Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Spirit of Giving

Christmas is but a few days away and I will admit that I am fairly shocked by the amount of stuff we have purchased this year. I love giving gifts to my husband and children, especially when I totally nail it, by which I mean that I manage to get them something that they love but really didn't expect to actually get. I am pretty sure the Ariel (aka: "The Little Mermaid") Barbie will be that gift for Kara. Dave reads this blog, so no predictions there.

Over the past couple of years my mom has insisted that we drastically reduce the amount of stuff we give her. She can get pretty worked up about the over-commercialization during the holiday season. And, in principle, I agree with her. God knows, we could all make do without nearly as much stuff around. In the spirit of giving my mom something she would actually like, I started contributing to a charity in her name. Last year, I made a donation to CARE to send a girl to school for a year. This year, I have decided to stay a little more local. On the off chance that she will read this before Saturday, I will keep the specifics to myself, but if you are looking for a last minute gift, consider a charitable gift.

Need some ideas? Here you go...

  • Nicholas Kristof's article in the New York Times on Sunday provides a list of charities that don't often get the attention they deserve but are worthy causes.
  • Charity Navigator is a site that evaluates charities in terms of how they allocate their funds.
  • Donors Choose is a site that lets you give to teachers to improve their classrooms. This was profiled on Oprah recently. Very cool idea.
  • Charity Choice allows you to purchase a gift card for someone and then they can choose how to allocate the funds to any of the hundreds of participating organizations.

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