Let’s face it, 2010 was a tough year for a lot of folks and when you have a large family like mine, you’re bound to have been graced by its disgrace, shall we say. Big and small, our challenges called us to make some changes to our traditional gift giving. Rather that adults picking names and exchanging gifts, we decided to simply focus on the children and not exchange gifts with each other.
In being an uncle to seven kids and not having any of my own, I really wanted to bring them closer to experiencing the joy of giving rather than receiving, but I wasn’t sure exactly how to do it without losing my street cred, especially considering that I had recently earned the title of “uncle funky”. I’d thought about it before but I thought this was the year to really get them consciously engaged in act of giving. Even more poignant, at a time when most kids are fanatically focused on how much they’ll be getting.
Knowing the challenges that non-profits face in getting younger generations mindful of and involved in the act of giving, I decided to take a chance in losing my acclaimed title of uncle funky. Nevertheless, I followed through and split the amount I normally spend in half, purchasing a small gift with one half. With the other half, I bought a GiveNow card from the good folks at JustGive.org and inserted it into a card with a note expressing that my Christmas wish for them was to sit down with their family and give to something that was close to their heart.
I have to say, the whole experience was truly inspiring. Some of them already had ideas of things they wanted to give to, as if they were just waiting for someone to give them the gift of giving. Now coined as ‘Givfting’ in our family, I think we’re on to a new tradition. One that is destined to keep on giving.