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TTOK[sic] thoughts from the artist

The 31 Days of Christmas (12/01/20)

"For it is in giving that we receive." — Saint Francis of Assisi

Today, December 1, begins a tradition my friends and I started almost a decade ago. It began out of our disdain for the traditional gift exchange, gift bragging, and gift gossip that had so permeated so many of our lives for years.

I don’t want to spend a lot of time on the negative, but we had gotten tired of the ‘competition’ on how much somebody ‘should’ spend on gifts, then the nasty comments if we didn’t get the other person as good a gift as they had gotten us or had expected. Or in the office environment, on the day after returning from Christmas time off, hearing how much a person got, from who, and what horrid gift they had gotten from a certain person (the gift gossip).

And the asinine, makes me foam at the mouth question, “What did you get for Christmas?” Well, I woke up, was healthy, had a place to live, plenty to eat, was surrounded by friends - what more could I ask for. And getting the upturned nose smile and the “I meant what did you get from Santa.” I guess they didn’t hear me the first time, I woke up, was healthy, had a place to live, plenty to eat, was surrounded by friends - what more could I ask for.

So among our close group of friends, we decided we were going to do two things:

  1. During the year, if we saw something that another person liked, we got it for them, right then and there. It could still be a surprise later in the day, but it was not put in the closet waiting for Christmas.
  2. We would start a 31 days of giving during the month of December.

Understand, we have always been a group that gives to others, all year round, simply because of our belief that that is what we should do. But we decided since we could not change how the rest of the world understood and participated in Christmas, we just had to adjust our behavior in hopes of making others’ December just a little more special.

The rules were simple:

  1. Each day during the month of December, each of us gave something to another person, not in our group, to make them smile or cry (good tears).
  2. Twice a week we would ‘gather’ our funds from everybody in the group and give as a group to an organization, or a family.
  3. We wouldn't brag about everything that we do and definitely never brag about how much we give. Though occasionally we have those special moments we have to share!!

The gift could be anything that would 'enhance' the life of another, even if just for a few minutes.

The ‘competition’ really became what was something new we had not done the year before to help others out.

The first year there were 6 of us in the group, which gave us quite a bit of giving power. This year, 2020, there are 10 of us in the group, which really gives us a vast opportunity to assist others, especially on our ‘group’ days. In this Covid year, there are a lot of people who need assistance! Or, just need something to bring good cheer and a smile to their face.

As our 31 days finishes up and we roll into 2021, I’ll post a couple of the highlights of this season’s giving. I personally feel awesome that I have made two people cry so far. :-) I really do miss the hugs of thanks we used to get. Maybe in 2021 that part can return.

#giving #holidays #truegiving