If you are more fortunate than others, build a longer table not a higher fence” (unknown)
Having developed a number of gifts that give twice, Innovations Manager, Sandy Glanfield writes how gifts can help us ‘build longer tables’ and greater empathy this Christmas.
Christmas dinner calls our nearest and dearest to the table. As a mother, and often host of the Christmas dinner, I can attest to the effort that goes into preparing this feast.
Weeks of planning, cleaning, preparing, shopping and cooking. I can also put my hand up to stressing over feeling that I must achieve ‘Christmas Perfection’ – the ‘right’ food, on offer at the ‘right’ time, presented on a beautiful Christmas table, orchestrating the happiness of my guests.
As I roll up my sleeves, ready to go another round with Christmas, I have been thinking about what it really is that I am offering through this meal. Being the host at my table I have the good fortune to give my loved ones company, nourishment and nurture. I create a place to reconnect, remember, share stories, tell jokes, laugh & build new memories.
Having worked with some of the world’s most marginalised with Gifts That Give Twice and seeing how they can lift people out of the snares of poverty through employment, purpose, skills improvement and education provision for their family members. My table all of a sudden could be something much more than our happiness or even a testimony of all my tireless efforts. What I would really, really love is to have a place for someone who is not afforded such luxuries.
This is where the idea for Empathy Action’s Christmas campaign began. We wanted to kindle the love and community that takes place at the Christmas table and use it to reach others who are struggling with poverty, and overcoming war. Inviting them, through their gifts, to our tables.
I love that those hosting Christmas dinner, like me, can bring this extra element to our tables through a gift for those that they love – a beautiful handicraft with the story to share of its Maker at each place setting. This can be that ‘extra seat’ at all our tables for someone less fortunate. Or even, if you can, invite someone who wouldn’t be afforded such a meal to come to your table!
Buy or find out more at the pop-up online shop here (opening on Dec 1st- limited stock available) or contact Sandy at firstname.lastname@example.org.