Thursday, December 3, 2009

Spreading The Christmas Spirit

Before you read on, be sure to check out my Amethyst and Diamond Earrings Giveaway! You can read more about it and how to enter Here

Now back to how I spread Christmas Cheer!

One thing I rarely show is my soft side. I have a special affection for children at Christmas time and do what I can to contribute to households that Santa may overlook.

Last year, I called around looking for a family to adopt at Christmas but found that this was no longer done in our small town. Everyone I spoke with directed me to the Salvation Army so I gave them a call.

I spoke to a friendly gal there who told me that they do a Christmas gift drive every year where anyone who wants to can buy a gift, donate it and the Salvation Army will make sure it makes its way to a needy child. I questioned her wanting to know what age groups were most overlooked and she was quick to mention that it was the teens. She said they get more than enough for the 0 -12 year olds but that they are always short on gifts for ages 13 and up. We went over a few items that they wanted and I went out and spent around $100 on that age group. I did my shopping at Zellers (like Walmart) and I'm pleased to say that when I told the manager there what I was doing, he approved an additional discount on my total bill of 20% to help out.

My husband delivered those gifts to the Salvation Army to the delight of the workers there. So because that information was only available to me a few weeks prior to Christmas, there wasn't a heck of a lot I could do for that year but this year is different.

As soon as Christmas 2008 was over, I went to work filling a large box with as many teen gifts as I could find. Everything had to have an unlimited shelf life so I focused on comb, brush mirror sets, make-up brushes, manicure sets and things of that nature. Things that I new I loved as a teen. I checked around and found actual battery operated manicure sets that were $19.99 before Christmas being cleared out for 99 cents.  I bought the last two and into the box they went. Two cool little digital pocket cameras that were $14.99 for $5.99. Last Summer I found a great deal on $20 watches for only $7.99 and purchased two to donate (just had to pull the pins to save the battery).



You can take a look here at the photo I took the other day to see what was purchased during the last 11 months. This has already been dropped off but is only Part I of the Christmas spirit we spread around each Holiday Season.

Stay tuned for Part II and Part III!!  Hope I've inspired you to spread around your own Christmas Cheer this year and help out some children who may not otherwise receive a gift from Santa!


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48 comments:

Mrs Montoya said...

What a terrific thing to do and so clever to collect things all year to get more for your money. I want to do a post on charity next week. May I link back to this as an example of beauty during the season?

I also featured your giveaway on my post today. Going there now to get my second entry. I am in LOVE with those earrings.

suzicate said...

That's a great idea to collect all year! One year our church adopted the people at a local shelter. The kids always get lots of toys, but asw you said teens are somewhat overlooked. We bought the teen an ipod and itunes card. He was so happy. The smile on his face was a present to all of us!

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

What a wonderful thing to do and a great idea!!

singedwingangel said...

What a wonderful idea... I would love to do somethign like that around here... another good group to focus on the elderly and those in nursing homes who have no famiy to visit anymore... they love visitors ad little gifts lke chap stick or hand cream and powder

Too Many Hats said...

That is awesome! Teens are often overlooked at this time, so glad you thought to ask about specific age groups.

The Mommyologist said...

What an awesome idea! I bet lots of needy teens get overlooked around the holidays since most people go out and buy toys for young kids. I may have to look into something like this!

KaLynn said...

What a great idea!! I think I will see if the grands would like to help out with this also!

BTW-I absolutely love those earrings!

Lissaloo said...

What a great thing to do, it will be much appreciated I'm sure :)

Kimi@SoManyKidsSoLittleTime said...

What a great idea to store up stuff all year! I am just so amazed as I wander the blogs in my reader who generous everyone is. This is really going to be an amazing holiday season!

staceyjwarner said...

This is fantastic! I give to SEVA Foundation and by toys for toy drives...there is nothing better than the feeling of giving...

much love

Working Mommy said...

The man doesn't quite understand how I can get the giving bug when we are struggling ourselves...I tell him that it is giving me good karma, but he still doesn't like the fact that I spend money on other people who aren't part of the family. Keep up the good work!! It pays off in the end!

~Working Mommy

glitterbygrammie said...

A great idea. I hve a box of gifts that sit in my closet for inexpected birthday party's and so on. I also purchase when everything goes on sale. I am a seasonal buyer. But I think I will set up another box to fill this year for next year..
Thanks

Noelle said...

wow...you got some good stuff! you're doing a great thing and i think it's spectacular that you do your shopping for the needy teens year round!

PJ said...

what a great thing for you to do! teens are so much harder to shop for but it looks like you have found some awesome things for them. have a great day!

Beck said...

That is a WONDERFUL idea! Needy teens ARE totally forgotten at Christmas - thank you for the great idea.

Jen said...

What a great idea and that you remembered it the whole year is wonderful. So often people contribute to charities around the holidays but then forget about them until the next year.

blueviolet said...

Your idea of gathering everything up all during the year is great! Then you catch things on sale and really increase what you can give. :)

Tamara said...

Good Morning!! TAG YOUR IT! Come on over and see what I tagged you with lol sorry lol

Kristin said...

That is so wonderful that they gave you a discount. You have a beautiful heart lady!

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

our church does something similar where we adopt an angel from the tree and it says what to buy and who it is going to - i love giving this time of year too

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

So smart of you to collect stuff during the year. I'm sure the focus on donations is always for the little ones. I know that's what I think of when I buy for Toys for Tots...thanks for sharing

Sincerely, Jenni said...

Excellent idea! I might have to start doing this.. It is so overwhelming to try and help out so many worthy causes this time of year, but maybe I just need to start thinking about this year round! Great post!

Totallyscrappy said...

I love that you focused on teens! And great bargains...

Kat @ measuring my life in l-o-v-e said...

What a great thing you are doing! And some of those items being back the memories of the things I loved as a teen!

Rabbit said...

Careful darlin - you're wings (and halo) are showing. I love, love, love that you do stuff like this. I don't often have the money to do it your way, but I do rally about as much help as I can and can get. Last year we got a building donated for the Battered Women's group and painted it up, remodeled and it is now, this year, a fully functional shelter. We also help out with the AIDS/HIV center here for those without insurance and the like. I love helping. There's not a better feeling in the world. This year, I am volunteering on post for the military families who have loved ones overseas. Should be a blast! But just from me to you, thank you for all that you do. You make the world a better place just by being a part of it.

Martinis or Diaper Genies? said...

wow this is amazing. I'm very proud of you!
I on the other hand shop for myself at christmas. so bad.

Martha in PA said...

How awesome you are! I am sure all of the recipients will be!

We generally buy gifts for the "Angel Tree", that go to kids involved in the Community Housing project. This year we are buying for an 8 yr old boy.

My mother is also involved in Christmas Stockings for a retirement home and for teen age girls through her church. Her room is full of things to fill the hand made felt and fishnet stocking (all made by my mom), and hand knitted scarves, many that she also knitted. I do what I can to help, and tomorrow night we will be packing 100 stockings! Photos to follow!

Erin said...

Our Jazzercise class has adopted a needy family and I've got a few things I'm in charge of getting. I love doing stuff like this and I'm so glad other people like you do, too!

JennyMac said...

This is so awesome! What a great idea and you are right, it is segment often overlooked. Bravo to you !

ethelmaepotter! said...

I do this, too, and shopping after Christmas for the next year is THE BEST tip for really getting lots of great stuff. I can spend perhaps $100 and be able to give $400 or more worth of gifts!
Last year I snagged Zac Efron watches and make-up kits at 90% off; pre-teens and young teens should love those; lots of Hannah Montana clothes and accessories at 50% to 90% off; and I grabbed the last three Shania Twain perfume sets - $75 value for $5!
I also shop Target's dollar bins year round and add to it. I love shopping there the day after a holiday, when the dollar items go to 50 cents! I stocked up on Disney gifts this year for the younger kids.

newmumover40 said...

What a wonderful thing to be doing!

Lisa said...

You are an amazing soul. Thanks for popping in to leave such kind words, it was appreciated more than you can know. I love to do these kind of donations and teens are far too often overlooked. Kudos to you and all you do!

Arizona Mamma said...

We too were looking for a family to adopt. I love this idea about the Salvation Army. I look forward to parts II and III.

Trish said...

This is AMAZING, Im so happy and beside myself to see/hear of your kind heart at this time of year (actually all year round).

When we lived in California and before we were busy moving all over the place the past 2 years, we would buy toys for the local orphanage in Orange County...its just great knowing that you can help spread the Christmas cheer.
I almost cried reading your post....these dang hormones!

Rabbit said...

Omigosh, Deb. You're such an inspiration. I went wandering around town today wondering what I could do to help after reading your blog. Came across this little hole in the wall thrift store. On the back wall were those old grocery store shelves cram packed with stuffed animals. Turns out the owner was there, so I spoke with him and he said he'd donated "what he could" if I could find someone in need. So I called the child abuse advocacy center - and it turns out they've kinda been forgotten this year it seems with all this other "bigger" and more publicized charities going on. Long story short: the thrift store guy donated ALL the toys. ALL! Like 200 + stuffed animals; couple of bikes; and other little odds and ends!!! All because of you and your blog post! Bunches of kiddos thank you, Deb! And I do too!!! Happy Holidays!!!

HeartsMakeFamilies said...

You were tagged sweetie. Enjoy http://www.heartsmakefamilies.com/2009/12/christma-meme-getting-to-know-you.html

kys said...

It's great that you pick things up all year. I'm sure it is much more cost effective that way.

blogrock said...

Oh man, you go gurl, what an angel you are..

Corrie Howe said...

Planning ahead this past year is a great idea. I'm sure many teenagers are going to have a great Christmas this year because of your planning.

Respectfully Yours said...

Awesome idea. We adopted 3 families this year at Church. Alot for our small congregation, but God will provide. I guess it is a sign of the times. Families are really hurting these days.

Thank you for keeping these special kids in your heart and giving them a lovely Christmas.

HeartsMakeFamilies said...

Back to finally post on your post.

This is totally awesome. These kids are forgotten when Christmas comes around. Most people look at the smaller kids first.

Nicci said...

This is really cool. What a great idea.

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

To me, that is what Christmas is really all about. I admire your creativity all year round. You plan ahead, find great bargains and of course, the smiles are priceless on the kids faces.

Each year, we pick a family to adopt and if not, we will give a gift to someone that has inspired us. We always leave a card explaining how they have inspired us and a gift that they can use for years to come.

Thank you for your wonderful ideas.

honeypiehorse said...

Good for you! There's often a local food bank as well that supplies holiday meals (as well as year round) to needy families.

Frugal Vicki said...

wow! Fantastic deal! I am waiting on some donated glue bottles so we can give some fun activities for little ones that will be spending Christmas at the hospital. We should have a little bloggy hop for giving back for Christmas.

Carol said...

That's a great idea! We ring bells every year but this is certainly doable!

Laynee said...

That's awesome that you are getting presents for the kids. I think we all should do something like that. It really brings a smile to their faces. I remember being in 5th grade and we got to chose a child to get presents for. We got a lot of presents for them that year. It's always nice to give someone something to make them smile.

gayle said...

That's a great idea!!