December 2023

The holidays are upon us whether we are ready or not! I hope that all of you find the joy you seek most during these sometimes stressful times for family. It can be difficult to spend too much time with relatives, but also a blessing in so many ways. I hope your balance is just right!

Our family tradition is to play games and watch movies together. These have been long standing activities for young and old. Finding common games and movies with kids 11 years apart was often a challenge, but also reminded us of childhood when we watched an old favorite that was appropriate for everyone. This family time is one of my favorite, and my children’s favorite memories.

When I ask them to recall what they got for Christmas, or what Santa brought when they were children, they rarely remember any specific gifts. They reflect more on the time spent with grandparents, cousins, each other and friends. They recall gathering together to celebrate in so many wonderful ways and sharing special holiday dishes that only appear that time of year. They recall being surprised by something they were sure they would never get, but often don’t remember what that item was.

Whatever your traditions are, remember it’s more about the feeling everyone has during the holiday than about the gifts. A friend of mine once told me that her present that year to everyone was her presence. When she heard from a friend, she’d really listen. She sent cards, she sat with sick people, she reached out when others were hurting, she was present when people needed her.

As the year wraps up, I want to be her. I want to be more present. I hope to spend less time on my phone and I want to really look in the eyes of my loved ones and truly be present when they want my attention. Undivided attention is what we all want and deserve.

To those of you adopting families for the holidays or bringing in food to enhance home pantries, we see you and appreciate all you’re doing to make the holidays magical for children in our community. Your presence, even unseen, is making a difference that will never be forgotten.

Happy holidays to you all.

Learn More About Giraffe Laugh!

We can see the future from here!

Giraffe Laugh is a local nonprofit that provides early childhood education and nurturing to 170 Treasure Valley children annually by ensuring school readiness, empowering families, and building strong futures.

Giraffe Laugh has two full-time programs that serve children 0-5 years old, a full-time preschool program that serves children 3.5-5 years old, and a summer program that serves children that are of school-age.