When I was a child, I was told that it was very important to start the New Year in the same way that you want to spend the entirety of the year. I can clearly remember my mother cleaning, cooking… in short doing all of those things she liked least in the days leading to the end of the year. All so that she wouldn’t begin the New Year doing those things. New Year’s Day was reserved for fun, food, family and friends. I came to learn, while growing up, that this tradition is one shared by many cultures throughout the world.
It is in this spirit that I held off a few days instead of sending the donations at the end of this year. On the 2nd of January, you’ll find me in line doing what I hope to spend my year doing: making African children and their mothers smile. I’ve enclosed a picture of what I’m up to right now. I am taking a break from the packing to write a quick blog post to remind you to do the same… Don’t bother with useless resolutions about never touching any chocolate or never again losing your patience with the guy who shares the cubicle with you at work!
Instead, make a vow. And take it as seriously as you would any other serious vow to God. If you are a particularly grumpy character, I’m sure God will be just fine if you just make it one act of kindness per week (it is progress right?) 😉
I am setting the tone for my year of greatness, 2011. I’m doing so by doing what I love best and hoping that it will grow again into something beautiful. I’m sure it sounds a bit silly; but I’m choosing my first day of work in 2011 as the day that I make the first donations for the year. But, I’ll just be the one standing in line for you. After all, you have to get to the office, feed the kids and get them off to school on time, work off that Christmas dessert and make dinner. I’ll be there because YOU were supportive this year. Because you chose to offer a fair trade birthday gift to your best friend, because you chose a gift basket full of Omanhene chocolates for the office party instead of buying the usual gift cards from the big chain coffee shop around the corner.
I don’t know what the New Year holds for you. I am not a fortune teller. But, I can tell you one thing with no reservation: thanks to your prayers, your support, your donations… this year will start well for lots of children in Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda. There will be a sick little girl in a hospital or a child in an HIV clinic waiting room who is holding a doll that looks like her. There will be a young boy discovering the magic of a special pair of scissors that cut beautiful designs in the card that he is making for his mother. There will be a teacher who is thankful for the relief he feels when opening a box full of supplies which make his job just a little easier. And that will be thanks to you.
After all, I am just the woman who stands in line to ship that joy for you. I’m just the messenger. And I pray with my whole heart and soul that 2011 will bring many more opportunities for me to deliver good news and gifts on your behalf.
God bless you all in the New Year!