Friday, December 20, 2019

Giving More When We Need Less

One of the things I like the most about the holidays, besides the fact that I get to decorate my house with Victorian gaudiness, is that people don’t question other people’s need for food and gifts.

We give to Toys for Tots, Holiday Helpers, Tri-Lakes Humane Society, and “run” Turkey Trots for food pantries.

This year my online shopping comes with no shipping costs.  I wouldn’t really say that I’m filling my children’s stockings with care. But I am filling them with some gifts they are never going to use and some gifts they’ve already used. I have a growing list (and I’m checking it twice) of all the things that my husband and I have done for our children throughout the year. I’m not even counting the everyday things like food, shelter, and clothes because that would be too Scroogey on my part.  I’ve tallied the extra stuff like a fancy coffee or the wise decision to take an Uber instead of walking around the corner. I’m also wrapping up some canned goods that they will be able to give to a food pantry.

The special gift this year is a donation in their name to BluSeed Studios Free Spring Break Art Classes. Shhhh, don’t tell them. It’s a surprise.  Since a lot of area children do not have the ability to go on holiday during the two-week mud season, BluSeed provides free art workshops for children K-12. As sarcastic as this reads, my children will actually love it. They will not feel deprived or left out in any way. We are fortunate to have our basic needs met and this time of year reminds us of that fact all the time. (Thank you, pellet boiler.)

Though my choices won’t be yours, here are a few ideas to keep yourself in the holiday spirit or just limit the need to actually wrap a gift. The Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York has a list of all the food pantries around the Adirondacks and beyond. Each Adirondack town has various art and historical preservation organizations that provide various entertainment throughout the year. Choose a youth climate summit, nature, wildlife rehabilitation, pet adoption, healthcare, or a town Helpers Fund and scholarship fund. It is the type of gift that always fits and looks good with every hair color. Happy holidays!

Photo: Chestertown Helpers Fund logo.

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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