THE real spirit of Christmas is currently being played out in the lounge room – and every other room – of a home in Miryan Drive, Kelso.
Dozens of hampers of goods donated by the community are are filling the home of Susie Wright, ready for distribution to the community.
The hampers represent an extraordinary outpouring of support from the people of Bathurst for those who might be doing it tough this Christmas, and Ms Wright herself has donated countless hours to ensuring as many families as possible are given a little help.
Those hampers at once represent everything that is great about our city, while also reminding us that there are still people slipping through the cracks.
At a time when we see overflowing trolleys of food and Christmas gifts being wheeled out of local shopping centres, it’s perhaps hard to believe that Christmas is not a time of joy for everyone.
And the lesson we have learned in recent years is that the difference between being one of the haves and one of the have-nots at this time of year can be a simple quirk of fate.
It might be an injury, it might be illness or it might be the closure of the main breadwinner’s workplace.
Whatever the reason, though, all the stress and anxiety that might be suppressed throughout the rest of the year has a habit of bubbling to the surface at Christmas.
And the need for a helping hand from those around you is never more acute than at this time of year.
So the work of Ms Wright and her helpers should not be underestimated.
Their selfless actions to put the needs of others before their own this Christmas has ensured there will be smiles where otherwise there may have been tears in many homes across our city.
And the response of Bathurst to calls for assistance from the Pay It Forward group should not go unrecognised, either.
This is a community that prides itself on helping those in need and, as the old saying goes, actions speak far louder than words.
Rather than saying something should be done to help those who need it, the people of Bathurst have taken real action to ensure it happens.
And that must be the real spirit of Christmas – the spirit of giving rather than receiving.