Finding the Silver Lining This Holiday Season

November 29, 2020
Sitting by the fire

Sitting by the fireWritten by our Founder and CEO, our Celebrations Pulse Sunday Letters aim to engage with our community. From sharing stories to welcoming your ideas, we want to help you to express, connect, and celebrate the important people in your life.

With Thanksgiving weekend ending, the holiday season is officially underway.

This Thanksgiving was different, but still special

While we hope everyone spent time with their family and reinforced the strong bonds these times create, we recognize that this was not the case for many. COVID cases are back on the rise, and as a result many of us had to shift our plans and embrace new traditions.

This year, Chris’s daughter, Jenna Messer, compiled clips of our gratitude statements to share in one video. We loved to see Jenna take the baton this year to organize the production of this video and are grateful the tradition is staying alive in some manner. Additionally, to make it fun, Jim created “Papa’s Turkey Tacos” for an outdoor tailgate. One set of grandchildren made a branded chef’s hat for Jim, and the other set made a stand.

Nurture the relationships you have, rekindle the relationship you’ve lost, create the relationships you wish you had.

– Dr. George Everly

Previously, we encouraged each of you to consider your personal Thanksgiving communication plan. With whom did you text, email, or call to share your appreciate to them as a business relationship, a friend, or as a loved one? If you haven’t done it yet, you can start a holiday communications plan. Keep a list of those with whom you want to connect or reconnect. You will be glad you did! If you’re looking for tips on how to express your gratitude, read our article on all the simple ways you can nurture your relationships, whether near or far.

Kicking off the giving season with Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is right around the corner. Occurring the Tuesday after Thanksgiving each year, this day is a “global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.” The movement was founded with a simple purpose: encourage people to do good.

As we know, this time of year is often linked to shopping – Giving Tuesday aims to shift the sentiment from buying to giving. That shift is especially important this year. Many communities and families are suffering due to COVID-19 and are in need of support. Each and every one of us can make a difference, whether its donating funds to a cause, volunteering, organizing a drive, or by making someone smile. We often think about the connection economy. This is the strangest bank account we all have. The more we give, the more we have. At a time when we are isolated, volunteering our time is a great way to help others, which in so doing, helps us.

This giving season, we teamed up with non-profit organization, No Kid Hungry, to help provide hungry children with more access to food. Right now, 1 in 4 kids are at risk of going hungry. To learn more, read our newly launched series, Growing Up Hungry.

The Giving Ladder

For those of us who need some brushing up on biblical history (that would be me, Jim) our friend and Board Member, Adam Hanft, reminded us of a description of charity by the 12th century Jewish scholar and physician, Maimonides. Take a moment to read this and see how profound it was. So profound they named a hospital after him.

Maimonides wrote a code of Jewish law based on the Rabbinic oral tradition, and he described charity (or “tzedakah”) from the least to the most honorable as follows:
8. When donations are given grudgingly.

7. When one gives less than they should, but does so cheerfully.

6.When one gives directly to the poor upon being asked.

5. When one gives directly to the poor without being asked.

4. When the recipient is aware of the donor’s identity, but the donor does not know the identity of the recipient.

3. When the donor is aware of the recipient’s identity, but the recipient is unaware of the source.

2. When the donor and recipient are unknown to each other.

1. The highest form of charity is to help sustain a person before they become impoverished by offering a substantial gift in a dignified manner, or by extending a suitable loan, or by helping them find employment or establish themselves in business so as to make it unnecessary for them to become dependent on others.

This is a beautiful and succinct way to think about giving. It is incredible how words from the 12th century continue to ring true today. Fundamental human nature and values have not changed. Regardless of our faith, each of us can find value in these statements and apply them to our own life this giving season.

All the best,

Jim and Chris