Sunday, November 8, 2009

Holiday Giving

I've officially begun allowing myself to look at the Christmas loveliness in stores.  Before now, I would have to walk by that section in Target, physically averting my eyes, since I just wasn't ready to handle the onset of the season (Christmas is my fave! The lights, the glitter, the gift giving -- sigh...).  I've even started my gift shopping - a full two months ahead of schedule! (I know, you're jealous)  We decided to that this year, since December is always such an expensive month - and this way we can spread out the spending - not to mention the stress! 

But really it's not stressful - I LOVE giving gifts.  It's one of my favorite things - to put thought into what someone might like, package it in a pretty way, and experience their happiness with them.  I promise it's not a narcissistic thing, and I'm sure not all of my gifts have been knock-outs.  Honestly, I really do love it, and if we had that money tree, I could totally go all-out on giving, all year 'round! 

And of course, the holiday season always brings the wants and needs of others into closer focus.  People are in need all times of the year, but it's such a natural fit with the giving-ness of the holidays and giving to those in need. 

One of my favorite holiday-timed charity initiatives is Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child.  This is something my mom had my sisters and I participate in when we were younger, and Tony and I did it last year.  It's a religious organization that helps children in poor countries. 

Basically you fill a shoe box with goodies for a child - you choose Boy or Girl, and the age range that you will buy for.  You can give toys, school supplies, basic hygene necessities, etc.  Most areas will have a church that's a collection center where you can drop off your box, and they send it across the world to a needy child.  I just read that if you make your $7 donation online, you can track your box and see where in the world it is going. 

When I would fill boxes as I was growing up, I would always choose a Girl box and choose the age range closest to my own age.  I would put great thought into what I liked and what I thought a girl my age would enjoy.  Last year I choose the youngest age segment, and had fun wandering the toy aisles that are otherwise totally foreign to me.

It's easy and so very fun, and you don't have to spend a ton of money to make one kid happy.  It's sad that things like basic pen and paper, toothpaste, and candy are things that these kids don't see very often.  The boxes take a while to be organized and shipped, so next week is actually the collection week - the boxes must be turned in to your closest location by then.  I'm getting my stuff this week, I will try to remember to share here what I got!

For me, it's a great way to begin the holiday season.

One of the places I feel I'm seriously lacking in right now is charity - I'm currently not involved in anything, and this is something I hope to change soon.  I might not have a lot of money to give, but I do have time and skills, and I know I wasn't given all of these things to be selfish with them... And while helping children in underdeveloped countries is a great thing, there is also much want right here in our own states and towns. 

Any holiday charities that hold a special place in your heart?

1 comment:

  1. What you are doing is amazing. You have always been such a giving person, and your generosity and creativity never go unnoticed. I like Operation NOEL myself at Chrsitmas time. It is a chance to give that one special gift to a child in need. It is so true that it is better to give then to receive, isn't it?!?!


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