio about people understanding the importance of giving this Christmas season, which led to an in-depth conversation with family members where I challenged them and the notion that America as a whole has to be more generous not just around the holidays, but 365 days a year. Yes, it seems we may be more jovial and ready to spend money as the holidays come around, but what about all the other months of the year beyond November and December?

I mean for those living in the streets, the winters are brutal! They need shelter during those harsh winter months where more than 20-30 minutes outdoors can be deadly. There should be more conversations about what we can do to help others throughout the year, rather its more donations, more food drives, more toy drives or more aims to build affordable housing for those struggling to find a place to live. This is AMERICA, one of the wealthiest places in the world, there is no reason poverty should exist. There is no reason for homelessness, there is no reason people should be going to bed hungry. We have to do more to not only bring ourselves up, but to help those surrounding us (rather we know them or not) so that they are propelling themselves in a new light.

Christmas is indeed a powerful holiday; it brings out the best in many of us. Let’s take that same generosity we have in December and ensure it spreads to January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November. No one ever said we only had to give during Christmas, so why are we stopping ourselves?