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Seasons Greetings

Kensington Sierra Madre Executive Director CC Degraff headshot

We have so much to be grateful for this holiday season! I see this season as an opportunity to give. The holidays offer us the perfect time to help others in need. It also allows us to create new rituals and traditions. These traditions provide us with a sense of comfort and allow people to connect.

This month, a new tradition for us is creating a reverse advent calendar. Everyone loves advent calendars to count down to Christmas. With a reverse advent calendar, you give rather than receive. Reverse advent calendars work by you filling them everyday with items of food or clothing that can then be taken to a food bank or charity in order to help those less fortunate. Collections are kept in a container and after 24 days, they are given away as a donation. Our team members have been wanting to give to others so this project makes it easy to make a contribution. This is also a wonderful tradition to start with children. My children have been excited about this new idea and we are looking forward to creating the calendar and starting this in December.

Another tradition in our home is a Hanukkah tradition that we have been following for two years. I heard this idea from a fellow mother and loved it because it makes the season less about gifts and more about service to others. Hanukkah includes 8 days of gifting. But at our house, we do 4 days of getting and 4 days of giving. For the days of getting, we give our children four items- something that they want, something that they need, something to wear and something to read. For the four days of giving, we select four different organizations and we bake cookies, donate toys, etc. My hope is that my children will always want to provide a service to others.
“When you focus on the good, the good gets better.” –

I wish you a wonderful holiday!


Cc DeGraff

Executive Director