The Gift of Giving

By Diane Landsberg

After months and months of isolation and cancelled special events, gatherings, parties and special holidays due to covid, we need to make this year holiday season extra special. I would like to suggest we change how to celebrate and make it more meaningful for the entire family. Call a family meeting to brainstorm and have input from everyone. Important points to cover is an agreement to “spread the joy and gratitude” throughout this upcoming year. Make a list of all individuals that should be shown a little appreciation. My list includes my doctor, dentist, Vet and their staff where I will drop off an orchid, cookies and a card in acknowledging of the expert care I have received. I have a lawn care crew, pool guy, and housekeeper that come every week throughout the year. Yes, they are paid, but a gesture to thank them all is important. Think of teachers, babysitters, coaches, and car-pool parents, etc. It is also suggested that all family members express love and appreciation for one another. Parents might need to remind the young brother and sister what is lovable about one another, but necessary.

This year I will schedule a baking night with my small grandchildren. We will create delicious treats and home-made cards to be given to teachers, school staff, neighbors, and others. I am confident that they will have fun and feel proud of their creations and learn the valuable lesson of thanking others. I won’t complain having to clean sprinkles and glitter spread all around the table and floor!

Most children make a list of what they would love to receive for gifts. Do they really need more “stuff”? Schedule a day to go through their toys and donate gently used toys to a shelter, Miami Rescue Mission or Goodwill, etc. Consider limiting their gift list and come up with ideas for “family gifts”, that can enjoy throughout the year with everyone. We are fortunate to have much to select from. A family membership to Zoo Miami, Fairchild Gardens, Children’s Museum, State Parks comes to mind. Also, for the sports enthusiasts, we have the Heat, Dolphins, Panthers, Hurricane’s nearby by. It can be the gift that keeps on giving. My adult sons have treasured memories of attending Heat games with Dad. It wasn’t so much of cheering on the team, but filling up on junk food without the disapproval of Mom. They had fun and I enjoyed a quit house to myself.

This can also be an opportunity to create new family traditions. Birthday’s are special, but to select a Family Anniversary date can be fun to annually have a small party with one another. One family used the age of one (8) and the other (11) to create August 11th for an annual family anniversary. Also possibly rotate once a month for each family member decide what to do as a family. Ideas can be going to a movie, special restaurant, cooking a meal all together, etc.

Holidays are wonderful and can provide a day to reinforce how important we are to one another. Start planning!

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