The holiday season is my absolute favorite time of year. I love so many things about it – watching my all-time favorite movie Miracle on 34th Street (the original black and white version!), listening to my Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack (which I keep in the car year-round if I ever need a pick-me-up), driving at night to see the lights that adorn all the buildings and houses. And, yet, while all these things are physical manifestations, it is the spirit of the season I adore. Those powerful memories it evokes. How it makes me feel – warm, optimistic and hopeful.
As the parents of a 7-year old, my husband and I have begun sharing with our son our childhood traditions, like reading my favorite holiday book The Sweet Smell of Christmas, as well as creating some new ones. We often reflect on how very lucky we are. Yet, like many parents, we do think about how we best impart to our son important lessons like gratefulness for what we have and empathy for those who may have less or suffer in other ways.
Each December, we now “Adopt a Family” through our local church community, buying holiday gifts, clothes and food for another family less fortunate. We each contribute in some way, and my son plays a bigger role each year. Last year he helped unload the boxes. This year, he has helped select the family, even the mix of children – specifically requesting an older boy and a younger girl! I expect he will help me buy the gifts too. We are fortunate that we can help another family. Adopting a family at the holidays has become a new tradition for our family. It is one that I look forward to as much as my other holiday favorites. Our new family traditions of giving makes me feel those same holiday feelings from my childhood – warm, optimistic and hopeful.
This year, I am also proud to support #GivingTuesday and several wonderful non-profit organizations helping children and families, at caregrows.com. Through its CARE GROWS giving program, Johnson & Johnson will match your donation to any of three social good programs. You give; then, we give. Just visit caregrows.com, select a project to fund through Catapult, donate a photo through the Johnson & Johnson Donate a Photo app, or give a gift in the Save the Children Gifts of Joy catalog – and Johnson & Johnson will match your donation. It’s that easy.
This year, after reading The Sweet Smell of Christmas, we will add another tradition of giving by selecting a cause – even two – to support at caregrows.com. My son wants to help provide emergency relief to children in the Philippines, as well as stock a library for school-age children. I couldn’t be more proud of him.
What holiday traditions do you share with your loved ones – and will you begin a new tradition of giving this year?