Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Alternative Giving

This time of year at my church stewardship campaigns are ramped up full speed.

Everyone wants to get their budgets in line and know what we have to work with for next year.

But should this be a topic that we discuss just one month of the year?

Or instead should it be a topic that we constantly have in the back of our minds.

I was recently part of a discussion in which we discussed ways to give and the people in the discussion were mainly focused on money...but there are so many other great ways to give.


This is a really broad topic but narrow it down to something that interests you
  1. Boys and Girls Club
  2. Serving food at a soup kitchen
  3. Delivering meals for Meals on Wheels
  4. Mow your neighbors lawn
  5. Lead a Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop
  6. Drive cancer patients to their treatments
  7. Clean up a local park or streets
  8. Check out local opportunities on Volunteer Match
Donate Yourself

  1. Donate blood to the local Red Cross
  2. Donate hair to Locks of Love
Alternatives to Money
  1. Link your grocery card buyers card to a local school so that they receive a portion of the sale
  2. Give away excess from your home through places such Freecycle or Goodwill or Salvation Army
  3. Handmade items that can be donated (such as blankets for premature babies)
  4. Old athletic shoes that can be made into playground surfaces
  5. Donate old blankets and towels to your local humane society
As you can see these things just barely scratch the surface...BUT there are numerous ways to give you just have to look around, see what talents you have or take inventory of the items in your house.

Not only will you be helping someone out there are studies that show helping makes us happier and healthier people.  

What suggestions or ideas do you have for other ways to give?  I know there are so many out there :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Only 51 More Days To Go

It is shocking to me every year how quickly Christmas rolls around.

Makes me begin to wonder whether time is just moving faster.

As of today there are 51 more days until Christmas.

I love the holiday and the decorations...and the FOOD!

Wouldn't be a proper holiday without some delicious vittles.

However the commercial aspects of the season really drive me crazy.

I was walking through one of the big box stores with my kids (mid-October mind you) and Christmas decorations and suggestions for gifts were everywhere.  My kids expressed some dismay and wanted to know what, when Halloween and Thanksgiving still had to come, were we already prepping for Christmas.

Simply explained to them it was so the most money could be made on gifts.

My husband and I have for several years requested that family either give 1 gift per child or give them an experience (or money for an experience if they live too far away).

This has worked like a charm and has cut down on the massive amounts of stuff that would clutter our house each December.

So what do you do?  Do you give unabashedly or are you more conservative?

Are their certain traditions that you all have the substitutes as a Christmas gift (i.e. going to The Nutcracker ballet)?

Just so that people don't think I am crazy and alone in my thought of giving less for the holidays...I would like to share this blog post that I came across.  In it Heather has some fantastic ideas for gifts.

Hope you all have a wonderful Monday!