Is it Time to Shake Up your Christmas Tradition?

With the holiday season comes traditions. I bet you and your family have traditions that you do every Christmas that you enjoy, and probably some you don’t. A tradition is defined as a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past.

In my family, Christmas is not complete without: a candlelight service at church, Brenda Lee’s Christmas CD, opening gifts on Christmas Eve, making treats with my girls, exchanging wine with my brother in laws, and playing games until the wee hours of the morning.

Then there are the traditions that I wish we didn’t have… spending too much money, making too much food, eating too much food, and this horrible new tradition where everyone gets bored and stares at their phones.

A few years ago, we received a book called “Twas the Night Before the Night Before Christmas” by Natasha Wing. It is a cute story that made us all chuckle. Without realizing it, we created a new family tradition of reading this book on December 23.

Last year a family contacted me and decided to start a new tradition in their family. The family realized that it was unnecessary to exchange gifts. The children are grown and have successful careers. They chose instead to give to a family in need. They contacted LSS to see if we knew of a family who could use some help thus starting the tradition of helping a family in need in Rapid City.

They helped a young family from our LSS Fatherhood & Families Services purchase a tree and gifts for his small children. He also was able to buy groceries for the home including all the fixings for a wonderful Christmas meal.

This year, they chose to help an 18 year old single mother. This young mother had a difficult childhood; she suffered through multiple kinds of abuse and neglect. She grew up without a stable home as she went back and forth between foster care and home. She is now on her own. She struggles with balancing work and school, all while raising a child. She has a lot of responsibility at 18, but she is determined and is making steps in the right direction.

Maybe this year is the year that you start a new family tradition. Imagine looking at your bank statement and seeing the ending balance of $0.02. Our young mother recently did just that, she literally had 2 cents to her name. What a scary feeling when you have a young child who relies on you.

If you are interested in helping a family in need, or donating to any of our programs who strive to help those who are struggling in life, please contact the development officer in your region.

Thank you.

Western Region: Jessica Lillebo, 605-791-6769
Northeast Region: Liesl Hovel, 605-262-5301
Southeast Region: Linda Jensen, 605-444-7536


Jessica Lillebo, Western Regional Director
LSS Development & Foundation

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