New Traditions…

Recently, Alford Group’s Midwest Division celebrated our annual holiday luncheon. The afternoon filled with laughter, stories, and memories of our beloved founder, Jimmie Alford. As we reminisced about favorite client moments of 2013, we also recalled the many times we had each thought, “What would Jimmie do?” That had brought us much comfort as we navigated the often challenging, yet gratifying, work with our clients.

After toasting fond memories of the year, traditionally, our annual holiday celebration is coupled with a “white elephant” gift exchange. For those not familiar with the term, the rules are:

“Each participant supplies one wrapped gift. The gifts are placed in a central location, and participants determine in what order they will take turns selecting them. The first person opens a wrapped gift and the turn ends. On subsequent turns, each person opens a new present and gets the choice to keep that present or to “steal” another person’s unwrapped gift. When a person’s gift is stolen, they swap gifts with the person who is stealing their gift. The game is over when the last person has taken their turn.” ( )

This year, instead of participating in a white elephant gift exchange, we decided to embark on a new holiday gifting tradition. One of our current clients gave us the idea and we think you will enjoy the concept as well:

We asked each member of our office team to write their favorite nonprofit organization on a slip of paper and drop it into a hat… with so many worthy organizations, this step was the most difficult! Then, we went around the table and each person drew an organization from the hat. After selecting a slip of paper, the name of the organization was read aloud and everyone had to try to guess whose charity it was. The guessing was a lot of fun and we learned which nonprofit had touched the heart of each of our team members and why… but that’s not the best part. The final rule of the game was that each person had to make a “donation of his/her choice” to the organization she or he had drawn from the hat. It was suggested the donation be made in honor of the person who nominated that organization, if possible.

At the conclusion of our holiday gathering, we all agreed this would be our new annual holiday tradition and it was one that Jimmie Alford would have enjoyed.

May your 2014 be filled with new adventures and great success!