Her Bad Mother

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What Would Linus Do?

Emilia is three, and although this is her third Christmas, it is the first that she fully appreciates in all of its indulgent, commercial glory. Last year, when she had just turned two, it was a delightful but slightly baffling exercise in hooting at lights and puzzling over gifts (why there toy here Mama WHY?) and recoiling in terror from shopping mall Santas. This year - with the influence of Christmas-frenzied preschool cronies and her greater awareness of the holiday-saturated culture in general - she knows exactly what is going on, and it is all visions of sugar plums and fat men bearing gifts and candy canes and gingerbread and Dora Magic House dollhouses and remote-controlled race cars and can I have that Mommy will Santa bring me that Mommy can I have it Mommy CAN I???

She has embraced the holidays with all the desperate enthusiasm of an alcoholic at a whiskey fire sale, and although it is adorable, it also a little bit disconcerting.

We've been careful to not hype the holidays as a festival of presents and candy (we've been burned by celebratory excesses in candy before, and are concerned to not make the same mistakes twice). We limit her exposure to any medium that broadcasts holiday-fetishizing advertisements (TV commercials? Easy to eliminate. Shop windows and newspaper circulars? Not so easy.) We have made efforts to explain to her what Christmas really is supposed to be about - star in the east, baby in swaddling clothes, three wise men bearing gifts (what were the presents they were bringing Mommy what were they were they toys???), etc, etc - and talk about the importance of giving and of being grateful and of celebrating family and friends and everything that we are so fortunate to already have. But still, after all of this, she remains intoxicated by Christmas™, the Christmas that decks the halls with boughs of holly and Spongebob Squarepants Advent Calendars (a different crustacean for every day of the season!) and that celebrates, above everything else, the getting of stuff.

I have no principled objection to the Santa side of the holidays. I personally am a very great fan of presents. And I have the fondest memories of childhood Christmases spent huddled on the stairs, spying on the Christmas tree, waiting for Santa to appear and deposit bundles of Barbie and Lego and Eazy Bake Ovens beneath its branches. I don't want to deprive my children of those childish pleasures, nor do I want to teach them that wanting (desiring, coveting) is in itself bad. It is, after all, okay to want things. But I do want them to learn that wanting things for oneself must tempered by - and is most pleasurable in concert with - wanting things for others, and that Christmas is only incidentally about receiving material gifts. I want them to take to heart - when they're old enough to understand - the spirit (if not the letter) of the Christmas story with its tidings of great joy and message of hope and peace and good will. I want them to understand the lesson learned by Charlie Brown, that shiny pink Christmas trees with mounds of presents are kinda cool, but are really beside the point, and that the best feeling that one can have during the holidays is that heart-ful, love-smothered feeling that one gets when one embraces the spirit of good will and hope and love.

But in order for them to understand those things, I need to make sure that their parents are - that I am - demonstrating them. And as I stroll down the main street of our town, coveting shiny things in shop windows, or wander the virtual byways of the Internet, admiring giveaways and crossing fingers that maybe I'll win that laptop or that iPhone or that tin of pistachios, or prepare to post such giveaways myself, it has occurred to me that I sometimes get a little bit caught up in the holiday frenzy of want want want and that maybe I should do something that is more in the spirit of walking my talk.

So I asked myself: faced with an overabundance of gifts and giveaways and assorted virtual whatnots, WHAT WOULD LINUS DO? Besides read excerpts from the Gospel of Luke, that is, which, face it, is lovely but not all that interesting once you've heard it six bajillion times.

And I came up with this: I'm going to (with the permission of those who send stuff) give away a portion of everything that I receive for online giveaways, by which I mean, I'm going to give it to someone who needs it more than the Internets. Specifically, I'm going to take multiples of toy-type stuff to a toy drive, and with those giveaway or review materials that are not toy drive appropriate, I am going to purchase toys in lieu of those products and Emilia and I will take them, together, to the toy drive so that they can be passed on to other, needier children and families. So that she can see how wonderful it is to give.

And because it is also wonderful to receive, I'm giving away this, to you: an iPod shuffle (green). Just leave a comment below, between now and midnight December 17th. But there's a What Would Linus Do catch: in your comment, mention a charity or cause that you support, and (because I'm giving the iPod to the Internets, rather than to a charity drive) I'll make a donation to that charity - a tithe of my ad revenue this month - on behalf of the winning person.

(If you have a blog, and are running giveaways, I invite you to do something similar - set aside one of those giveaways to give to a local family that might appreciate the boost in these difficult times, or take it to a toy drive, or invite your readers to comment to win a donation to a charity of their choice. If you do this, let me know, and I'll compile the links.)

Linus would approve.



(Oh, hey - you can has buttonz! Feel free to lift the code here and post it to spread the word...



Just copy and paste this code to embed:



Thanks to the ever-awesome Motherbumper for pulling a Linus and making these sweet buttons to share.
)

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259 Comments:

1 – 200 of 259 Newer› Newest»
Blogger Noelle said...

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

12:37 PM  
Blogger T. said...

I am going to wrap Christmas presents next Wednesday at our local Santa's Anonymous.

My son put it best the other day:
Mom, the most IMPORTANT thing of Christmas is Baby Jesus. But, the most EXCITING thing of Christmas is the presents.

5-year old wisdom.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Beth said...

ForSight Vision
1380 Spahn Ave.
York PA 17404
717-848-1690
http://www.forsight.org/

12:47 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

The afterschool program at the Moab Valley Multicultural Center. The program provides an afterschool snack and tutoring to children from *very* low income families. children who don't have coats, in a Utah winter, and who refer to the afterschool snack as dinner.

12:47 PM  
Blogger mommamia said...

Family and Children Services in San Antonio.

We as a family are going tonight to wrap presents for them.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Madame Queen said...

What a great idea. We gave a toy to a toy drive at Bubba's school this year. Unfortunately we're not able to do as much for others as we have in in years past because our own financial situation is not what it was, but I wanted to start teaching him the importance of giving to those less fortunate -- because let's face it, no matter what our situation, we are FORTUNATE. We are blessed.

This year I'm donating monetarily to the USO. And I'm looking into volunteering for them. Those men and women are so far from home and loved ones. I want to be able to help as much as I can.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Vanessa said...

Canadian Cancer Society.
http://www.cancer.ca/Canada-wide.aspx?sc_lang=en
1-888-939-3333

I lost my friend to lung cancer this summer. He would have turned 20 this December, so that's definitely where my heart is this Christmas. Making cancer history is my Christmas wish, so no one else will have to lose a loved one to this awful disease.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Tricia said...

National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (or similar MS charity in Canada). Since my husband has MS this one is dear to my heart.

12:54 PM  
Blogger lisafer said...

Ronald McDonald House - we're giving our Christmas away to them this year.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

"Lights please"

International Justice Mission
http://www.ijm.org/
International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.

(What a lovely idea, thanks for involving us!)

12:55 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

I give all my out-grown children's clothes, paraphernalia and toys (that are in good repair) to the local battered women's shelter. Because the location is secured, I arrange to meet with some shelter workers at a nearby place and drop off boxloads of items twice a year (Nov/Dec and May/June). Crabtree Corner -- Downtown Eastside, Vancouver, BC.

12:56 PM  
Blogger ScientistMother said...

Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST, www.scwist.ca). I was a member of the board and now assist with volunteering. We do a ton of stuff from advocating for professional women and policy stuff, to mentoring young girls through outreach programs.

Excellent idea!

12:57 PM  
Blogger Issas Crazy World said...

I go back and forth with this myself. I remember wanting everything in the world and my kids are no different. The gimmes are big right now. But I do want them to know Christmas is more than Santa and presents. Morgan is starting to get it. But seven is different than three or four, where the I wants are in full force. Time and consistently showing them that there is more in life than getting stuff is all you can do. E will get it, sooner than you might think.

We are donating to a few kids off of a giving tree at our local fire station. In the past, we've donated time to make meals for people, but with a baby, I just can't do it this year. My charity of choice right now is Project Angel Heart in Denver. They donate meals, clothes and supplements to people who are dying of AIDS and Cancer. Every day, they have people donate their time to cook and others deliver meals to peoples homes. The people who run it are amazing.

Also, as an aside, I was in Urban Outfitters last weekend and saw a Linus Blankie. I almost bought it, it was so dang cute.

12:58 PM  
Blogger derfina said...

Beautiful challenge!

12:58 PM  
Blogger Jeni said...

We support Compassion International. Our little dude is named Brayan, and he lives in the Dominican Republic. One look at his photo, into his dark brown eyes, and I was lost.

1:00 PM  
Blogger ballerinatoes said...

This is absolutely lovely.

My charity of choice is:

Infant Crisis Services, Oklahoma City, OK
http://www.infantcrisis.org/

1:02 PM  
Blogger HollowSquirrel said...

I love giving my gently used baby items to charity-- some things weren't even used. And leftover, unused diapers? Already on their way to the homeless shelter near us (they have three infants currently living there).

I'd love for you to donate to Feeding America.

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Märia said...

Just 2 cents. When we were kids my mom said Santa brought ONE gift because if we got more than one then there wouldn't be enough room on the sled for everyone else and some other kid wouldn't get a present. So we had to think really hard about the 1 gift we got from him.

We got other gifts from my parents but it was my mom's way of making sure we didn't get (too) greedy.

I work as a nurse in a Pediatric Ward at a hospital. So every year I bring toys for the kids (actually through out the year, but especially during December). Pediatric Wards always need donations, believe me.

I'm good on the iPod, BTW, on off chance you pick me. I don't really need one. Thanks!

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services (LARS) in Laurel, MD http://www.laureladvocacy.org/. They help local homeless people and those about to become homeless. Great idea!
SEL

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth Joy said...

Ooh, what a wonderful and generous idea!

I'm an author, and--as a juvenile diabetic--I give 15% of the proceeds from my novel to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF.) Type 1 diabetes affects hundreds of thousands of kids and adults throughout the world, and is an incredibly scary disease, with a ton of potential complications for children and parents to deal with. Most research goes to the other type of diabetes, type 2, since it's become more prevalent. (This is the type associated with obesity or age.) Because of this, there's been a lot of money diverted away from funding for type 1 research, and even if I never see a cure in my lifetime, I want to do what I can in ensuring there will someday be one.

Okay, getting off my soapbox. :P Thanks for doing this!

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Elaine said...

Spina Bifida Association. In honor of my cousin Jorday, who died in May at the age of 20 from complications associated with the disease.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

My husband's company participates in the United Way's Combined Charitable Campaign, so every year we get to pick from a long list of charities who will receive a tiny chunk of our paycheck each week. We change it up sometimes, but we always donate to Planned Parenthood and the Humane Society. We are all about birth control, for humans and pets alike!

Oh, and I am trying to introduce my 3 year old to the concept of giving away old toys when she gets new ones for Christmas. My Mom did it with me and I think it impressed upon me the need to share and simplify.

1:17 PM  
Blogger MandaK said...

We do this at home as well, teach the 3 year old the joys of giving. My orgnaization is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - and I will share a tidbit. We do a number of fundraisers each year in day cares and schools with toys as incentives. We always have left overs, and each year we take all of the left over prizes and donate them to toys for tots. I think it's a wonderful thing - a charity giving to a charity...

Thanks for what you're doing.

1:23 PM  
OpenID wherewiller said...

This is great.

(I'm still a greedy bastard of course, particularly as I'd love to win this to give to my hubby for his December 29 birthday)

Anyway, I just had my first experience at Sick Kids. And I think, for now, that's where I want any donations we can make as a family to go.

Also, through my work, I have learned a lot about Violence Against Women services, and I need to figure out how to get our old or unopened/new toys to kids who can really use them...

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Melamalie said...

What a beautiful post!

Every year, I give a donation of household items to the Redwood Women's Shelter in Toronto. If I won the iPod, I'd include it in the package for the shelter, because I already have one for me. :)

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Melamalie said...

(I just realized I didn't include contact info in my last post, because I couldn't remember my Blogger password... so here's my URL-linked comment!)

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Hawkeyegirl said...

www.snapus.org

The Spay and Neuter Assistance Program.

I am a big supporter of animal charities, simply because I think they get forgotten too often. The ridiculous number of unloved and unwanted pets in this world sickens me, as they live, suffer and die purely due to human whim. This program aims to help stop the influx of homeless animals.

hawkeyegirl@gmail.com

1:37 PM  
Blogger Procrastamom said...

Our family has decided to support Heifer International this year, by purchasing a goat for a family in a third world country. We let our kids (teens & tweens) pick the charity and that's what they selected. We are also purchasing a few mosquito nets for people in these countries too.

On the off chance that I win the shuffle, please give it to a toy drive for kids/teens. We already have everything we could ever want.

(This is a FANTASTIC idea Catherine!)

1:38 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Heifer International. Best part: picking out what you want to give on their website offers the thrill of shopping, but the benefit of charity! www.heifer.org (and if I win the shuffle, I will in turn donate it to someone/and organization needier than I, as I know I'm getting one for x-mas.)

1:38 PM  
Blogger JenR said...

Joy house in Milwaukee (http://www.milmission.org/mx/hm.asp?id=joyhouse). Takes care of homeless women and children.

1:39 PM  
Blogger bradensmom said...

Peace at Home Family Shelter (advocates for women and children who are involved in domestic violence situations)
P.O. Box 1923, Fayetteville, AR 72702

My 5 year old and I just went through his room to find all of those toys he no longer plays with to give to Peace at Home.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always told my son he can ask Santa for anything and everything his heart desires, BUT Santa will not bring everything, Santa will choose what HE wants to bring. Although trying to get my son to write a list is like torture, he wants a dinosaur. Just one, toy dinosaur. Sometimes I'd love him to 'I want' just a little bit more!

1:50 PM  
Blogger Cat said...

Great idea! If I win the shuffle, I'll have to give it away myself, as I am already the proud owner of a nano. But I could find something to do with it. I support the Brain Injury Association of Minnesota BIAM, there's also a national group, the BIA). Good luck with the children!

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi --

Just a note to say thanks for doing this.

Perhaps a three-year-old would be too young for this (?), but I've always found the "anonymous white envelope" tradition to be a touching and wonderful way to celebrate Christmas/Hanukkah/etc.
http://www.whiteenvelopeproject.org/originalstory.html

2:01 PM  
Blogger Karen Lew said...

My first is 1.5 years old ; so, I figure I have about a year to figure out our approach to Santa. What I'm leaning towards right now is Saint Nick, who fills a stocking with necessities (maybe nicer versions than usual), instead of Santa Claus. There will be plenty of toys from Grandma/Grandpa....

I support the United Way through payroll deduction.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Susan G Komen Foundation. My MIL is a breats cancer survivor and my maternal grandmother just has a scare with it this year. It means a lot to me that they get all they can from women cause we never know when we might need their help.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

Susan G Komen Foundation. My MIL is a breats cancer survivor and my maternal grandmother just has a scare with it this year. It means a lot to me that they get all they can from women cause we never know when we might need their help.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous CrazyCatMadame said...

Thank you for your beautiful post. As a new mom, I've fretted how I will explain the importance of this holiday to my DD while not infringing upon the magic of the holiday for her.

St. Jude's Children's Hospital would my charity of choice as it was my mom's preferred charity. She passed away last year when I was just two months pregnant with DD - her first grandchild. While last Christmas was difficult coping with the sudden loss, I feel the pangs of loss again as DD celebrates her first Christmas which I had always envisioned sharing with my mom.

*sigh* sorry for the downer. If chosen, I will 'pay it forward' and donate the iPod to a similar local charity.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Cloud said...

What a nice idea. My blog is too little to do giveaways, so I can't take you up on your challenge. It is nice to read everyone's picks for charities. There are so many worthy ones out there.

Last year (Pumpkin's first Christmas), Hubby and I started a tradition of adopting a family from a local "helping hand" sort of charity. Pumpkin won't understand what we're doing for a few years, but we figured it was a tradition worth starting early. I'm not sure how we'll balance that with the Santa thing- apparently it was the realization that Santa wasn't bringing gifts to needy children (because we had to do it) that clued my sister in to the fact that Santa isn't real. She promptly told me, so I actually can't remember ever truly believing in Santa. Maybe we could tell Pumpkin we were getting gifts for a family in addition to what Santa brings?

Anyway, if you pick me, give the money to UNICEF.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Momo Fali said...

Say what you will about Catholics (not YOU in particular, but in a general sense), we are a giving bunch. My husband and I are truly struggling right now, but we (just recently) have given to March of Dimes (our personal favorite, because we had two preemies, one with birth defects), SPICE (which is a special education group in our town for kids in private school), and charities for those things affecting someone in our extended family...autism, arthritis, cancer (lung and breast), MS, and heart disease. Giving to others is one great benefit of Catholic guilt!

2:19 PM  
Blogger Super Ninja Mommy said...

We support the March of Dimes, after giving a stillborn baby back to God in 2003.

As far as Christmas giving... this year, EJ (7) and I collected warm clothing for the homeless veterans in our city. It's going to be a frugal Christmas, what with the recession and all, so we don't have much finacially to give. But I think if Jesus were handing stuff out to homeless people, he'd give them coats and socks and scarves. So that's what we did.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

I was so touched by your Blogher post earlier this month I am making an extra effort to help out the Christine Ann Center in Oshkosh WI. A safe house for women and families in violent situations. It rely only on community support and is a great organization.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous xombie said...

Spina Bifida Association.
I lost 2 siblings to this, and the more research that can be done, the better.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

What a great post. We are struggling with two "want this, want that" aged boys right now. The holidays won't be what they are used to due to use moving across the country and unable to travel to be with extended family. We are trying to find things to do that will benefit others.

We donate every payday to the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society, next year we are hoping to expand that to include Operation Homefront.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

We support the Peace Pantry in Cedar Hill, Missouri. When I lost my job and we were just over the income limit for governement help, they were there for us. Since we didn't qualify for their weekly food pantry, they let us come twice a month instead. They provided us with a turkey for Thanksgiving and toys and school supplies for the kids at the holidays. They are wonderful people.

2:45 PM  
Blogger CALLIE said...

I love Christmas and ALWAYS go overboard - before it was with gifts to the family, but recently we've started to realize that there really isn't anything we 'need'...

So we support a number of causes. My cousin helped start a charity called HUFA (Hands Up For Africa) in remembrance of her friend, Avchen, who passed away a year ago. HUFA works in partnership with a safe house in Kenya, and one particularly special woman Mama Mercy who is running the home for women and children. They also support/send 2 girls to school from elementary through to university (www.handsupforafrica.org).

We also are supporting a local family (single 23yr old mother with 3yr old and 15mo old daughters) through the YWCA Crabtree Program in Vancouver. We're delivering 2 car loads of food, clothing, gifts, a Christmas tree, and household items. It's been so much fun collecting and wrapping everything!

2:48 PM  
Blogger Colleen - Mommy Always Wins said...

This year I've focused A LOT on refocusing Christmas (wrote a whole series of posts on it in fact) and one thing we decided (by that I mean ME) was to take a good sized chunk that we would normally spend on Xmas gifts and donate it to a local charity. Community Projects for Seniors was my choice (you can read my post here. They feed low-income elderly holiday meals and deliver when necessary.

Macy's is also donating $1 to the Make-A-Wish foundation for every letter to Santa that is left at their stores. (Their "believe" site is here.

I've pushed this so much this season that, when opening his St. Nick loot, Nick (the 4yo) pulled out each item and went, "WOW MOMMY! Look!!! Some kids don't have that!" Bless his little heart!

Now, he *did* circle EVERY toy in the catalog when we asked what he wanted from Santa, but you'll have that.

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Must Be Motherhood said...

We give to Rosie's Place, a shelter for homeless women in Boston.

www.rosies.org

2:50 PM  
Blogger Niksmom said...

What a lovely thing you are doing. I think Linus would definitely approve. :-) If I win, please make a contribution in my son's name to Easter Seals. And the Nano...please give it to a person who might not otherwise have any kind of Christmas gift? I don't really *need* one. :-)

2:50 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

JDRF - I have several children in my life with diabetes and it's a terrible thing for a child to endure.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, please.

I would love for my 12 year old stepson and all afflicted to be free of this disease.

You aren't a bad Mother... You're a Good Girl!

Martie of http://uncontainedchaos.blogspot.com

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post and idea! My charity of choice is the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. My grandfather passed away 2 years ago from Parkinson's.
Megan
hubbard_megan@yahoo.com

2:58 PM  
Blogger MaryHelen said...

I'm a member of a service organization that works with the guidance counselor at our local junior high school to identify needy kids. We give money for the counselor to take the kids shopping for gifts for their families. We then take the gifts, wrap them, and deliver them to their homes on Christmas eve. It's the most amazing feeling to help these kids.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Josie said...

We've opted out of gifts for the adults this year. Instead asked if you insist, a donation to your local food bank of the Lymphoma Society in honour of my mother and son.
And as the "kids" are 14 and 18, they have been told there will be a giant scaling back.
Haven't been feeling the true spirit of Christmas for the past cpl years and figure this is a way to try and get it back.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Rhia said...

We are expecting our first baby this year and are struggling with how we'll deal with that when it comes up (we are great thinkers about the future.)

We're doing some charitable giving in lieu of gifts this year too.

We always make a point of donating the the Salvation Army's Angel Tree, and usually something to the United Way, Red Cross, or Heifer International. We try to do some more direct stuff in the community, too.

3:22 PM  
Blogger JNo said...

After multiple years of feeling that I didn't live up to the materialistic hype of some relatives, I have given a donation in their names to the Heifer Project. I feel good, they are a sustainable group that teaches those that receive help from them, pass on some of what they get from their animal (fur, eggs, honey, meat, what have you), and it's really helped me find the Linus spirit of Christmas again.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Lisa T. said...

I support the Arkansas Rice Depot. They provide non-perishable food for children in need. The children are given a backpack filled with enough easy to prepare (pudding packs, canned sausages, poptarts, etc) to sustain a child over the weekend.

3:45 PM  
Blogger tallulah said...

City Light
(a shelter for homeless women and their children escaping abuse)

www.boiserm.org

My family is choosing to not do a gift exchange this year. All monies that normally would be spent on things for one another now goes to the organization listed above.

Oh! To curb the "me me me sydrome" during the holidays... Our kids get one gift from us and one from Santa. That is it! We also instructed the relatives if they choose to get our children presents, it may only be one (all others will be donated before going under the tree.)

3:47 PM  
Blogger nashvegas said...

This is a beautiful and generous thing you're doing!

My choice is Second Harvest Food bank (www.secondharvestnashville.com).

I don't have a blog, but I'm at nashvegas37211 at yahoo dot com

3:47 PM  
Blogger Jennifer A. said...

we support as a family: Give Kids the World in Florida, Make a Wish (a friend of mine was granted a wish), Habitat for Humanity, the food pantry at our parish and the Girl Scouts.
My daughter's Indian Princess circle adopted three familes as a group.
I will put the button up at my blog later today. And you are not a bad mother. Life happens.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

thanks for reminding me to do this. yesterday i was explaining the lit-up camel in the neighbor's front yard nativity scene; now i need to follow up with the 'giving gifts away to others' part to my 3-year old.

anyway, my charity is the Audobon Chapter in our park cuz we love to bird-watch in our park: http://www.audubon.org/chapter/md/md/centers_PPAC.html

3:58 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

HBM: Suffered the same fate last year with my son. So, I cleared the carport, placed all of the packed away containers of decorations, etc., and then we sorted through everything. What we ended up with surprised even myself! This past Christmas, my son, daughter and myself, delivered to the Local Women's Shelter, 4 complete sets of decorations (inside and outside lighting) and artificial trees to decorate 4 homes! That was 4 families of domestic violence! We worked in unison with these families to deliver each setup and my children were able to spend time with the children of these women and they LOVED it!
Turned out, that it was just the ticket for helping them to understand that it's not about what you "get" but it's really about what you "get when you give".

4:13 PM  
Blogger Eva said...

Heifer Project International. I volunteered there a lot in college and they do great work.

4:16 PM  
Blogger mommy,mommy,mommy said...

Treehouse for Kids
Seattle, WA

Thank you!

~Jenn

4:16 PM  
Blogger twelvekindsofcrazy said...

After reading Super Ninja Mommy's comment, I don't know what to say. SNM--I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad you shared this, and with such grace.
HBM: So grateful for my family this year especially with the birth of my first child. I'm also grateful for all the wonderful bloggers out there who have become my girlfriends. My charity this year comes from one of my favorite blogs, The Lucky Stone, who highlighted Jacob's Well in her post: http://theluckystone.blogspot.com/2008/12/this-is-one-you-need-to-read.html.
Thanks,
Tina

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Shawna said...

I give to Doctors Without Borders every year, but the local food bank and Salvation Army are worthy charities as well so if I win you can choose between them if you want.

4:51 PM  
Blogger geenalyn said...

I give to the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto...without that hospital my son might not be alive....

4:58 PM  
Blogger NikiN said...

What a great post. I am a new stepmother, and am eagerly soaking up any and all advice on how to help my new son balance the want-want-want side of the season with some give-give-give.

I usually give to the Berkeley Free Clinic, but given the economic situation right now, I would be happiest to have you donate to a local food bank.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I don't need the shuffle, but if I win, would you donate to National Public Radio? They are really struggling with the donations, and my local station just canceled two of their shows.

5:28 PM  
Blogger worldmomma said...

What a nice idea. My favorite charity is Babushka Adoption

www.babushkaadoption.org

5:52 PM  
Blogger Mr Lady said...

I have to enter this for someone else. I can't go into details here, but let's just say that someone is getting Christmas for reals.

If you email me, I can tell you the details. Even if she doesn't win, you'll still want to hear the story. Pinky Swear.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ooohh... I've covetted an iPod for ages, I'll play!

ok, I'm a big believer in charity. My beautiful bub is only 7 mnths and I've been thinking about the future on how I can instill concepts of empathy and compassion in him. I want thinking of others to be automatic not something he conciously does but part of his person, his himness.

When he is a bit older I will get him his own regular sponsorship, maybe a'brother' or 'sister' thru world vision or WSPA have kid orientated animal sponsorship.

Thats still a work-in-progress in my mind but my regular monthly donations are; 9 year old sponsored child in Sri Lanka (thru World Vision) and WSPA.
Less frequently (about once a qtr) are Surf Life Saving Society, Greenpeace and Amnesty.
They have unfortunately been getting less frequently this year, we are on one income now and my budget is getting tighter!

But the little things are the ones that I think kids understand the most, a present for the local gift tree, non-perishable foods for xmas hampers (both donateable at my local shopping centre) and the giving of grown-out-of or just excess toys, books and clothes to the local womens and childrens centre. All of which Henry has witnessed me doing, though doubt he realises it yet!

This is a long-winded way of saying my charity of choice would be whatever you feel most passionately about. particularly if it includes kids or animals. or women. or families. or...

Emma
qotfu72@yahoo.com.au

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Nancy M. said...

I don't need to win an iPod, but I thought I'd tell you about some of the charities I support: My Soldier, NY Cares, and The Providence (RI) Rescue Mission; Rhode Island currently has the highest unemployment rate out of the 50 States.

6:13 PM  
Anonymous waterbug24@aol.com said...

Gordon Central High School Blue Wave Band

some of my best memories from high school, and my sister is drum major there now...i support with money and time...

6:17 PM  
Blogger zchamu said...

Catherine, you're awesome.

Doctors without Borders is my poison.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anita Doberman said...

St. Jude.
www.ovolina.com

6:39 PM  
Blogger Mamalooper said...

Humewood House in Toronto. It's a home for mothers in need (who tend to be teen moms) that has been around since 1912. I gave them Monkeygirl's baby clothes. Last year on her birthday I had people bring donations for Humewood House in lieu of gifts for the girl. This year each kid at her party received a fundraiser blanket from Humewood house in their loot bag.

I support them as a mom who enjoys a lot of privilege and would like to share a bit of it.

6:54 PM  
Blogger velocibadgergirl said...

If I won, I'd love for an extra donation to go to Toys for Tots.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Lea said...

Christmas is tough this year. My father is waiting in Az for a heart transplant, miles and miles from home and we aren't able to visit him due to finacial problems. Nor am I able to do what I want for my kids. That ipod shuffle would come as a great present for my daughter..

On Christmas day we feed the homeless (well we serve them food) at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission. It is run soley on private sector donations, no grants, no federal funding, which allows them to actually help more people in ways that aren't limited when receiving help from federal funding. A monetary gift to them would help trememdously.

Thank you for this opportunity to win and to help others at the same time.

Lea

7:38 PM  
Blogger Candygirlflies said...

For teachers' Christmas gifts, I have always given donations to my favourite charity:

Yellow Brick House, a shelter for women and their children.

What a lovely contest idea, HBM!

Linus would, indeed, be proud.

xo CGF

8:17 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

For the last 2 years I've decorated Christmas trees (and donated all the decorations) that are then sold off to raise money for Haiwatha Homes Foundation. It's for people with disabilities.

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Carmen said...

American Cancer Society, since that's the bad hand I've been dealt lately.

Thanks for doing this, Catherine. You are one gracious lady.

8:33 PM  
Blogger mek said...

A beautiful idea! We have been reading Beatrice's Goat a lot lately, to our 2.5 year old, to help her understand (a little, a little) what it means when one of our presents to our family is donating to Heifer International - my favorite charity since I was eight years old! www.heifer.org

8:48 PM  
Blogger Special K said...

Juvenile Diabetes ( I am one) all the time and right now I am helping with the Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots Drive (my son is a Marine).

I think that it is a wonderful idea to give to those that need it.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous jess said...

There are several charitable organizations we have been supporting recently, but the one we've been putting a lot of our support toward is our local site of Feeding America (feedingamerica.org). My husband and I feel blessed in several ways right now during a time when others can't even feed their families, which is heartbreaking to us. We aren't rich or even well off, but we have enough to eat regularly and we so want to help others provide for their families as well.

Thank you so much for offering to do this. Helping others is so important any time of year, but especially when so many are becoming homeless, jobless, and foodless. You are a wonderful person.

9:51 PM  
Blogger Overflowing Brain said...

Oh! I just had my iPod stolen in June (on my honeymoon), this is fantastic. And you know, the paying it forward also rocks.

I just donated 120 bucks from my blog comments to St. Jude's Research Hospital and I'd love nothing more than for an additional donation to be made there.

This is a wonderful idea. Thanks for the opportunity.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Great post, and thanks for being so generous to your readers. While I'm more worried about paying my power bill than listening to an iPod Shuffle, it would be a nice luxury to have right now...

Any literacy initiative will do. Thanks again.

10:06 PM  
Blogger Chickenbells said...

What a wonderful idea...and you're so generous! One of the charities I give to yearly is Best Friends. This is an organization that rescues animals, providing them a place to live until they can be adopted. They also take animals from people who can't find anywhere else to place them, and they participate in disaster rescue as well. They are currently working to shut down animal mills, and redistribute the animals they find, and they help local shelters become no kill places. AND...if the animals they have, don't find placement, they let them live in safe, warm places with lots of love and dignity (depending on their "special" needs) Not only do they take domestic pets, but they also take exotic pets and farm animals. You can donate money as well as visit the sanctuary and help out...I just adore them!

10:10 PM  
Blogger Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

What an awesome idea! Thanks, great post!

10:17 PM  
Anonymous Sara Jones said...

My father rides a Harley. Every year in my town (Newcastle, NSW, Australia) and many others, the dudes with Harleys (and scooters, and mopeds and hell I even saw a normal run of the mill bicycle - Remember them?) do a "Toy Run" from one end of the town to the other. The toys and gifts that are donated by these riders and given to local charity organisations (St Vincent de Pauls, The Samaritans) etc...

We decided to have a house clean up and I asked my daughter to clean out a toy box that hadn't been looked at in nearly a year. She filled 3 large bin bags with toys which we gave to my dad to take to the donation bin. I also donated a teddy bear that we were going to strap to the handlebars of his Harley as our mascot.

My children and I went to watch the 'parade' of bikes (the noise was AMAZING!) and I teared up seeing all these big, beefy, bearded Harley men kitted out in Santa Costumes, reindeer antler head bands and with bags of toys strapped to their bikes.

What would Linus do?

Approve.

Merry Christmas to you and your family

10:33 PM  
Anonymous C said...

Project Linus

http://www.projectlinus.org/index.html

They provide handknit blanket to babies and children in crisis. My daughter was in intensive care for several weeks because of a bacterial infection, and the blanket she received was both beautiful and a comfort in a time of awful fear.

If you're not crafty (as I am not) they take cash donations. We made one in Elanor's name.

11:08 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Happy holidays! My charity of choice would be the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I was an intern with the St. Louis branch during college, and it was amazing to see the vast list of how many wishes they'd granted to children with life-threatening conditions. I'm expecting my first child (it's a girl!) in three months, and I'm finding that charities for children are even nearer and dearer to my heart these days. Plus, selfishly, I've heard that iPods help pass the time in the delivery room.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I donate to either Backstoppers, an organization that helps local police/fire, first responders with the families of police/fire fighters who are killed in the line of duty. I also support Operation Homefront, for soldiers surving overseas.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan

http://www.car-insurance-choices.com

11:56 PM  
Blogger Recovering procrastinator said...

Excellent post, and what a great idea on the giveaways.

I have two charities that I support most with my donations of goods. If you were to choose me, you can take your pick to donate:

Bridging: http://www.bridging.org/

WAKOTA LIFECARE CENTER
1140 So. Robert Street
West Saint Paul, Minnesota 55118

12:16 AM  
Blogger jess said...

My amazing friend Jill a boys home for (mostly) AIDS orphans in Tanzania and she's doing incredible things in their lives. They especially need sponsors for the boys' educations right now.

Hmm, I don't know how to make a link but here's the address. http://www.fire-international.org/missionary.aspx?id=60

12:31 AM  
Anonymous WaltzInExile said...

I'm not sure what order to respond in, so please excuse my "list style" to make it easier to follow my spastic thoughts.
1) To balance the "want want want" in our house, the rule is that, in order to get ANY Santa presents, the goats EACH have to leave a bag under the tree full of their in-good-shape used toys for Santa to take back to his workshop and spiff up to give to someone else next year. (And then Mommy drives around with them in her trunk for a week before she gets around to taking them to the local homeless shelter as donations. I never intend for those to be considered "Christmas gifts" for the shelter kids, because they're used.) We also let the goats each pick a name off of the "Angel Tree" at the shelter and we take them shopping and let them pick out things for that. I still hear plenty of "want want want" but now sometimes it is "I want to buy that for my Angel Tree person." So it's nice.
2) We don't have a lot of money since we're both in grad school, so we haven't been financially supporting as many charities lately as we would like. We have had to pick and choose, so this year, the local charities got donated goods or volunteer time. However, one cause has been especially near to my heart this year, and that one got money this year. If you pick me, please make a donation to the Human Rights Campaign's fight for Marriage Equality. I still can't wrap my brain around the fact that a majority of voters in California think it's acceptable to vote on minority rights.
3) Re: the iPod, as I don't really NEED one, I would happily give it to one of the Angel Tree kids this year. No one seems to want to buy things for the teenagers on the tree (don't know if it's because they're usually higher-priced items, or because everyone likes to shop for babies?) so they don't often get quite as much out of the Angel Tree experience as the little kids. The teenage years are hard enough without being homeless, though, and musicless, to boot.
I'll stop yammering now. Kthxbai.

12:43 AM  
Blogger Someone Being Me said...

Wow, what a great giveaway. I support a Hope Child through World Vision (www.worldvision.org). You can also do a one time donation toward a specific cause or purchase a specific item for a family in need.

12:53 AM  
Blogger Crazed Mom said...

The good Ol' Salavation Army who do great work with the homeless all year round.

1:00 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

The Cornelia deLange Syndrome Foundation (www.cdlsusa.org) is our charity of choice, since it is the one that helps us get through life with our angel, Maddy.

The iPod would be for her ~ Maddy is a huge music fan, and I'd love to see her wearing headphones and listening to whatever she wants. :)

CdLS Foundation
302 West Main Street, #100
Avon, Connecticut 06001

1:05 AM  
Anonymous columbia thorndale said...

My name is Columbia Thorndale and I'm a single Mom. This year my daughter was going to get nothing. Well not really. I had hidden toys away she already owned from her and had wrapped them up. She's only two so I thought this year I could get away with it. I actually felt proud of my frugal self but admit able the Christmas consume has consumed me and left me feeling like I'm not that great of a mom because I can't afford to buy her anything. That's when the Burlington Ontario Early Years stepped in. Once a month they offer single parents a meal with babysitting along with parenting courses. I had mentioned what I was doing and I think they could see through my smile because at the end of the meal they quietly handed me a plastic bag. The toys in it were from there donation bin that they usually use to replace broken toys but they put them aside for my daughter. I am very excited for her to open up and see the books and cookie monster. They made me feel like I'm doing ok and that it wasn't charity but kindness.

Please if you choose me sell the iPod shuffle (green) on ebay and give the money to the BURLINGTON ONTARIO EARLY YEAR CENTER/BURLINGTON RESOURCE CENTER
http://www.bfrc.ca/

If I was to receive it I would sell it for groceries or rent so it would be a waste on me but my charity gets little funding but helps so many.

1:18 AM  
Blogger Professional Critic said...

Great idea! Doctors Without Borders does amazing work.

http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org

1:38 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

We've supported Child's Play for several years. One of my earliest memories was being in a hospital as a child- and standing in a room full of games and toys with my IV running to the little mobile bag cart. I got to pick a book to take back to my room for my mom to read for me and a wooden tick tac toe board to play with my dad. It brightened an otherwise terrible time in my childhood to be able to play instead of staring at the white walls or watching TV.

Child's Play donates toys, games, and more to hospitals around the world for kids to play with while they go through treatment.

1:44 AM  
Blogger Zombie Daddy said...

If I win I'm giving this to a kid whose family is staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Stanford Hospital.

Also, I won't eat that kid's brains.

1:55 AM  
Blogger Cinthia said...

I donate to the Goodwill and I support programs that help Jews in need (though I'm not Jewish) but honestly, people this season need to give food. Donating to a food bank is the best thing anyone can do. A shiny new Barbie isn't going to be any fun if you're tummy is growling!

4:52 AM  
Blogger Dr. Confused said...

The national network of abortion funds.

http://www.nnaf.org/donate.html

6:21 AM  
Blogger Loonstruck said...

Libraries. Cheapest fun around but they are losing their funding everywhere. This last summer, our library had the highest circulation of library materials ever in June and then we topped it again in July. In tough economic times, people depend on us for a little escape. Not to mention, we have literacy programs for all ages. Summer Reading at our library goes from birth through adulthood. This coming summer, the theme will be art, music, theater, dance, your kids will probably learn some fantastic things if they attend programming at your library. And if you live in a large metropolitan area, don't feel like you only have to go to your branch. Different libraries do different things and there is so much fun during the summer!

If you pick me, I don't need the Ipod but your local Children's department at the library does. Summer Reading prizes can be terribly hard to come by. An Ipod would do just the trick. Thanks for this wonderful idea!

7:01 AM  
Blogger LisaDuvall said...

What a great idea.

My kids each pick a child from one of those trees set up in stores that show a child's age and size and interests and we buy gifts for that child. The kids love it and I think it's helping to teach them the spirit they should have this time of year (well all year really!).

7:55 AM  
Blogger Mrs C said...

I like what the blog "Mon Beau Sapin" is doing. Through individual page views, a French mobile phone provider (Orange) will make a donation (depending on the number of page views) to the French Red Cross. The proceeds will go to giving gifts to needy kids. And there are a lot this year, given the nature of the times.

The site itself is good too. Put together by French freelance comic artists.

You don't need to understand French to do a good turn either. Just click through:

http://www.monbeausapin.org/

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Nadia said...

Great challenge. I have three charities I like to donate:
1. Emplilepsy foundation http://www.epilepsy.ca/
2. Dysautonomia Foundation http://www.familialdysautonomia.org/donate2008.htm
3. Muscular Dystrophy Association. http://www.muscle.ca/nc/ontario-nunavut/ways-to-give.html

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Wanda said...

That is a great idea. We normally do Toys for Tots. I take my two kids shopping and have them pick out a couple toys they would like and then we take it to the Toys for Tots box. We talk about how it will make the kids getting the toys happy and how it helps them. We also talk about why it is important to give back. We usually also do some type of food drive. Last year we did a giving tree. We picked hearts off a Christmas tree and bought presents for the kids on the heart. It feels wonderful to give back.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Mrs C said...

Course.... making an actual link would make it easier for everyone: Mon Beau Sapin

8:27 AM  
Blogger Chaos said...

Alzheimer's Association, and we are starting the same tradition of giving in our family this year.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Adventures In Babywearing said...

I think this is great. And I have been looking for a way to do something with the green ipod shuffle sitting here, too. Must start thinking...

Steph

9:06 AM  
Blogger Parent Club said...

Our charity is East End Children's Centre (http://eastendchildrenscentre.org/).

It's a free drop-in programme in Toronto for parents and caregivers.

It was my favourite destination when my kids were in diapers and I need to get the heck out of the house.

I volunteer for EECC, year-round, for me...for my family...for the other families who visit this wonderful place.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Harleygurl said...

I do volunteering for multiple charity/non profit organizations. One is an animal welfare program (www.pcnaws.com), the other 2 are very dear to me, one is The Kansas Patriot Guard (kspatriotguard.org) and the other is The American Heart Association. I have adopted 2 military families this year to sponsor. Wether you believe in the war or not, these men and women are putting there lives onhold to do there job and protect the US. Thank you for your help with any charity you choose. You are proof that there is still people who know the true reason for the season!

10:07 AM  
Blogger divrchk said...

The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. My sister has been living with the disease since she was 9 years old. She's now 32 and has amazing control.

Also, my kids are donating to Toys For Tots this Christmas since they are now old enough to grasp the concept of charity.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Days said...

Great idea! We're giving to the Canadian Cancer Society, as always, and this year, we're participating in one of those Adopt-a-Family programs, as per my 7 year old daughter's request.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous LAVANDULA said...

this year instead of stockings we got 4 operation christmas shoeboxes and stuffed those full!they are donated to developing countries.and i always empty my change out into the salvation army kettles and donate used clothes to goodwill or sally ann stores.so my charity would of course be salvation army...

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sponsor a women through Women for Women International though you can also give single contributions:
http://www.womenforwomen.org/

Since I began to support the organization 2 years ago, I have been continuously impressed by their work and efforts. They support women not just monetarily but by teaching them life skills and about human rights.

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Jill said...

March of Dimes

My daughter was born 12 weeks premature. The MOD mission is near and dear to my heart. She survived and 4 yrs later has no lingering effects of being a micro-preemie. AMEN!

12:15 PM  
Blogger Amy Ruth Webb said...

My Henry is almost two and, like your Emilia last year, he is mostly into ooh-ing at the lights. He already enjoys thumbing through the catalogs, though I don't think that he really gets the connection between pictures of toys and asking for toys. I try to make at least a few homemade presents for him, but we've been sucked into the plastic/electronic toys a bit. (Last year, it was all handmade and European wooden toys.)

So, I wanted to make sure that he knows right from the start that this season is about giving, too. This year, we donated the money for a flock of chicks to Heifer International. It's a great charity and kids can really wrap their head around the idea. I sewed Henry a stuffed chick and he'll get that along with the donation card in his name. Next year, he and I will pick animals to send together.

12:25 PM  
Blogger No Mother Earth said...

In honour of my Grandma, who I still miss at Christmas each and every year, I support the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

Two things in case you're interested: my dad's a minister and he used to use the Charlie Brown Christmas to teach children all the time - more accessible for them. Also, I was in Urban Outfitters yesterday, and they are selling Linus blankets - a portion of the proceeds go to charity.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Beck said...

Aw!
We support Heifer International. And at a local level, we support our local food bank.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Neo-Geek Girl said...

There are so many charities that are running through my head... But since I just quit smoking (again) I am going to go with Canadian Lung Association (or American...).

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Medela said...

The charity which i am associated with is for the kids that live on the streets, I won't name it though! but your post is really very good!

12:50 PM  
Blogger Sophie said...

I support String of Pearls...
stringofpearlsonline.org

1:11 PM  
Blogger Sophie said...

I support String of Pearls...
stringofpearlsonline.org

1:11 PM  
Blogger allisonwondrland said...

Read much, comment not so much. I like this one! Our regular charity of choice is World Vision. When our children were really young (8 mo., 3 and 5) we "adopted" a child of each of their ages, to sponsor in a third world country. We now have a fourth baby, and intend to add one more adoptee to our list. Our oldest is now 13. We've been blessed to follow the three "adoptees" and receive letters and cards from them, and watch them grow as our own children do. It is quite humbling, and such a reminder of how truly grateful we should be, when the tiny amount we give for each child allows them so very much that we take for granted every day.

Have a very Merry Christmas, whether or not I receive the iPod!

1:11 PM  
Anonymous red pen mama said...

Geez, Catherine, I was just going to write this post today. You beat me to it. Well, minus the give-aways, because let's face it I have about 10 readers. :) I am of almost the exactly same mind vis-a-vis Christmas with the "Christ" v. Santa. I think I'm doing pretty well with my girls so far. I'll be linking to you in the next day or so!

I would pick Animal Friends as my charity.

ciao,
rpm

1:16 PM  
Blogger Chantal said...

You are very generous. I am a big supporter of our local food bank.
Thanks

1:17 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Each holiday season we pick a different non-profit to support. This year we're supporting Choices, a domestic violence shelter here in Columbus. They're in need of a lot of items, including toys for the children who live there.

We're taking several unopened toys to them this weekend for their Christmas drive. I'll also be giving them a bunch of sample-size shampoos/soaps/etc. - when I learned how much shelters need these simple items, I started saving all of the ones I get from staying at hotels, and I try to buy 1-2 samples each time I'm at Target.

I also regularly support March of Dimes and Autism Speaks.

2:24 PM  
Anonymous langleigh said...

As a woman and mother of a daughter, this organization deserves your consideration.
RAINN rape abuse and incest national network http://www.rainn.org/ 1-800-656-HOPE

merry christmas

2:53 PM  
Blogger Tam said...

Durham Rescue Mission, Durham, NC
http://www.durhamrescuemission.org/

This organization is very active in our community and does a great deal of good.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Leesy said...

We support Big Brothers and Big Sisters. One of my best friends has been a big sister for over 20 years and has really made a difference in some girls lives. Our family always tries to lend support by volunteering and financially with donations. I think you are teaching your daughter a very valuable lesson and she will appreciate it later in life.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

First of all. A Charlie Brown Christmas is my favourite Christmas special of all time.

My family and I usually donate to a different charity each year at this time (for example we donated to Unicef, the year of the Boxing Day Tsunami). I was discussing which charity we would donate money to this year and my daughter and I have decided on WWF (World Wildlife Fund).

Happy holidays to you and yours.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Jeff and Mandee said...

Here we are supporting our Toys for Tots....they are super behind on donations this year because of the economy and there might be children on the list that do not get anything.

mandee220(at)aol(dot)com

5:04 PM  
Blogger nape said...

United Way of Nebraska.

Great giveaway. Thanks!

5:22 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

I would love to win so you could give the donation to my friend Kasey's Relay for Life team. Kasey has brain cancer and he's only 10 years old. You can read more about him here:

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/kaseyradford.

If I won I would very much love to do something for his team. That would be wonderful and I would appreciate that so very, very, very much!!!!

Thanks for a great, generous, wonderful giveaway!

HunnyV "at" Optonline "dot" net

5:29 PM  
Blogger oona said...

We donate to the Oregon Food Bank. There is an incredible need for food this year and every little bit counts. We also play Secret Santa by adopting two families and helping make their Christmas a little brighter.

Thanks! foxsquirrelrabbit at gmail dot com

5:31 PM  
Blogger WM said...

One of my favorite charities is Doctors without Borders.

Thanks!

5:38 PM  
Blogger makeetis said...

St. Judes cancer place for kids. That is something that me and my husband try to donate to at least twice a year. We don't give much because we can't afford it. Thanks for the chance. brewerchickey78(at)yahoo.com

6:12 PM  
Blogger Dumaurier said...

I had a cancer scare earlier this year and I read so much helpful info on the Susan G Komen website, that they'll be my charity of choice fom now on.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous fidget said...

http://www.betacenter.org/pregnant/overview.htm

the beta center. When i'm not needed by small chillins for milk purposes, I volunteer to wrap gifts at their mall booth to help raise fundage. One day, when my babies are grown, I'm going be a volunteer cuddler.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Sonya said...

The Green County Animal Farm

6:46 PM  
Blogger Bebemiqui said...

We donate to the Salvation Army.
bebemiqui82(at)yahoo(dot)com

6:52 PM  
Blogger TheOtherJennifer said...

We support the local youth football league; the NHSPCA; the Toys for Tots and volunteer to serve food at Thanksgiving. I tried to explain to my 7 year old about homelessness and joblessness when she asked for a can of food for the food drive at school. We try to donate year round, not just at the holidays. She said "some people don't have homes"? So it was eye opening for her. She has a lot of things but she is very good about giving them away to other kids, including the preschool for her books, other little girls for her clothes. It's never too early to make children aware that there are other people besides them in the world.

If I should win, please regift it to someone more deserving than I.

6:52 PM  
Blogger royaldixie said...

I would like to donate to the Susan G. Komen foundation. Although I have not personally been touched by breast cancer, I have made it a mission to help support the cause any way possible.

THANK YOU!
Maggie

newmommyin08@yahoo.com
http://dexterphilip.blogspot.com

7:42 PM  
Blogger Nad said...

Habitat for Humanity.

treflea4 at gmail dot com

7:59 PM  
Blogger Alice H said...

I support the Salvation Army - especially at this time of year. Thanks for the chance! alicedemske at hotmail.com

8:08 PM  
Blogger Dianna_Ball said...

Every Christmas, instead of buying cremes, and mugs, etc. for teachers, assistants, etc. - I donate to Heifer International.

dianna_ball@hotmail.com

8:20 PM  
Blogger carogonza said...

There is a fabulous non-profit in West Palm Beach called The Lord's Place. I used to work there so I know they need money and donations and I know that all the money they get actually goes to helping people get back on their feet. If I win, I would love the donation to go to them.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

For the next 24 hours, I'm donating 50¢ to the Women's Lunch Place for every comment I get on my latest post.

8:59 PM  
Blogger bocktalk said...

Northwest Adoption Exchange (www.nwae.org) is my fav charity! :)

9:10 PM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

I am too shy to give up my anonymity for my charity, but it is for my BC elementary school which is a small Catholic school which doesn't qualify for the funding that public schools get despite having accredited teachers and following BC curriculum.

I won't qualify for your tithe, which is a ok with the abundance of worthy causes listed here, but I just want to acknowledge my hella great elementary school.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Moo said...

We support a few charities but the one closest to our hearts is St. Judes. My 12 & 10 yr old sons collect spare change throughout the year and donate it all to St. Judes at Christmas.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

What a generous giveaway! I'd be thrilled to win, but even more thrilled to have a contribution made to the American Cancer Society.

Thanks for the chance to win & for your generosity!

9:57 PM  
Blogger Farrah said...

We support World Vision- a wonderful way to help needy children around the world.
Thanks so much for sharing and giving so generously.

10:06 PM  
Blogger valerie2350 said...

samaritans purse

10:27 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Wonderful idea. I'd give a donation to PACE (People Against Childhood Epilepsy), an organisation that I helped found many years ago when my daughter was diagnosed with a severe seizure disorder. We're having our biannual benefit in NYC this February, and it'd be nice to open it up to more donors!

10:45 PM  
Blogger socmama said...

What a lovely idea! Thank you. I would donate to Habitat for Humanity.

11:08 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

We donate to a the local harvesters here in KC.

hetz-junk(at)hotmail(dot)com

11:38 PM  
Blogger Aura said...

What a generous giveaway. It's really nice that you're starting young in teaching your daughter to give. I lost my 3 1/2 year old son to a congenital heart defect so I hold Little Hearts, Inc. (littlehearts.org) very close to my heart. The support they gave helped me through my pregnancy and the 3 following years through hospitals and surgery is unmeasurable. They helped keep me sane when I thought everything was lost. They really deserve everyones support.
aahaft at gmail dot com

1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd just like to put in a plug for my favourite charity: The Children's Medical Foundation. They are a Hong Kong based charity (but with ties to Canadian hospitals) that sets up NICU beds in semi-rural hospitals in China that don't already have them. They have lowered infant mortality rates by an average of 52% and by as much as 85% in the areas in which they operate. On average, each NICU bed saves the lives of 400 children per year. As all 3 of my children required stays in the NICU at birth this charity particularly resonates with me and would I think with a lot of other people.

On an entirely different subject - your writing is wonderful. I have enjoyed lurking around here for a long time.

1:55 AM  
Blogger To Think is to Create said...

Oh love this, girl! I have a few more giveaway's coming up and will do this. My oldest would love the shuffle!

Our charity of choice right now is Generation Rescue, who help with research and awareness for autism. My three sons are all autistic, so it's more than just a passion, it's a necessity.

Hugs,
`Arianne

4:14 AM  
Anonymous Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I am in charge of a "giving tree" at our preschool We collect mittens, hates, new underpants and small gifts for children in need.

6:09 AM  
Blogger pami22 said...

great concept....this is a great giveaway..
I try and help out the Ronald Mcdonald house in Jolin, MO. my cousin had a premmie with lots of trouble and they put her up there its a wonderul place for those in need.....

scottpamela@ymail.com

7:14 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Incredible said...

Heartline for Haiti

Five of our children are adopted from Haiti.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greyhound Welfare! Wahoo!

8:50 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

World Vision is a good cause.
I like that they give supplies to
3rd world countries. I am going to replace some of my presents this year with donations in that persons name.

9:26 AM  
Blogger chris said...

I have two fav charities .. the first is March of Dimes because they help so many babies and Breast Cancer awareness!

9:32 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Csirke said...

Farm Sanctuary. They rescue farm animals that have been left for dead or have escaped trucks going to slaughter. They also do a lot of education and advocacy. A wonderful group.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Oh, you are kind AND genius.

My girls held a bake sale in front of the house when I told them there were two animal shelters in the area: one that is lovely and gets a lot of traffic, and another which is broken-down and sad and has more trouble getting their dogs and cats adopted.

They delivered the proceeds ($15) in person to the second one, where the head of the shelter nearly wept.

Every area has a down-and-out animal shelter that's struggling. We have two rescued dogs, so these hidden shelters are close to our hearts. Ours is: http://www.pittsfieldanimals.org/ but oh, they are everywhere.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Patois said...

Wow! You rock! What a great idea. We've been donating food and toys and such to a local organization in our town and to the Marin Food Bank.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Megan Lynn said...

We support a local Children's home. This year we did a Christmas drive through my MOMS club, but we donate to them on our own each year. I took my son with me, even though he's only 18 months old. I look forward to when he's old enough to help me shop for these children and deliver the toys, clothes and necessities that they need.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

This is such a great idea! Very creative, and very giving. Thank you.

A charity I support is CancerCare for Kids.
laurachilton {at} hotmail.com

11:28 AM  
Blogger RuthWells said...

Great idea!

My favorite charity is the PKD Foundation (www.pkdfoundation.org) -- the only foundation in the world dedicated to funding research for and patient eduation around polycystic kidney disease, a genetic sydrome which causes kidney failure in roughly half of all patients. One in 500 Americans suffer from PKD, and the NIH only funds research at about $60 per patient per year. 83% of the PKD Foundation's budget goes to program services and research grants, which is a stellar record.

As you may have guessed, I have a horse in this race -- my 12 year old son was the third in our family to be diagnosed a few years ago. I am hoping for a cure before he starts having health issues.

12:02 PM  
Blogger EarthyMother said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:03 PM  
Blogger EarthyMama said...

I support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. In honor of all the kids fighting leukemia, I'll be running a half marathon (13.1 miles) in May. More information (and donation form for my personal goal) can be found here: http://pages.teamintraining.org/nnj/nj09/vmaire

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi!
Love the blog, love your honesty, love the Linus comments!

My charity is the Minneapolis Crisis Nursery. It provides shelter for children whose parents need a mental health break to prevent abuse, or to help, for example, a single mom who needs to be hospitalized and has no one to help her not have her kids go into foster care.

http://www.crisisnursery.org/

csection47@hotmail.com

12:51 PM  
Blogger The Ex said...

Yeah, I've got to go with Ronald McDonald House. They do amazing work and I'd be so happy to support them.

theexeverything@gmail.com

1:01 PM  
Blogger moushka said...

After my daughters best friend Greg was diagnosed with ALL Luekemia at age 4, I have donated to the Make A Wish foundation. His cancer is now in remission (he is now 6), but since it's still life threatening he gets to choose a Make A Wish. He will be going to Disney World, but it's pretty expensive going from WA to FL. Every little donation in his name helps to fulfill his wish.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Dee said...

Normally my choice would be a donation to Susan Komen Foundation, but this time of year I would love to see a little extra in the Toys For Tots bin. The thought of any kid not getting a little something for Christmas makes me so very sad.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

What a fantastic thing to do! I think I would go with The Spring Of Tampa Bay. It is an organization committed to helping abused wives and children.

thanks so much for sharing

ceashark at aol dot com

carolyn s

1:54 PM  
Blogger Sharla said...

I really enjoyed reading this post! I love this time of year! My favorite charity was actually started based upon one of my favorite books: The Christmas Box. The charity is called The Christmas Box International and here is their mission: "The Christmas Box International's mission is inspired by the book The Christmas Box, the spirit and message of which symbolize the beauty and importance of love for children. The Christmas Box International partners with local, national and international communities and groups to prevent child abuse and to improve the quality of life for children who have been abused or neglected. Each Christmas Box House serves as a one-stop assessment center for abused and neglected children, from infants through children at the age of 18. Children in our care receive mental, emotional, and physical care in a home-like, loving environment." Thanks for the great giveaway!

2:48 PM  
Blogger the schros said...

Thanks for the generosity!
I would choose the charity Lifesong for Orphans- started and run by people I know, I love what they do connecting and helping adoptive parents to beautiful children!

3:49 PM  
Blogger Jacquie said...

For the last 4 years we have sponsored a child thru The Plan (formerly FosterParent Plan)

4:10 PM  
Blogger Karen MEG said...

You are so bad, you're awesome.

What a wonderful idea, and just what I needed to read to get me more into the Christmas spirit.

I also don't need the iPod. We've sponsored a child in the Plan for 8years as well. Other charities we give to are the MS Society and the Alzheimer's Society.

5:32 PM  
Blogger Sherry G said...

we like to support a great local organization called "new avenues for youth". we also give to savedarfur.

disarray at onebox dot com

5:45 PM  
Blogger samsakara said...

I know it's not much but I always give my kids clothes to people that need them. Recently I gave a ton of clothes to three families who shared one house that burnt down. They had lost everything and my kids clothes were about the sizes of some of there kids. I also had a few toys of my sons along with some slippers and boots that I gave them. I wish I could have done more for them but I figure every bit helps.

samsakara@twcny.rr.com

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Heifer International, and the local Betty Chinn-http://www.bettysblueangel.com/

thelaclairs at yahoo dot com

7:24 PM  
Blogger Betsy said...

this is great. thanks.

american cancer society.

dejonge7@msu.edu

8:38 PM  
Blogger Irishkel said...

First Book
1319 F St NW
Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20004

First Book is a nonprofit organization with a single mission: to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books. As a librarian, I think this is so important!

8:45 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

Habitat for Humanity.

Great idea!

9:11 PM  
Blogger megankortepeter said...

Prevent Child Abuse America

10:22 PM  
Blogger EllyBean said...

We support African New Life Ministries.

http://www.anlm.org/

11:12 PM  
Blogger Kelsey said...

I faced this too with my kids. I decided that at 3 and 1 they weren't really old enough to understand giving away toys (although we have been giving away all of our old clothes and do plan on going though all our old toys to the Goodwill) but to help them kinda understand the whole giving thing this Christmas, we decided to buy pet food and bring it to the Humane Society and then let them meet the pets that they will help feed for Christmas (they're not old enough to get one yet).

P.S. Please do not pick mine, I already have one and do not need it so if you pick me, please pick someone else. Thanks :)

11:59 PM  
Anonymous crystal said...

I enjoy reading and learning about St.Josephs Indian School.Their donation envelope is on the top of my pile this year,although i have to wait till after the holidays this time:)
Thank you!!

cyclona66@aol.com

12:31 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

We support of the March of Dimes.
My son is a former 28 weeker.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Dee said...

The company that I used to work with used to help ST. Judes and I continue to do that! Cancer is hard! We also adopt families!

THANKS!

11:05 AM  
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