Thrifty Christmas- Part 5

I'm glad to see you have braved the snow today! Come on in and make yourself at home. Are you having problems finding gifts for some of your family and friends? It is so hard to shop for someone who has everything they need. Well, over the past few years we have come up with a couple ideas that seem to be working.

Have a seat while I get you some hot chocolate. Then we can visit.

Every year it seems to be getting hard to find gifts for our siblings, parents and grandparents. We ended up finding solutions for all of them but it was NOT one size fits all. My mom worked for Headstart as a teacher until she retired. Before that she worked at a daycare for mentally and physically disabled children (4-5 yr. old room). My sister works for a county agency in what is kind of a social worker/ educator position. She helps families who have or are expecting a baby with a disabilty or premature baby to a teen. During my college years I work for the local Salvation Army in their office but spent my holiday breaks volunteering to help them hand out or deliver items to those in need while crashing on the Caption and his wife's couch at night (dorms were closed over break). I also went on a couple missonary trips to Haiti during those same years. For my family we have seen people in try need first hand. The best gift we could give each, is NOTHING. We just want to enjoy our time together.

So what do we do? We decided as family that we would adopt a family in the county we grew up in for Christmas. My mom is still friend's with the local social worker. She always has a family that has fallen through the cracks and was not able to get help through the normal channels. She gives us the needed info (age, sex, clothing size, etc). We intern find a day we can all go shopping together as family. We make it a fun outing and spend the amount of money we would have other wise spent on ourselves. By the end of the day we have a car load of gifts for the kids and food for the pantry. All of us wish we could be a fly on the wall when those kids open their gifts to see their expressions. But just knowing that we made what could have been a very sad Christmas into a day of joy and thanksgiving is priceless. For our family we look forward to doing this every year.

On Christmas morning at my parent's house there are only a few presents for each of the grandkids. And that is it. Everyone is happy and know one misses the gifts that could have been. We just greatful for the opportunity to spent time together and give to those in need.

Do you give the gift of giving? Have you ever given to a charity in a friend or family's name for Christmas? How did they like or dislike the gift?

Well, it's getting late and baby needs to go to bed. I'll have to visit with you tomorrow about what we do for my husband's side of the family. Be safe on your way home!


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