Resolutions for the Holiday Season

15 December 2015 Written by  

As we look forward to this holiday season, we hope you will take a few moments to consider these ideas for enhancing the celebrations of the season.

Give time to a worthy cause.

Volunteer investments for the benefit of others builds community and creates a great example for our children. Whether we choose to swing a hammer, sing in a chorus, read to a toddler, mentor a youth, or visit a lonely elder, our time is a priceless gift that appreciates in value.

Express gratitude to caregivers.

Resolve to compliment the good works of caregivers for our children and frail elders. Those caring individuals – who clean the bottoms of babies and the bed-ridden, and help nurture and stimulate their minds – deserve the kindnesses of family members and neighbors.

holiday meme caregivers

Honor elected officials for their courage.

Who among us is brave enough to run for public office? For those who are, we have twin obligations – compliment their service, but hold them accountable for their actions (or lack of action). Silence is the antithesis of effectiveness in a democracy.

Share our bounty with those who have less.

Consider the gift of one week's grocery bill donated to the food bank, domestic violence or homeless shelter, emergency relief agency, or the United Way as a token of appreciation for what we have, and what others do for the less fortunate.

holiday meme share

Conserve energy resources by consuming less fuel, reusing, and recycling.

Native American culture considered our planet as a parent, worthy of respect and protection. Preserving our environment is self-preservation, as well as a life-saving gift to wildlife, plants, and our children's children.

Slow down.

Whether behind the wheel or in conversation with others, speed is not a good thing. Being in a perpetual hurry endangers our lives on the road, and cuts short our relationships with others. Give yourself a few extra minutes in transit to be a safe driver – and listen a bit longer to the words in conversation with loved ones and co-workers. Actively listen and believe that positive attention is a gift worth giving.

holiday meme slow down

Put technology in its place.

We live in a high-tech, low-touch culture, governed by the beeps, buzzes, and blinking lights of technology.  As time is compressed, stress grows.  Immediate response raises expectations, reduces careful consideration, and makes us more prone to error. Take a breather from all the numbing numbers, and ask others to be considerate in public and private spaces by turning the “on” switch “off”. Our children need to know that our eye contact and voices are focused on their needs, too. The cell phone and email should not keep our loved ones on hold.

Advocate with assertion, not aggression.

Free speech is not an invitation to be offensive. Responsible advocacy requires thoughtful purpose, practical solutions, and open conversation. Advocacy is the heartfelt expression of a wrong to be righted, with composure and grace. Clear and consistent communication with allies and adversaries alike sets the stage for progress, an advocate's power is in persuasive and persistent articulation, and the recruitment of others to the cause.

Health is a form of wealth.

Making sure we eat right, exercise, and take time to rest and relax are the keys to clear thinking and effectiveness.  Our bodies cannot support us unless our minds resolve to take care and be careful.  Being healthy examples to our children in nutrition and behavior sends positive signals for their attitude and future actions.

holiday meme mind your health

Take optimism pills every morning – the time released kind.

Negativity is contagious. Those who believe they will make a difference can achieve their goals. Pessimism is the mind's way of giving up before the first step is taken. Those who want to make change for the better – in their lives, neighborhood, and the world around them – should stop whining and start winning.

The power of one 

multiplied and magnified 

is the best formula for success.

Best wishes for the New Year from Voices for Utah Children!

For 30 years now, Voices for Utah Children has called on our state, federal and local leaders to put children’s needs first. But the work is not done. The children of 30 years ago now have children of their own. Too many of these children are growing up in poverty, without access to healthcare or quality educational opportunities.

How can you be involved?

Make a tax-deductible donation to Voices for Utah Children—or join our Network with a monthly donation of $20 or more.  Network membership includes complimentary admission to Network events with food, socializing, and opportunity to meet child advocacy experts. And don't forget to join our listserv to stay informed!

We look forward to the future of Voices for Utah Children and we hope you will be a part of our next 30 years.

Special thanks to American Express for sponsoring our 30th Anniversary Year. Amex

Terry Haven 300Terry Haven, Deputy Director, joined the organization in 1996. She researches and publishes the annual Utah KIDS COUNT data book that reports on the well-being of Utah's children by county. She analyzes U.S Census data and provides data support for all Voices issue areas. She also conducts trainings and provides technical assistance on data work for community groups. Terry is the point person at Voices for our work on Intergenerational Poverty and two-generation strategies for moving children and their families out of poverty. This includes working with the Intergenerational Poverty Commission Research Subcommittee and focusing on chronic absence.Terry works with a number of national partners including the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Ascend Fund at the Aspen Institute, and Attendance Works to help further the mission of Voices for Utah Children. Her academic background is in sociology, with a Bachelors degree and Masters degree from the University of Wyoming.