By Danee Kiernan
Life is Almost Always Good and co-author of Bouncing With Style. #22
This year for Christmas, Jim and I started our shopping for our little ones in October. Every year we make the vow to have our shopping done by Thanksgiving, holiday cards sent by December 1st and all of the menu planning, food shopping and pre-prep done by a week before Christmas Eve…..
This year, we could not decide upon gifts for our older kids. They really didn’t “need” anything. We had each other……I know how corny and cliché that sounds…
As long as we have each other…blah, blah, blah……But it’s so true.
Losing our child and my Mom within 4 months of each other last year helps to put priorities in perspective pretty quickly….
Now don’t get me wrong, socks and PJ’s are nice, and we have certainly given our fair share of these gifts, but this year it just didn’t seem right when so many others are lonely, hurting, hungry or suffering……
Jim and I put together a list of organizations that give to others (Heifer International, local health clinic, local food pantry and other groups that help those in need locally and worldwide). Our gift to our older children this year was a gift to others. We provided each of our adult children with a dollar amount that they could donate to a charity that we had provided information for or to one of their choice…..
Nothing to unwrap, no sizzle of anticipation, no squeals of delight… It felt different and a bit awkward at first….But then it felt amazing…..Better than I thought it would…The room was kind of quiet. People were listening to what we were saying. It was a meaningful moment…..It felt right.
We knew that thinking outside of family this holiday would feel good…and we were right. We were thrilled to find that the kids were enthusiastic, dug right into making their decision where they would like to donate their gift and didn’t seem to miss the traditional gift giving at all……
What a wonderful way to give and to receive.
Danee Kiernan is a writer, parent, entrepreneur and co-author of Bouncing with Style: Starting over but Not From Scratch. She connects with others based on her experiences as a full time woman, full time mom (adoptive, birth & foster), stay at home mom, working woman and business owner. She hopes that sharing her experiences openly will help others to find their bounce. Danee is a powerful advocate for women’s rights, especially every woman’s right to choose her own destiny and build the life that she desires.
Danee KIernan earned a BS degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood specialization from Iowa Wesleyan College, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Danee believes in the importance of love, family and pursuing dreams. She makes her home in Wisconsin, where she and husband Jim, are thoroughly enjoying the experience of raising their 12 children.
You can reach Danee Kiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org