01 Nov The Gift of Giving
I know it’s two months away and I shouldn’t even mention it. After all, you may not have thought about it. (Even if you can’t avoid it at the mall, Wal-Mart, the park, the street you live on.) But denying it doesn’t change its inevitability. You know what I’m talking about: the red, the green, the reindeer, the big guy. It’s the season of snow, peppermint sticks, hot chocolate. The season of Tickle-Me-Elmo, Black Friday, and shopping, shopping, shopping. The season of pumpkin pies, pecan pies, and every other assortment of pies. And, my personal favorite, ’tis the season of Giving. And whether you’re a strict “Turkey Trumps the Tree” kind of American, or you prefer to put up your decorations in August (ya know, while the weather is still good), it will still be here before you know it.
This year, my oldest brother has decided there are too many people on his Christmas gift exchange list, and so he has proposed that we do a name swap. Between siblings and spouses, the six of us will only buy one gift each this year. Just the one. I appreciate where he’s coming from, I do. But I’d be lying if I said I love the idea. For me, giving is the best part. It’s a chance to spend time, thought, and energy determining what a person would really enjoy, really appreciate. It’s a great opportunity to show the people I love most that I’ve noticed what’s important in their lives, and want to contribute to their success. For instance, my youngest brother has told me that he’d like to learn to play the guitar. This gives me enough insight into his life to anticipate what he, as a fledgling guitar player, might need to feel successful and supported in his new endeavor. Maybe it’s just some picks, or a strap, or a book of chords. The point is, no matter how much or how little money I spend, it shows him that I spent time, thought, and energy in an effort to prove his importance to me. It has very little to do with “stuff” and everything to do with relationships.
After all, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? We know that to be true, and yet we tend to get so caught up in the dazzle and gift wrap and the buy-two-get-one-free box set of smoked cheeses and summer sausages, that we completely let the opportunities to make meaningful connections slip through our Isotoner clad fingers. So, with plenty of warning, I encourage you Fabulous Foundation Followers to take the time, thought, and energy to truly enjoy the gift of giving this year. Instead of the same old sweater, gadget, or tool you resort to because you saw it in an ad at a record low price, take some time to really think about what you love about the people in your “Christmas gift exchange” circle and give intentionally. Even something small can make a huge impact.
And of course, what kind of steward of philanthropic endeavors would I be if I didn’t mention the power of giving to…say…the Community Foundation of Grant County? When you give to one our 300+ funds in honor of someone you love (like, revere, respect), we will send them a card that lets them know that you cared enough to make an impact in their interest area for…wait for it…ever. That’s right! It’s a gift that literally, through the power of endowment, lasts forever! How many Christmas gifts can claim that? I submit, not many.
Keep watching our websitefor great giving opportunities throughout the holiday season!