‘Tis the Season
The holiday season was one of Kevin’s most favorite times of the year. He returned to NJ from CA delighted to have a “wintery” Christmas. He was key to decorating the tree, painstakingly winding hundreds of lights around branches so that it looked like the tree was lit from within. Kevin often decided late Christmas Eve, after spending the evening with our aunts, uncles and cousins that we absolutely had to have “walnut fingers” -the cookies my grandmother traditionally made, which we actually roll into balls but still refer to as fingers.
Kevin loved trying to find the perfect gift and enjoyed sharing in the delight of the recipient on Christmas morning. After the gifts were opened, he worked alongside my mom in the kitchen to put together our favorite Christmas dinner, a repeat of Thanksgiving complete with pumpkin pie. Most of all, Kevin loved coming home to spend time with friends and family, laughing and catching up. Christmas Day was usually finished off by people dropping in and staying late while we all lounged, exhausted after a day of overindulgence.
I will admit that since Kevin passed, the holidays are different, but while he is not here physically to celebrate, his spirit is imprinted all over the season. My mother works diligently to make Kevin proud with her prowess in hanging the Christmas lights and I bake the walnut “fingers, although I don’t stay up past midnight on Christmas Eve to do so. Every other year, much of the family – brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews- fly in from all over to overindulge on a repeat of Thanksgiving dinner and flop exhausted on the couch ready to enjoy the company of those that stop by.
A key part of why Kevin loved the season so much was that it was steeped in tradition. He appreciated the time with family and friends and continuing to share all the joys that had made the holidays so special for us growing up. For what would be Kevin’s last Christmas, an ad hoc mini reunion came together at a friend’s house. He relished spending the time with old friends who “had known him when” and who had also been so supportive during his treatment from both near and far.
Kevin, his love for friends, family and strangers alike, and his deep gratitude for how all of that love returned to him when he needed it most, are what inspired the creation of Elixir Fund. The Elixir Fund Registry came about from our desire to pay forward the healing powers of community support to as many people as we possible can.
As we ready the Elixir Fund Registry for testing, we would like to invite you to help us kick it off and spread the spirit of Elixir. What better time then the Holiday Season? Commit a random, or not so random, act of kindness for someone that is impacted by cancer or other chronic illness.
- Give them a gift card for dinner out, groceries, or gas.
- Help them around the house by cleaning up the yard, taking out the garbage, or walking the dog.
- If they have children, organize a play date or facilitate a family outing.
If you don’t know anyone with long-term care needs, then give back in your community, at your children’s school, or lend your talents in other ways.
Make it Social. We want to hear about how you celebrated and we want to start a ripple effect. Share a photo of your kindness on facebook, twitter, or instagram and include #elixirfund #teamKevin. If you are not on social media, send your photo to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post it on our page.
Wishing you & your family a wonderful holiday season filled with laughter & joy.