I think most of us will agree that 2020 has been quite a year—and mostly not in a good way. I refuse to let the last 11 months ruin December. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or something else, each holds special meanings for all of us. For me, it is family, faith, traditions, blessings, the joy of giving, songs, decorations, and years of special memories that always come to mind.
As this has been an especially difficult year for many families, it is extremely important that we reach out to help and support those in need in our communities. There are so many ways to give, whether it is a monetary donation; a gift of toys, clothes, food; or something from a list provided by a shelter or home; or the gift of your time, it will mean so much to those you touch with your kindness and thoughtfulness.
I am proud that my daughters, through their actions and deeds, are instilling the “’tis better to give than to receive” concept in their children. That is not to say that they don’t love getting presents, but they are aware how very blessed and fortunate they are. They eagerly and happily put money into the red kettle; pick an angel off a tree to make a child’s Christmas brighter; serve meals to the homeless; sing carols at homes for the aged; bake treats—whatever their family can do to help, not only this season, but throughout the year.
I recently came across a wonderful “reverse advent calendar” that is shown below. I am going to do this project with my local grandchildren. We will have fun shopping for the items and adding an item each day to a box. I am sure there will be questions from the younger ones, but as we add items, answers and explanations will come. I would like this to become a family tradition.
REVERSE ADVENT CALENDAR:
EACH DAY ADD AN ITEM TO A BOX
TO BE OPENED ON CHRISTMAS EVE; OR, A FEW DAYS BEFORE,
DONATE THE CONTENTS TO A FOOD BANK
December 1 – box of cereal
December 2 – peanut butter
December 3 – stuffing mix
December 4 – boxed potatoes
December 5 – macaroni and cheese
December 6 – canned fruit
December 7 – canned tomatoes
December 8 – canned tuna
December 9 – dessert mix
December 10 – jar of applesauce
December 11 – canned sweet potatoes
December 12 – cranberry sauce
December 13 – can of beans
December 14 – box of crackers
December 15 – package of rice
December 16 – package of oatmeal
December 17 – package of pasta
December 18 – spaghetti sauce
December 19 – can of chicken noodle soup
December 20 – can of tomato soup
December 21 – can of corn
December 22 – can of mixed vegetables
December 23 – can of carrots
December 24 – can of green beans
These are suggestions, but it is important to note that everything you provide to the food bank must have a shelf life.
However you spend this holiday season, may it bring you joy, blessings, and gratitude for both.