When I was growing up, the church I went to had a tradition called the “giving tree.” Instead of ornaments, it was decorated with gift tags, each listing an item requested by a community member in need. I liked the idea of buying something for a specific person — it somehow felt more real than other seasonal donations, because I knew I was getting something that was really wanted.
Over the years, though, since I gave up going to church, I switched to things like Toys for Tots and other, more random, gift drives for the holidays. That is, until a few years ago when Julia joined the team at the office, and brought with her a fondness for the adopt-a-family program run by her church (the Cathedral of Saint Matthew, so maybe “church” is downplaying it a bit).
I think this year marked the fourth Christmas she’s rallied a team of colleagues to buy gifts for strangers. We were assigned three families, which means there were a lot of gifts to wrap — a good problem to have.
It seems super-corny to say, but adopt-a-family wrapping day has become one of my favorite days of the year at the office. I love seeing so many of my colleagues jumping in to help make the holiday season bright for other people. It’s yet another piece of evidence that I work at a really great place.
Many thanks to Julia for making it happen every year!