Holidays are the best time of the year for some of us and the worst time for others. Some of us get feelings of sadness and depression, while some of us believe special things happen during this time of year. Today is December 13th and it’s an exciting day for us here at Brooklyn’s Lifestyle – today marks the beginning of our 12 Days of Holiday Giveaway. I didn’t just wake up a few days ago and decided I’m gonna do a holiday giveaway, this was an idea that birthed a few years ago – the idea was 25 days of holiday giveaway but I decided it may turn into an overwhelming ordeal and I wanted it to be fun and enjoyable.
One day a few years ago I was on Facebook and I saw a post via someone else’s page from a woman who had lost her job and could not buy presents for her little boys that holiday. I reached out to her, obtained a list of items her boys needed, took some money I had saved for my holiday shopping and shopped for her little ones. At that time she had no money for transportation and I made my way to the Bronx on the train. It was a good feeling to help another person, she was so grateful and could not stop thanking me. The handwritten notes from those little boys are still a part of my priceless possessions, needless to say, we have remained in touch over the years. I am happy to report she has done very well for herself and her boys who are now teenagers.
Because of that experience, over the years I’ve scoured Facebook looking for women or men (single dads) who posted about experiencing difficulty during the holidays or friends would tell me of someone they knew who was experiencing challenging times, I would ask for a list of needs and go shopping. Some years I was able to buy for a few little ones, other years I could only buy for one little one, anyway my secret Santa thingy as I don’t have a name for it, has resulted in me purchasing presents for little ones I didn’t know and I have never met but I knew would be smiling on Christmas morning :).
A few years ago, 2015 to be exact I somehow begun to take notice of others during the holiday season, some people complained a lot, others were very sad and some expressed that they felt an overwhelming sense of stress. The Holidays are my favorite time of the year, some of my best childhood memories are of the Holidays and I could not imagine how people got sad during this time, but unfortunately, they do for a variety of reasons.
During the holidays I make it a priority to reach out to loved ones but I can’t possibly go around asking strangers if they were okay, well I could but they’d probably think I’m not okay and because of that, the idea of 12 Days of Holiday Giveaway was born. We often see others smiling and we believe that all is well, we’re unable to really see the challenges others are experiencing without them actually sharing their stories with us. I really wanted to find a way to make others feel special during the holidays however I also wanted to find a way to give back to Brooklyn businesses that made me feel special during the year when I’m not having a totally hot day. The ones that go out of their way to offer excellent customer service and the ones who offer quality products that add to my happiness or cheer me up during my challenging moments.
I didn’t want the businesses to give free items for this project and this type of project was certainly not in my budget at that time, I found an account I wasn’t using at Immigrant Direct and starting putting away a little here, a tad bit there and today I am finally able to make someone smile (when they win of course) and give back to Brooklyn businesses as well.
Maybe today you can’t give a lot but Tis the Season to give from your heart, if you make one person smile with a kind gesture, a kind word or a sincere smile I know those are the things that make the Holidays special or makes someone’s day a little brighter.