December 2017

A Time for Giving

December is the time for giving in both a practical sense and in a personal sense.

Charitable Donations 

My experience with my mom was that giving became complicated. She had difficulty remembering what donations she had made and how much she was giving. As many of her friends passed on, she donated to various charities in their memory as requested in the obituaries. We decided to choose four organizations and to donate annually in December. Then she was able to support her church and causes that were most important to her. Making donations annually instead of monthly was more convenient. Donating in December seemed an appropriate time for both the Christmas season and the tax season.

Choosing Where to Give

Choosing the recipients of the donations wasn't easy either. She knew she wanted to give to her church but there were so many other worthy causes.  Eventually she chose to support a chronic illness group, the Arthritis Foundation, a seniors' organization, Meals on Wheels and local cultural institution that had meaning for our family, The Assiniboine Park Conservancy.

Consider Being a Santa to a Senior

Be a Santa to a Senior, now in its 10th year in Winnipeg, delivers gifts to socially isolated/in-need older adults who might not otherwise receive a gift during the holiday season. Last holiday season, A & O: Support Services for Older Adults, in partnership with Home Instead Senior Care, delivered over 3,500 to Winnipeg’s socially isolated and/or in need older adults.

Click here for complete information.

A Gift of Memories -Reprinted from December 2013

When I was a child we walked two blocks to my cousins' house for Christmas dinner. There were aunts, uncles and grandparents but no great grandparents. We all lived in the same neighbourhood. Our moms didn't go out to work.

Today is different. Mom is in a personal care home and only knows who I am some of the time. My brother lives in BC. My son and three grandchildren live on the other side of the city. The last time my mom came to Christmas dinner, I drove across town to pick her up, helped her dress and looked after her at my son's home while helping to cook dinner. When the day was finally over I realized that I had spent almost no time with my own grandchildren. Now I make a short visit to see my mom on Christmas day. We have a small family event at another time. Too many people and too many gifts are confusing and stressful for her.

My mom no longer has her memories. I carry hers and mine. These memories and new ones that we will build together are gifts I can pass on to my grandchildren. I can honour my mother (my past) by building the family memories of the future.

I hope all of you have a place that may pass your family's memories from yesterday to tomorrow.

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