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‘Tis the season of….?

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Marge is a Denver native and a working mom of a ten-year-old son. She juggles her family life with a professional IT career, a passion for photography, and a blog, Marge In Real Life. Marge has overcome the challenges of divorce, single parenting, and shared custody. Now she is defining and strengthening her sense of family with her fiance “Homer”.

‘Tis the Season of:

a. frenetic shopping and wrapping
b. travel, relatives, and stress
c. extremely creative budgeting
d. all of the above

Did you choose d) All of the above? I did! This is arguably the busiest time of year for most parents. Often it falls to mom to be the shopper, wrapper, chef, and events coordinator for the holidays – oh wait, you already do all that, it’s just ten times the volume this time of year.

Like so many, I’m facing the added strain of a very miniscule budget. Homer and I have decided that we won’t be giving gifts for adults, only the children. I’ve already explained to Bart that this will be a sparse year. To make up for it, I’ve planned more decorations and baking, more time with friends and family. In my brainstorming for inexpensive ways to add meaning to the holidays, the most obvious hit me like a snowball to the face.

‘Tis the season of GIVING! No, not just thoughtful cards and shiny gifts, but a season to give of ourselves and our time. I may feel pretty poor these days, but am I really? I have a lot to give and it’s got nothing to do with money. I have always advocated parenting by role model and I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t been enough of an example to my son in teaching him the true meaning of giving. It’s time for a change and this year we are starting a new holiday tradition. This Christmas, we will be volunteering at the Denver Rescue Mission where they are always in need of people to help prepare and serve meals.

A search online for volunteering opportunities in Colorado brought up hundreds of results. If you do not already have plans to volunteer through your church, school, or another organization (or even if you do), I encourage you to check out these links.

Volunteer Match

Denver Rescue Mission

If you aren’t familiar with this amazing ministry, take time to explore the “About Us” section of their website. Since 1892 they have been meeting the needs and changing the lives of countless Coloradoans through their various outreach programs.

I’m looking for other ideas to get involved and really give so tell me, what is your family’s tradition of charitable giving and/or volunteering?

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Comments
  • comment avatar Amber Johnson December 5, 2008

    I have been donating a lot of Mile High Mamas’ products I have reviewed to the Ralston House, which runs a child advocacy program for children who have been sexually, emotionally or physically abused.

    We have also traditionally done a Secret Santa for a family in need. This year, money is tight so we’re getting together with a couple of other famlies to do it. I would hate to drop the ball on something so important so am glad it worked out!

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson December 5, 2008

    Bruce Cameron wrote a funny and sweet article last weekend about how the Christmas season is hitting the elves hard and how Toys for Tots needs help!
    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/nov/28/cameron-holiday-stress-hits-elves-hard/

  • comment avatar Kagey December 5, 2008

    We usually don’t do any extra giving around Christmas outside of the occasional Angel tree gift, although I’m thinking of making up a basket for the Dolores Project (www.thedeloresproject.org) which our church frequently volunteers at.
    This would be a good time of year to teach the kids about giving. This would be a GREAT TRADITION to start.

  • comment avatar MindyMom December 5, 2008

    The holidays will be different for many families this year. Getting back to basics and remembering the true spirit of the holiday is a positive consequence to our economic downturn.

  • comment avatar Lori December 5, 2008

    Welllllll….you’ve made me think. Tessa and I used to volunteer with hospice, but it’s been awhile, and we need to find ways to give again, especially at this time of year.

    Thanks for this reminder. And the worthy places that are being mentioned here.

  • comment avatar Marge December 6, 2008

    Amber & Kagey – Thanks for the links and sharing your traditions.

    MindyMom – I’m encouraged that for once American have reason to get away from the commercialness.

    Lori – it’s so easy to get away from volunteering, any time of year. But this a good time to get back to it.

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