Celebrating Family and Welcoming Change
Why Family and Community Are Our Greatest Gifts
December 01, 2009
This is the month when families start to get stressed about giving and spending. Each of us wants to demonstrate our love and appreciation for special people in our lives by giving them a beautifully wrapped gift.
At Thanksgiving our family has a secret drawing of names among grandchildren and children. Each gets a special gift from the secret name drawn. This helps everyone on all ends avoid a shopping (and spending) frenzy.
I believe poems of love or humor are wonderful gifts. I treasure some of the artistic creations my grandchildren have given me and I put them in my curio-cabinet alongside old antiquities from our families.
My son Greg and his wife Nancy have us over for brunch on Sundays and what a treasure it is to see them and enjoy a delicious brunch. This weekly gift is one that keeps giving throughout the year. Celebrating the holidays means celebrating family and treasures not just a few times a year, but every day throughout the year.
We should so make time to celebrate with those in the community who truly need a helping hand. So many worthy community organizations in Indianapolis help to make the holidays a special time. A variety of churches prepare turkey dinners, while many service groups give baskets to families in need, such as Toys for Tots. For more information on the Toys for Tots program visit www.toysfortots.org Show your children the gift of volunteerism by going to www.volunteermatch.org and finding one of dozens of organizations around Indiana where you and your family can spend time volunteering.
This year, my Christmas gifts to my family will be the treasures I found when moving from two houses into our new condo. In the awkward stage of decision-making and downsizing (and discovering the benefits of Craig's List), I found that this moving process was not life altering but a maturing experience I honestly needed. Material belongings ceased being priority and helped me gain a new perspective of life and what is most important in the grand scheme of things.
The people who came to purchase our trash and treasures took a sincere interest in the story behind the items they were buying from us and seemed to genuinely care about our move, our family and the changes we are making in our lives. We recently sold our Florida home and as impossible as it is to believe, the two families who purchased our furnishings came by with wine, shrimp and cheese to join us with Irish songs and toasts to help us celebrate our life changes and our final evening in our home. The evening will long be remembered and appreciated.
My 2009 Christmas presents will continue to be my many friends who helped us with packing, moving and encouraging us with reminders that this chapter will close and a new passage in our lives would open. One dear friend actually planned where every piece of furniture should go and exactly where and what should go in our drawers. That's what I call a gift!
I wish each and every reader of Indy's Child a Happy Holidays, Happy Passages and a Happy New Year. May you be blessed with good health, happiness and hope for the future. And remember to discover your own paradise—it might be right under your nose.
If you, your friends, family or acquaintances need assistance throughout the holidays, call Connect2Help at 211 or visit www.connect2help.org for a variety of assistance organizations. This wonderful organization provides a list of service organizations throughout Indiana, operators are kind and more than helpful in assisting with finding the aid organization that suits your needs.
Barbara Wynne is the founding publisher of Indy's Child Magazine.