Several years ago my husband and I started two new holiday traditions. Rather than reflecting on all the New Year’s resolutions we may or may not have accomplished, we make a point to write down wonderful memories as they happen throughout the year. We jot down a reminder of dinner with good friends, our favorite moments on vacation, a silly joke or event that made us laugh, a sweet moment between the two of us, the colors of a sunrise, the smells of a hike, etc.
Throughout the year, we put all these pieces of paper – all these memories and experiences – in a vase that we call our “Celebration Vase.” On New Year’s Day we sit down in front the fireplace and read those memories to each other. It’s a beautiful way to reflect on how fortunate we are to have each other, good friends, good health and the means to take care of ourselves. It allows us the time to celebrate the meaningful moments in our lives.
Our other tradition is that we stopped getting each other “stuff” for holidays and birthdays. We give each other shared experiences like trips, theater tickets, volunteer activities, or something similar. We also stopped giving “stuff” to our friends. Instead, we make donations in their names to their favorite charities. Like us, our friends aren’t wealthy, but we all have enough, and we enjoy helping our neighbors and community through philanthropy. These donations give our friends a warm feeling that they are helping a cherished cause or program. Our friends with children welcome the opportunity to teach their kids about philanthropy and turn their focus away from material things.
At the WCA, the “Gift the Gives Twice” is the perfect way to provide a meaningful gift to family and friends. Your donation in their name helps provide safety, healing and freedom to a family fleeing an abusive situation. Your recipient will receive a card from the WCA letting them know you made a gift in their name. Click here for more information on giving the gift of philanthropy.
Warmest wishes for a safe, healthy and fabulous holiday season!
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