~ Contributed by Matthew L. Brown, Brown Law Group, LLC; Member, DeKalb County Estate Planning Advisory Committee (EPAC)
Each year, the holiday season seems to start earlier and earlier. It is not uncommon to hear refrains of “get your holiday shopping done in October!” or to watch your neighbor put up holiday decorations while children are still trick or treating. Regardless of whether this “expanded” holiday season is a joy or an encroachment, consider making one shift in your behavior… let Thanksgiving become the time of holiday-giving.
From its Christian roots, Christmas-giving has been a tradition since biblical times. As the Magi presented Jesus with gifts following his birth, Christians were encouraged to model this behavior by giving to those less fortunate. As the holiday season has become a time of revelry, joy, and counting blessings, it is appropriate that we would pause and consider those less fortunate.
But the methods of giving in the modern era are different than direct charity that was supported and promoted by religious institutions in past generations. Charitable organizations today offer donors the opportunity to direct their gifts to specific causes with programmatic support to target the needs of the community. This modern charity is complicated by tax rules and administrative limitations, so please consider the following when planning your holiday-giving:
As we gather to give thanks, we can embody that thankful spirit with a giving spirit. Shifting our holiday-giving to Thanksgiving frees us to focus on family and faith instead of finance during the holiday season.
For information on donations to the DeKalb County Community Foundation during this upcoming holiday season, contact Executive Director Dan Templin at 815-748-5383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Learn more about making a donation to the Community Foundation >