Wednesday, November 3, 2010

22 Days til Christmas

Shame on me I know. Well I can't help it. They've been shoving it down my throat around here since the middle of October. Just a few steps from my office there's a park that puts up lots of adorable decor and christmas trees decorated by kids and one giant one made of lights. Well its been up for weeks and I CANT STAND IT. Every year it just shows up earlier and earlier. Next thing you know it will be up after Labor Day and then 4th of July. Might as well just leave the damn thing up all year! I love Christmas, but this makes me dread it. Please, just let me enjoy my Thanksgiving feast and subsequent food coma before you start bombarding me with tinsel and jingle bells!

However, I suppose it is really not too early to be thinking about Christmas lists. Unfortunately, the list of people I shop for has shrunk considerably the last year and a 1/2 (fortunate for my wallet I suppose). So, taking a wise bit of advice from my friend Gabby, and fellow blogger, I suggested to my family that we pick charities and donate in each others' names this year. A mutual friend just took a trip with her husband to Haiti, and while I may donate to that cause, I thought it best to let everyone pick their own. But with so many people out there in need.. how do you choose? Who's most deserving? What charity is best? Well after lots of Google searches trying to weed out the legitimate sites from the not so much ones, I came across Charity Navigator. This site has tips on how to pick, how to contact local charities in your area, and shows stats on how efficient the charity is. Because no one wants to donate their money to a charity that spends more in overhead than they do on the cause in which you are trying to support.

Still with so many needy people and worthy causes, it is so hard to pick. After looking through and through this site, I thought perhaps it would be best to donate locally. I haven't fully made up my mind yet, but I'm leaning towards the Wisconsin Humane Society. Nothing pulls at my heart strings more than sad and unloved furry animals. And obviously, Haiti and Chile and all those other places in the World. I guess just take pause this year when making that list of yours and think to yourself, do I really need the newest ipod or whatever? Sure there are things we all want, but there are so many out there that don't have the things they need(and that we all take for granted). And if you really can't imagine not unwrapping things on the 25th of December, then how about donating your time to a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter Or donating old coats and mittens.

Ok, there's my pitch! And thanks again to Gabby for planting the idea in my head in the first place.