Sunday, December 2, 2012

Spirit of the Season

It seems these days I am running into a lot of people who feel that the winter holidays have become far too commercial and that people have forgotten what the true meaning of the holidays are about.

As I was contemplating this idea, I see where one of my Facebook friends has liked a page that says something about sending subscribers ideas for 25 days to instill the idea that the greatest blessing is giving rather than receiving.  Yes!  Sounds like an avenue to explore. I zing over to the page and while the page has a very Christian slant to it, it isn't something a creative witching can't work her way around.  I follow the link back to the website and .... *boom* can't access the website without giving them your email.  

Disappointment.  And then I see under the banner that I have to defeat .. "Order < insert name of product here > for your family today for $29.95!

Oh.... here I thought this was an idea to help combat the commercialization of the season... This website, which is about helping to restore family tradition and discovering the true meaning of the season and they want $29.95 for it.

So, instead I offer you my humble ideas for things to do with you family, to take the focus off of "what am I getting" and bring it back to "what can I give?"

1.  Visit a nursing home.  Check with your local nursing home and see what the restrictions are first, but bringing cookies (if allowed) and signing carols is a nice way to bring some holiday cheer to people who sometimes don't have a lot to be cheerful about this time of year.  

2.  Adopt a family.  Local churches or other charities are overrun this time of year with requests for assistance.  Get your children involved by picking children that are similar in age and interests to them. 

3.  Holiday baking for those people that serve you every day.  I had so much fun as a child delivering plates of goodies to my neighbors for my older sister.  Even the ones I didn't know.   Why not leave a little package of goodies for those people who do what are often thankless jobs?  You mailman, you local fire station, police department, just for a few ideas.  

4.  Toy drives.  I'm talking about more than just buying a few toys and putting them in the local collection box.  Get involved!  This year, I've been helping to work on our communities toy shop.  The amount of man power needed to get a project like this off the ground is astounding. Interviewing families, decorating the warehouse, collecting toys, and that is all prior to the day we open!  For the times we are open we need gift wrappers, people to work the children's craft area, assist the adult shoppers, handle parking and security, registration... it takes the whole community to help!

5.  Be a secret Santa.  Is there someone that you know that you think needs a little holiday cheer?  Leave a gift for them, anonymously.  It doesn't have to be anything big, it could be something as small as shoveling their walk for them.

6.  Recycle Holiday Cards.  St. Jude's Ranch for Children accepts recycled cards of all types.  Here are the requirements from their website (

  • All types of greeting cards, including Christmas are accepted.
  • Only the card front can be used (please check to be sure the backside of the front of the card is clear of any writing, etc.)
  • We can not accept Hallmark, Disney or American Greeting cards
  • 5″ x 7″ size or smaller is preferred
  • To mail large quantities in the least expensive way, use the United States Post Office in a Flat Rate Box (available at the Post Office), which holds up to 70 pounds
  • Mail donations to :
    St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
    Recycled Card Program
    100 St. Jude’s Street
    Boulder City, NV 89005
These are just my ideas, please add your own in comments! I'm curious to see what other people do.  

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