Giving at this time of year is a cherished tradition for many people in our community. This giving upsweep is mainly related to holidays – giving gifts, giving to others, and holiday cards. However, it is also a time of year when non-profits like Joslyn Art Museum traditionally benefit from a more than normal number of donor gifts. While some people believe this is tax incentive oriented, I think it is driven more by ones desire to do something good as one year ends and another begins.
My family celebrates Christmas, and we have two giving traditions surrounding the holiday. The first is to give a contribution to a charity of the gift recipient’s choice. We love this idea, and it allows all of us to pick our “favorite” charity for the year to receive additional funding. These gifts aren’t individually large — generally $25 — but cumulatively they make a significant impact for the charity.
The second tradition is something I do with my three young daughters. We adopt a family through a local health and human services agency to purchase holiday gifts. We always try to pick a family with children the same age as our children if possible. That way my girls get to help pick out the gifts. In addition, we decide together on one thing that we are going to forgo for three to four months to “save” the money to purchase the gifts for our adopt-a-family. This year it was no salon manicures or pedicures for four months. I am hoping that this helps teach my girls that one does need to sacrifice something in order to give. . But that the feeling in return more than makes up for the sacrifice.
At Joslyn Art Museum, we also have traditions. Our Holiday Under Glass concert series brings in hundreds of visitors during the month of December to hear live holiday music, a tradition that just concluded its twentieth year. It is an active, festive time to visit, and allows us to add to the “good things” we offer as one year ends and another begins. Recently, Joslyn returned to free general Museum admission, a “tradition” in the Museum’s history from 1931 to 1965 that has been wonderful to reinstate. Free admission, combined with Joslyn’s exceptional collection, exhibitions, classes, programs, and events, makes for a tradition of excellence as an arts organization that we are proud to uphold with your support. .
What traditions do you have at the year-end? Do you celebrate a holiday that centers on gift giving or does your family carve out special time that isn’t normally there to spend together? Whatever the tradition you hold, I hope this year, it includes Joslyn. Come for a visit, drop a donation in the box at the entrance, or make a more formal year-end gift to the Museum via our website. As a community arts organization, accessible to all, we appreciate the gifts we can offer and all that we are so fortunate to receive.
Hillary Nather-Detisch, Director of Development