Letter from The Publisher

Tracy Patterson

I was looking through my kitchen cupboard the other day at all the mugs I’ve accumulated over the years, and it brought back a memory of my mother and her quest to end the holiday gift exchange at her office. Hundreds of dollars were being spent each holiday season on useless gifts, and she finally decided she’d had enough.

She explained that “nobody is going to miss their little decoration or yet another mug. It is, after all, the season of giving, and the people who are working don’t really need these gifts.”

It took a little doing, as people don’t like to give up their rituals, but she eventually convinced her boss that the money would be better spent if everyone put their $20 together to give to the food bank or another charity of choice. Once that ball started rolling, it suddenly seemed like a great thing to do, and—my mother was right—her office colleagues did not miss their little “gift” at all. The unsubstantial trinkets became substantial contributions for families less fortunate, and it became the new tradition at her office.

My own little story on this subject involves turkeys. Each year, the company where I worked gave a turkey voucher to each staff member. I decided that I really didn’t need this turkey, as, for one, I was single, and two, I could buy a turkey if I wanted one. The first year, I took my voucher to the grocery store and they let me take two turkeys for the combined weight of the largest turkey I could find in the bin. This way, I could supply the food bank with a bird for two families. It became my new yearly tradition, and I convinced a few others at work to do the same.

Of course, there are all kinds of ways to give during the holidays, and all year long, for that matter, but sometimes it’s good to remember that those bits of money we’re wasting on tired holiday traditions can be better redirected toward a new tradition of giving.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Natural Awakenings, and have a happy and safe holiday!





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