Happy 2013!! Our second 25 Days of Giving is officially over and done. But it didn’t end on Christmas Day, surprise surprise! No, Stephanie and I couldn’t resist one last activity. More details are below but first I wanted to reflect a bit on 2012’s 25 Days.
2012’s 25 Days of Giving was… crazy. Fun, hectic, humbling. The first year, 2011, I decided to participate on 12/1, so it was a bit of a scramble to find activities. I was also unemployed in 2011, so I had plenty of time during the day to plan and do activities, and be organized. In 2012 I was working a full-time contract job, so I had less time, but wanted to do more activities and not depend as much on donating money. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the activities I did this year, and am so grateful that so many friends and family joined in, but I might have overdone it a bit. Even though the actual giving part was so much fun, the constant running around and having no time to get organized for Christmas, exercise properly, or do other life activities ended up being a bit frustrating at times. My goal for 2013 will be to find a more even balance of activities, an organized balance of in-kind donations, cash donations, and free activities that don’t take a lot of time (like Secret Neighborhood Elves or the post-its that Steph and Janelle did – why didn’t I do that?).
Adopt-A-Family This was by far the best activity this year. Having 25 people participate plus a mattress donation just blew me away, and left me in a puddle of gratitude and humility. The excitement and generosity of so many friends and family was amazing to be a part of. So many people were really excited to have an opportunity to participate, and I’m glad that I was able to open up the experience to so many. I’m already looking forward to doing this again next year!
Macy’s SPCA Windows The cuteness overload for this one is just too much. I think this will be a December tradition whether 25 Days of Giving continues or not!
SF Food Bank This year I was thrilled to be joined by six friends – the Food Bank is such a great group activity so it was awesome to share it with some great friends. Thanks guys!
Curry Senior Center Serving breakfast to seniors was one of the faster, easier activities I signed up for this year. It ended up being more meaningful than I expected. This is one that I hope to continue on a monthly basis in 2013. In fact, I already emailed to sign up for a date in January.
Gift Wrapping Stephanie and I decided that this will have to be a holiday tradition for as long as we can swing it! It’s such a nice almost-close to 25 Days to finally do an activity together, in-person. Thanks for all of the inspiration, girl!
Bonus Day 26: Snowflakes for Sandy Hook Elementary
Like so many around the world, Stephanie and I felt devastated by the Sandy Hook school shooting, and wanted to do something to contribute. Ann Curry started the #26actsofkindness campaign via Twitter, which quickly caught on around the country. While Stephanie wanted to do the 26 Acts, I didn’t have enough time between traveling for the holidays and numerous activities while we were home to spend time with family and friends. We decided to settle for making snowflakes as part of a drive through the CT PTSA (looks like they’re now at capacity for snowflakes!). First we thought we’d do 26, one for each victim, but decided that 27 felt right to us. In my perspective, nothing makes the perpetrator’s actions ok, but it’s important to remember the need for proper mental health care and to come together as a community to make sure that nobody is ever in the position to do this again.
Steph and I were joined by our friend Tracy and we were able to make all sorts of beautiful snowflakes to send along.
Steph also surprised me with this sweet Christmas gift. It was the first thing I hung on my tree as soon as I got back to San Francisco! Thank you!
And that’s a wrap for 2013. As promised I’ll put up a separate post with details on some of my homemade gifts this year. Looking forward to 2013 already!