Each year people gather together with family and friends and practice traditions of their faith and their culture. Many of these traditions revolve around food while others revolve around giving gifts. For families who face economic challenges, either of these traditions can place added strain on their already stressful lives. How do you bring together a large gathering of people and feed them all when you already struggle to put food on the table each day? How do you find spare resources to buy gifts for those you love when you wonder each month if there will be enough coming in to cover basic needs?
One tradition in my extended family is to draw names and get a gift for the one person whose name you draw. With their name is a list of the sizes they wear, favorite color, or a store they may really like to shop at. My mom, who had the ability to buy what she wanted throughout the year but remembered what it was like when we did not have enough to eat, decided instead to write the names of charities she wanted a donation to go to in her honor. And just like that, a new tradition was born. Read full post