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Dear Santa

Posted by doodle bug , 27 November 2011 · 1989 views

I love Chirstmas time. I love everything about it. I know there are a lot of people out there who bah humbug the whole thing, but I don't get caught up in the whole commercial aspect of it....infact I find it pretty easy to access my tunnel vision and not let that stuff get to me at all. My shopping list is short and my wish list even shorter.


What do I like about Christmas, then, you ask? I like to decorate (the house, the tree) I like to bake (cookies, truffels, gingerbread) and I love to listen to Christmas Carols(from all centuries). I love to drink lots and lots of wine, and I love to spike my morning coffee with a little liqueur and top it with whipped cream! I love going to Christmas performances (Ballets, Choirs) and I love finding snow and spending some time playing in it! (a challenge in Vancouver some years)


I suppose I could be called a hypocrite, since Christmas is really a religious celebration, and I don't even know that I believe in God. I believe in a higher power, yes. I believe in something more than just this physical world that we know- yes. But do I believe that Jesus was born in a manger on Dec 25 and that he was the son of God? I don't know.....

What I do know, is that Christmas has a way of making me slow down and think about others. Something I wish I could say I do on a daily basis. As the season approaches I think about the elderly and many others who are alone in the world....those who are impoverished- locally and overseas.....those who are ill.....those who are struggling. My heart aches for them and for many others who find this time of year difficult, for whatever reason.

One thing my husband and I started doing several years ago is shopping for needy kids. We go together to the mall early on a Saturday morning in December, and have THE BEST time. Why does it feel so good to buy a truck or some PlayDoh or a doll for a child you'll never meet? I dunno. But the feeling you get when you spend just $50 on your spouse and all the rest$$$ on toys for little kids who will open them on Christmas morning is undescribable.

We have a few charities that we donate cash to as well, but by far, shopping for toys is the thing we love doing the most.

I'm always looking for new ways to give at Christmas time, for it seems I rarely rememeber the other 11 months of the year. My plan to do a weekly drop in the food bank bin at the grocery store never seems to materialize... and I can remember that last time I doled out food at a soup kitchen --and it was back in the late 90's!!!

My hope for this blog entry is for people to post their favorite charity website, donation link, volunteer idea, or the like.
This way it'll give some ideas to others like me who want to do something, but just don't know what to do.... Some of us have time, some of us have money. Lets get an awesome list of IDEAS and CHARITIES going in the spirit of Christmas.

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PS. This was my first Blog entry ever... hope I didnt make too many of you throw up in your mouths.Posted Image
Doodle Bug




It's pretty well known, but the Greater Good website is an easy way to donate - click the links daily and food, or books, or mammograms etc get funded without costing you a cent.- shop and fund even more. Plus you can purchase gifts that keep giving like surgery to correct club foot, or wells for clean water, kits for clean childbirth, vaccinations, etc.
http://greatergoodnetwork.com/

Other faves at our house are heifer international (www.heifer.org ), smile train (www.smiletrain.org ) and. always our local soup kitchen/shelter.
Doodle, I will have to think about possible charities etc. but I think that this is a fabulous idea! Great blog entry and, no, you didn't make me throw up at ALL! :) Thanks for sharing your ideas!
I like Kiva as my initial investment generally gets returned to me and I can relend. In less than three years, my $150 has helped 32 people start up their own businesses, send their children to school or buy new stock to sell.

My parents always give us an animal each Christmas from www.worldvision.ca

When I lived in Canada, we used to sponsor a family at the Women's shelter. The shelter would give us the age, size and wish list of the family and we would shop for them...always went over budget on that.
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silverdollar
Nov 27 2011 10:22 AM
Great Blog Doodle! I think Christmas is what you make of it whether you celebrate it in a religious way or in other ways.

You don't have to look very far from home to find children and parents in need. BC has one of the highest child poverty rates in Canada, and poverty is directly tied to a child's health and development. I see this every day with the children and families I work with who rely on local charity organizations to meet their basic needs. Donating to food security organizations locally goes a long way. Many put together Christmas hampers at this time of year. Cash or items such as infant formula, diapers, and easy to prepare, nutritious food are always in high demand. Women's shelters and pregnancy crisis centres are also appreciative of donations of clothing and basic housewares. Toy drives tend to get lots of items for young children but less for older school age or teens. The other thing to keep in mind is donating again once the Christmas supply runs low later in January or February.
If you're thinking of donating formula to local centers, check their policies first - I know that our local center is unable to accept actual formula of any sort.
I love xmas too, it's origins are non religious they are pagan, it was actually saturnalia and they had some barbaric rituals and then christmas kind of joined with it..but that's a entirely different post. You def don't need religion to celebrate xmas :) I have hard time with the gift stuff...I admit I get sucked into the commercial aspect, I love wrapping presents and seeing the tree full underneath....sitting on my couch with a cup of coffee in jammies while the kids open stuff is something I cherish. I love the baking, xmas cards(although this year I'm being scrooge and not sending cards this year) I love my Martina McBride xmas carol cd....but I have to admit by boxing day I am happy to take the tree down and be rid of the decorations. We do charity stuff through the school. This year me and dh are doing stockings only for each other (stockings are my fave part of xmas morning) we have decided not to buy gifts for each other, for my inlaws and parents, we've set a $20 limit per couple for gifts, everyone was super happy about this. One day when my boys are much older I want to do a country xmas at camp.....I think it would be fun....but not till the kids are much much older maybe 10 or so. Some of my happies memories of xmas are when my parents took us places, one year we went to florida to visit my grandparents, it didn't matter what the presents were but being with them was something I'll never forget, or travelling back to southern ON to spend xmas with aunts and uncles.....48hrs travelling in a toyota tercel with me and my sister squashed in the back seat....fond memories...those were xmas's we didn't get much...but they are my best memories....being with my family! ok sorry for the long post.
Three years ago we were in Ethiopia at Christmas time to bring home our son. The poverty we saw there was truly humbling and it forever changed the way we look at Christmas. Now we buy only very small items for the adults (stocking stuffers) and buy fewer toys for the kids. What we used to spend on gifts we donate to charity, and ask the other adults to do the same. We have a couple of charities that work in Ethiopia that we support, as there is no social safety net there--no free education, no universal health care, no welfare/child benefit, and so many children and people with babies living on the street and begging for food from passing cars. Ethiopia is such a beautiful country and the people there are so kind and hospitable, we want to do what we can to help.
Hubby and I realized that we have everything we could ever need here, and spending time as a family, and with extended family, is the best gift ever.
We also buy school supplies (in the fall) and toys for disadvantaged children in our community so they can have some joy in their lives too.
Lesley B.
I think the important thing to remember is that everyone donates/volunteers at Christmas, but the need doesn't stop after one week. If you forget to make that donation to the food bank or women's shelter in December, then go do it in January or February.

Great blog!
Thanks to all of you for your comments, suggestions, memories and charity links. It's true, the need is constant and not just at Christmas..if only we could remember those in need all year, and make them a priority. This is something that was never instilled upon me as a child, but will be an important part of raising my girls.
PS. Jaan, I would love to hear more about Christmas and how it began as a pagan celebration...

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