Many years ago, the community of Bethpage, New York began a new tradition. A local businessman, Gary Bretton, had experienced a house fire. People in the community came together and donated necessary articles to his family at his store, like blankets, sheets, etc and cash donations. It was around Christmas and he came up with an idea. He started a fundraising event to help others at this time of year. Every December, a football game was scheduled and all of the proceeds went to needy families. His venture requires many people who work together for the goal of helping others. It is a huge success, raising thousands of dollars for local families.
While I was talking to Gary one day, he mentioned that if every family bought one less gift for themselves and donated it to a needy family, it would be a big help.
My family started that tradition and now I have learned that my children and their families have been doing the same. Exponentially this gift giving can make a big difference in needy people's lives.
Not to be so serious this time of year as it is a time of joy. My brother and his family began a different type of gift giving. We adults stopped buying for each other long ago but we do meet on Christmas Eve and keep the Seven Fishes tradition. My brother mentioned that he wanted us to bring a beautifully wrapped ugly and/or totally useless gift. He reads the poem,"The Night Before Christmas" and each participant has a line of that poem. As your line comes up, you can choose one of the gifts. Before you open it you can trade it for one of the open gifts. This activity has become a highlight of the evening because we are all laughing at some of the gifts. Many are reused every year in disguised boxes. The most coveted gift was a small woman's leg lamp inspired by "A Christmas Story". Everyone coveted that gift!