This time of year I always feel like Scrooge, and often get accused of being a Scrooge. I don’t buy anything for anyone other than my wife and my kids (although last year, my kids got nothing from me). The usual question “are you ready for christmas?!” that passes for conversation causes my skin to crawl. The assumption being my response will be something like ‘oh, gosh no, i still have to shop for blah blah blah, and i don’t know what to get uncle Jack, and blah de blah”. These activities and conversations are not inherently bad or without merit, and I am sure they do bring some people true pleasure. I just can not busy myself or my mind with these holiday platitudes. Oops, the disdain is creeping back in.
It is not that I truly loathe any of this, well, actually, rampant consumerism I do kind of loathe, but I have nothing against the spirit of giving. In fact, giving can be a powerful action. On occasion, we have chosen to give to Heifer International in lieu of giving to others (my wife is not as cold-hearted as me and has to give in some way). This brings me to the point of my writing. Why do we give so much to our friends and family when, in many cases, they already have so much? This is obviously not the case with everyone who reads this, but for a great deal of Americans, actual ‘needs’ are covered and a great deal of ‘wants’ go fulfilled as well.
This year the brewery joined forces with some other local businesses and individuals and pooled our resources. Together we came up with over $4,000 in cash and services that is going to 3 different families to help them with basic necessities and hopefully a luxury or two. Without help from anyone, it would just be a cold and hard time for them. We started this last year and were joined by others this year, helping us to double the amount we were able to give. We realized that things were going pretty damn good for us. We realized that things are pretty rough for some people in our community. We realized that we would remember helping a family in tough times have a kick ass christmas, while we would most likely forget an ipod nano in a short amount of time. You know what? I remember the family we helped last year like it was yesterday, and it still breaks my heart to think about what they have been through. I don’t remember what my wife got for me last year (sorry Natalia). Natalia doesn’t remember what I got her last year (neither do I), but we still talk about the family that the brewery was able to help.
If you would like to give to this program next year, look for our call to action in November. We would love to see it continue to grow.
And Happy Holidays, even if you are getting a nano.
With Abundant Holiday Cheer,