The Holidays

The holidays. Sparkle. Music. Loved ones. Memories. And for Family Advocates, it is Operation Santa and other holiday giving.

Each year we are blessed as an organization to be the conduit in which children and families in our community are connected to donors wishing to provide that sparkle in their eye. That joy on Christmas morning to see a Christmas gift under the tree, just for them… with their name on it. This year, we had over 200 children that will have that sparkle on Christmas morning because this community cares so deeply.

As we go about our holiday traditions, there is a song in the air. The spirit of giving plays throughout the valley as tradition, service, and philanthropy hit their peak season. For some, this may be their first time giving. For others, it is their first time receiving. Either way, a connection is made… and is a bit more special this time of year. Of course, we also experience Santa Clause is Coming to Town, White Christmas, and Jingle Bell Rock playing on the radio. Music has its own language that transcends traditional communication. It’s not just words… it’s a feeling.

Spending the holidays with anyone other than the ones you love is almost unfathomable to most. But we must remember those that feel alone, are separated from their loved ones, or, for whatever reason, have chosen to isolate themselves. Being mindful of their needs, reaching out and sharing your love with them is important this time of year… and throughout the year. A sense of belonging, being needed and valued are basic needs that we all share. We need to SEE those that need us the most and act on it.

“A picture is worth a thousand words, but a memory is priceless.” Memories definitely have their value. But it is important to note that not all memories are good ones… but they all have some value. Learning something from a traumatic experience allows for a person to take control of that memory and put it to good use.  It is our job to be part of good memories for others. The holidays are a wonderful time of year to provide a good memory for someone. Will they actually remember the “thing” you bought them? Probably not. But they will fondly look back on the feeling they had and will hopefully look to not only duplicate that feeling, but pass it on.

During Operation Santa and our on-going holiday giving campaign, we have experienced that sparkle in a child AND a donor’s eye. We have heard the “music” in the air through the interactions taking place in an effort to serve others. We have felt loved by all those who have participated. And we have truly built memories that will last a lifetime.

From our Family Advocates family to yours…

Merry Christmas – Happy Hanukkah – Happy Kwanzaa… and a Happy New Year!