Durham Magazine Dec/Jan 2021

Page 6

letter

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

M

y friends and I have a secret Santa tradition that we’ve kept up since college. A group of nine of us draw names, and then send along a present in the mail. It’s been a good way to stay in touch around the holidays and something I look forward to every year. When the topic was brought up for our 2020 exchange, one of my friends immediately responded to our group text: “This year has obviously been very difficult for people. What are everyone’s thoughts on donating to your secret Santa’s favorite charity? Or pooling money to give to a select charity? I personally don’t feel like I really need anything.” I’m glad she raised the point. So many have suffered this year and continue to face hardship. If you have the means, I strongly encourage you to forego something material this year and donate to organizations that mean the most to you. Take a look at our Big Give section, which begins on pg. 60, to learn more about a few local nonprofits, or read our story on pg. 56 for ways you can give back as a family. If you are shopping for family and friends, it’s never been more important to keep your dollars in Durham and our nearby communities. Our local shops, galleries and restaurants have hustled and used their creativity to stay in business this year, offering safe shopping experiences by appointment, curbside pickup and local low- or no-cost deliveries. If we want to patronize these beloved institutions this time next year, we need to show up and spend money with them this year. Glance over the gift guide on pg. 40, or check out our “Buy the Book” story on pg. 52 to get some ideas for the bibliophile in your life. And if the recipes for the scrumptious chef-crafted side dishes on pg. 48 tempt you, but you’re not much of a cook, let the experts handle it and order a meal directly from those restaurants. Holiday traditions this year are going to look different, like the families on pg. 42 share with us. But nothing, not even a pandemic, can take away what this season reminds us every year: love one another, practice kindness, be grateful for what you have and give what you can.

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december/january 2021

 @amanda_maclaren amanda@durhammag.com