Meaningful givingPublished on November 25, 2013

  • Mary Taggart

I am a gift giver! Everyone who knows me can attest to this and many have likely reaped the benefits of my generosity - sometimes awkwardly so - as I have been known to pick up a gift for someone just because . . . And, being a shopper as well, this gift-giving fancy strikes often!

Even my children have told me to tone down the giving this Christmas, so my goal this year is to find each of my family members one special present. It's a challenge, especially when work took me into major malls and local boutiques ó all in the name of research ó for our holiday shopping issue.

With this issue, we seek to inspire the spirit of generosity with ideas for everyone on your list. Our food section looks at gifts for the cook, the beauty scene takes things more personally, and I tackle ideas for various family members. 

I have always felt that gift-giving is fun and it can sometimes be frivolous, but recently I was struck by a deeper meaning to the term of gift. Our publisher Michael Curran and his wife Catrina lost their eldest child to tragedy this past summer. Emerson Curran was a 20-year-old philosophy student at the University of Ottawa when he passed away. His thoughtful approach to life led him to express his desire to his mother for his organs to be donated. During their pain, Catrina and Michael shared the gift of their son's organs with others, telling their story to Catherine Clark in her Giving Back feature.

Again this year, Ottawa at Home is proud to be the magazine sponsor for the Homes for the Holidays tour, in support of Hospice Care Ottawa. A short while ago, a close friend of mine found herself in hospice care and I was able to see first-hand the incredible gift of bringing peace into a person's final days. It teaches us a valuable life lesson on what a gift really means. We salute the families for opening their homes to a parade of visitors drinking in the festive décor and the decorators who share their talents. You can read more about them in our Homes for the Holidays section. 

May you all find time this season to pick up a meaningful gift or two for someone special, because I know it brings such joy to see the glint in the eye of a person who has received a gift that was meant just for them. We hope you'll find inspiration on our pages to make your holiday shopping a little less stressful. And may you also be enlightened by the various aspects of generosity and gift-giving, so that the true spirit of the season doesn't get lost amidst the festive frivolity.

In the spirit of giving, 


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