Birthday Season

From just after Christmas until the end of March is “birthday season” in my family.  This is when seven of my family members each celebrate that they are another year older.  Seven!  If you have a big family this may not be too impressive, but in my family, it represents fully half of those people who I send gifts too.  Coming hard on the heels of Christmas/Hanukkah gift-giving, this can be a challenging time to be able to offer some small token to celebrate each person’s personal day.

As a preservationist, and a conscientious shopper, I love to shop locally for all these remembrances.  But sometimes local shopping is just not possible.  Like when the snow is just too much to get out of the house, or you or so busy that you can’t squeeze in a few minutes at the toy store (and really, who can spend just a few minutes in the toy store?).

We all have days like this.

To deal with trying to get a special gift when life is in “overwhelm” there are a number of options to consider.  The default is the “no gift” route.  While financially satisfying, this always leaves me feeling like I just copped-out.  There is also the “gift card” angle, easily done with a number of 24-hour stores now include huge racks filled with possibilities.

But “making do” when it comes to acknowledging the special people in my life just doesn’t seem right.  For these times, there are two options I turn too, and I’d like to share them with you.  If you are comfortable shopping online MHPN has a way that you can shop at many of your favorite stores, and still send a “donation” to us. And, it is easy!  All you have to do is visit, where you register your name and your charity (which would be the Michigan Historic Preservation Network) then shop away!  Once you’ve completed your transaction, a donation between ½-percent and 6-percent of the purchase price automatically comes to MHPN.  This amount isn’t added to the cost of your purchase, it is something done by the retailer! There are hundreds of merchants listed, many of whom offer further incentives, like free shipping or additional discounts, when you go through 

Or, if you really want to support MHPN and historic preservation in Michigan, you can always purchase a gift MHPN membership.  It works just like a regular membership – but you assign to benefits to your friend, family member, or business contact.  Then, the new member will get all the news from MHPN, they are included in the mailing list and newsletter distributions, and if they are able to join us for special events, can take advantage of any special pricing for memberships.  My mom loves this since it means every once in a while she gets to see my name in print.  If this idea is one you too would like to adopt, just visit the MHPN website and download our membership brochure.  Be sure to fill out the recipient’s name and address, and include your information too for payment.  We are currently working on adding the gift option to the website, so visit us often to see how we are doing.

So, when it is “birthday season” or any other gift giving occasion, consider an MHPN gift membership or shop online and benefit MHPN through!

Elaine Robinson
Immediate Past President and
Communications Committee Chair
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