Plan for '11: Deeper Connections
You're probably reading this somewhere in the middle of January. But as I'm writing it, it's Dec. 27, and a familiar ennui already has set in.
By Christmas night — a mere 48 hours ago — commercials for post-holiday sales were screaming things like, "Now that it's over … !" Now that it's over? Are they kidding me?
Nope, stores are stocking up for Valentine's Day, and the hardy handshakes and holiday smiles we've given so eagerly since Thanksgiving have retreated once again behind dour expressions and "I have no time for you" attitudes. A big ball of the blahs rolled through offices across the country this morning, taking every shred of holiday spirit with it as we turned our attention once again to tending to the frittering details of everyday life.
Yup, in this pump-it-yourself, express-lane, dollar-store world, you get two days then it's back to reality for you. Sure, you get a little glitter and glam on New Year's Eve, but it's not the same. Where Christmas speaks to our hearts and to our spirits about family and love and miracles, New Year's Eve speaks to our inner party animal about, well, all too often about making asses of ourselves.
But there are some delightful die-hards who refuse to let the spirit retreat as soon as the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 26 — school kids who squeeze every last ounce of joy from their extended holiday breaks, for example, and goofballs like me who are still walking around with mistletoe pinned in their hair and trying to get people to understand that the "12 Days of Christmas" actually start after Dec. 25.
There's a distinct connection, of course, between the winter holiday season and fundraising. Nonprofits of all sizes and missions need to tap in to the good will that the season engenders, so a great deal of effort goes into extending a hand to donors old and new, and placing that welcome mat at the door of your organization in the hopes of gaining more supporters and, ultimately, financial support.