I'm giving them away. Every year I try to make a big charitable donation without spending a bunch of money out of pocket.
Last year we gave the Boys & Girls center our 27" TV (we bought a flat screen). We also gave a somewhat old but fun 'Plug & Play' vintage video game package (pacman, starwars, etc.) along with lots of VHS movies and sturdy board games (like Twister and Toss Across) by collecting what we had outgrown. Is this cheap? They were appreciative and I felt good about helping them get them through another year.
Another year I picked out 2 wish tree kids at the very caring children's services home and filled boxes for a girl who wanted a scrap book set and another who wanted a jewelry making set. My kids and I had plenty of supplies to donate from our own drawers.
And there are many many little donations around this time; school collections for the foodbank, supplies we can get together for the humane society, I even (very occasionally) put change in the red Salvation Army buckets. Do you?
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You know the people who say the holidays are stressful? That's me. If the schedule gets one thing over the top, I start feeling pressured to get it all done and the joy gets lost.
So far I've just barely kept it under control! This past weekend was a marathon of art gallery volunteering, ice skate rehearsals, gift shopping (for only my husband and kids), photo exhibit entries, and LAST BUT MOST IMPORTANT, a small family dinner and celebration Sunday night.
Oh, and my husband and son took out and replaced 2 second story windows in our house. (You wouldn't believe how much we saved by doing it himself).
Whew. Thank goodness no one fell off the roof, there was no car trouble, and no one got sick! (Did I mention those zinc tablets SAVED me on Sunday?! Felt a cold coming on but it is gone today!)
Well back to what the title indicates, this year the donations involve legos and gingerbread houses. I got SMART and combined fun and charitable giving. Reduces the 'To Do' schedule, thus saving my sanity, while also doing what is right for the world.
We are returning to fill more wish tree requests for the shelter kids. Here goes two big BIG tins / boxes of Legos and another big box of scrap book supplies. Several friends and neighbors are joining with me this year.
And my most brilliant flash? We have good next door neighbors who we rely on and who rely on us throughout the year for the usual neighborly things. Their 9 year old and my 10 year old daughter are best friends. In fact, the grandma lives next door to them (2 doors up from us). So I decided to have a little party for the girls to make gingerbread houses (those kits are EASY and fun), and of course have the moms, grandmas, dad and brothers. It will be tonight with Monday Night Football and nachos for the boys, hot chocolate for the girls. A small but happy gathering.
And guess what? I was asked to make a donation to this weekend's figure skating ice show for a bake sale table. VOILA, we will donate the houses. My kids already agree to this, the fun is in the crafting and sneaking a taste of the candy decorations.
Merry to you | A wish for a smooth sailing schedule