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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Destressing Christmas, Part 11 - Meaningful Gifts with No Clutter

My siblings and I have agreed not to exchange gifts this year among ourselves. Why add to clutter in our homes when we don't really "need" anything? The holiday season can be fraught with spending more than you should on things people don't need just to show you care.

A creative option is to invest in meaningful gifts to those who are in need in the name of your family member. Or as a gift from you and/or your family members. Here are a couple of opportunities near and dear to my heart:

Shelter Care, Inc.

We see first hand the incredible generosity of people in our community who donate monetary gifts to make Christmas possible for our girls here at Shelter Care, Inc. And on occasion we get to distribute items donated by kind people. Lately, we've been able to provide lip balms and scrapbooking supplies because people took the time and went to the expense to give.

If you'd like to donate toward providing for the needs of our girls here at Shelter Care, you can send a check made out to Shelter Care, Inc. 32 South Avenue Tallmadge Ohio 44278. Write a separate note (not in the memo area of your check) stating your wishes.

Interlink Resources, Inc.

Our daughter Sara works for Interlink Resources, Inc., a humanitarian aid group meeting the needs of orphans in Kazakhstan. They have just launched a gift catalog in which you can provide a child with a soccer ball, a birthday party, clothing, etc. It can all be done online.

The gift of time is a meaningful, uncluttered gift, as well. Last year we took one of our girls (kicking and screaming) to a local women's shelter to wrap gifts for the women and children there. She loved it so much, she wanted to do it the next week, which we did! She said she wanted to make it a tradition in her life. You just can't teach those things with words - actions are necessary!

What a wonderful feeling to give to such causes, not to mention providing an opportunity for our children to learn generosity and compassion.

What organizations are near and dear to your heart that provide meaningful gifts to those in need?

Related posts: Destressing Christmas, Part 3 - Smart Gift-Giving, Destressing Christmas, Part 1 - Think Through Your Expectations