A little Christmas inspiration…

One morning, while we were in Mexico, I was reading through a Glamour magazine and came across their 31 Days of Giving feature.  It’s something they do every year…a list of 31 charities to donate to or get involved with.  Basically, ideas to use during the Christmas season to make the world a better place.  Normally, I flip past the list or just skim it and then move on.  This time, however, something on the page caught my eye and I ended up reading through the whole list.  A few minutes later, J and I headed off to breakfast…but a tiny little seed of an idea had been planted in my brain.

When we came back from Mexico, J asked me what I wanted for Christmas.  I thought about it for a few days and I came up with…nothing.  I mean…jewelry is always nice…or a new handbag…but there isn’t anything I’m coveting this year.  And there really isn’t anything I need either.

As we sat on Black Friday, looking through catalogs and scanning websites and reading the gift suggestions in magazines, searching for something to get one another, I realized that this year, gifts seems kind of…well, unnecessary.  Last year we were just glad that my dad was even alive and we really did make the best of the holidays…but eating takeout in the hospital common room on Christmas Eve was no one’s idea of a perfect holiday.  This year, our gift is that we are all going to be home together to celebrate and that seems like enough.

We were really lucky this year.  My dad came home and is doing well.  The rest of my family is doing well also.  My brother and sister-in-law both have new jobs they enjoy.  We had three new beautiful, healthy babies join our families.  We are all safe, happy and healthy and we have everything we need.  There are a lot of people who can’t say that.

So many people lost everything in Hurricane Sandy or because of the bad economy.  So many people around us aren’t going to have a very happy holiday without a little help.  We are blessed and fortunate…and to spend a lot of money on things that we don’t need just for the sake of buying each other presents doesn’t feel right to me.  I feel that we should instead share some of our good fortune with people who really need it.  I was discussing all of this with J and that is when the small seed of an idea I had in Mexico really became something.

I am still going to buy presents this year…but I’m going to do so on a smaller scale.  I’m going to take the rest of the money I would normally spend on gifts and try to do some good.  I was really inspired by Glamour’s 31 Days of Giving…so I’ve decided to do my own version of it here.

With a little help from my friends, I’ve come up with a list of 31 ways to give back.  Starting tomorrow and for each day in December, I’m going to write about one of those ways.  My hope is that at least a few other people will be inspired the way I was.  So please come by here every day in December.  If we all do a little something, maybe we can have a big effect.




  1. This sounds awesome. Looking forward to reading more.

  2. What an awesome idea! I love it. I have had a heck of a time coming up with stuff for Christmas this year too – like you said there is “stuff” I like, but nothing I NEED.

    About 2 years ago Mike and I did ALL our shopping locally. The only gifts we didn’t purchase at local stores were toys for his little sister. But I really enjoyed going into local stores, helping my little town’s economy and getting the PERSONAL service I got at each store. Heck, most of them wrapped our gifts for us. Talk about a win/win!

    Good luck in your quest I can’t wait to read all about it and to get lots of warm fuzzy feelings from it!

  3. I am SO happy to read this here today! What an inspirational post this is and yes, a reminder that we all can and should spread a little cheer wherever possible. We are so close to the devastated areas so it feels wrong somehow to overdue it in the gifts department when so many have so little this season.

    XOXO and I’ve missed you, girl!

  4. Yay, I can’t wait!

  5. Such a good idea and I am looking forward to learning more over the next 31 days.

  6. This is so beautiful, Shana. I’m so happy that your family has been exponentially blessed this year. You all deserve it after all you’ve been through. Merry Christmas season to you, friend! :)

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