There are some people I know who are choosing to avoid the stores this holiday season and, instead, have a "homemade" holiday. As in, they're making all their gifts. I had actually considered this idea a few weeks ago. Then I remembered 2 very important things. Number 1: I hate to knit. I HATE it! I taught myself a few years ago and I discovered it was an activity that I could actually fall asleep while sitting up. It just plain bores me to tears. I wish it didn't, but I'm being honest. Number 2: I can't sew. I've tried. I've practiced. I've persevered. And I broke my sewing machine. Sewing and Cathy do not mix. At all. So if you hate knitting and you can't sew, what does that leave you with? A hot glue gun and ..... ? You see my dilemma. If we were living on the prairie 150 years ago, my family would all be dead.

However, it is incredibly delightful to witness the creativity and passion of those women more able than myself. Deirdre and Carrie, to name a few. Feel free to follow along as they count the days until Christmas and see what they come up with.

As for myself, we will be buying items for our kids and each other. But that's not to say we all need to go overboard in the consumerism department. Everything in moderation, correct? First and foremost, how do you plan to give to those less fortunate this holiday season? Do you have a favorite charity? A family you know that's suffered a job loss and is not expecting to have a Christmas this year? Do you give to the same place or try to find a new organization to support each year?

If you're still looking for that one place to donate to, may I make a few suggestions?

Water For Christmas. Your money goes to help give clean water to people who are without. $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years. When was the last time you blew $20 on something? How insanely blessed we are in this country to have so much and take something like water for granted. Go to Tesi's blog to read how her son shared with her that fetching clean water was part of his job--at age 3.

Ethiopia Reads. Pretty basic stuff here. Donate books to Ethiopian children. Get them reading. Give them a chance. Had Zinabu not been adopted by anyone (that just gives me chills and I need to excuse myself for a moment to get some Kleenex) I would want him to have books. Books and books and books.

Pamba Toto Jewelry. My friend Colleen is in charge of this organization, and it is amazing. If you have a problem with faith-based charities, I implore you to give this one a chance. Rescuing orphaned children from the slums of Kenya's Mathare Valley, she and her team arranged 2 group homes for the kids to live in and receive an education, health care, food, and a family structure. The beads they buy for their jewelry is 100% fair trade, and they make sure they support local craftsmen/women. It's beautiful jewelry going to a wonderful cause.

Mosquito Nets. Something else we take for granted. Screens on our windows. Bug spray. And living in a non-malaria infested country. This here's an easy one. A no-brainer. Go for it.

Thanks for listening.


Old Men Reflect said...

May I make a few other suggestions:

!) A new wife for me. The current one has heard all of my BS and does not find me amusing or attractive after 36 years of marriage. She and my ex-wife are good friends; and, giggle when I enter a room and they are talking.

2) Any food bank.
3) Any scholarship fund for the local juco.
4) When you go to the food bank add toothpaste and soap in your contribution.
5) Contribute to the society trying to prevent Sarah Palin from appearing in public ever again.
"Keep Rags from Riches"
6) Remember your Mother every day of your life. Then send her a note every once in awhile to let her know how much you appreciate her. (Most parents will remember the letter longer than any gift that be given.)

hotflawedmama said...

Thanks, Cathy. All good one, absolutely!

jayme said...

You and I seem to have the same experience with sewing. I have broken my sewing machine several times while trying to sew a simple, straight line. This year I made storytelling dice (one of these days I'll write a post about them) and I've got a felt castle in the works...

As for charitable donations, I totally vote for #5 above.

Vivi said...

We're going way cheap this year...which forces some creativity, even if it's the form of shopping for us non-sewin' gals.

Our whole gang is heading to Feed My Starving Children over the holidays to pack food boxes.

Also, a new fave is Samaritan's Purse (which does the Operation Chirstmas Child boxes) has a catalog out now - sure it's online too - where you can buy things, like mosquito netting, a cow etc. - that go directly to those in need. I love it. You get to choose what your $ is being used for and do in in honor/memory of someone. Pretty cool.