My favorite holiday gifts are ones that have tremendous thought behind them. Nobody embodies this better than my friend, Amy Pampusch, and her siblings. In lieu of physical gifts, they donate to a charity of their choice. They don’t even make a donation in each other’s names. They simply choose a charity, donate and inform one another about the organization and its mission. It’s the family’s way of giving back during the holiday season.
Which brings us to this month’s theme of giving back. We feature Brandi DeVries, who so proudly represents our city and state as Mrs. Minnesota America. DeVries has spent almost a decade volunteering for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund. We also highlight two young people, who created their own nonprofit to help improve the lives of the visually impaired.
This season is so joyous because many of us reunite with those we love and hold dear, which brings us to our second theme: family. Many empty nesters will be excited to welcome their grown children home for the holidays. We speak with the Swankes, who graciously share their traditions and how they have evolved over the years. We also offer some suggestions for fun family activities. And if you don’t feel like making an elaborate dessert for your brood, leave it to the professionals. We have a round-up of bakeries in the area that offer scrumptious sweet delights.
I wish you all joy, love, peace and happiness.