I like Operation Christmas Child because it gives children all over the world, who wouldn't normally get anything, a little something for Christmas. Every year my honorary Aunt gets a large group of women together and they bring all kinds of things (toothbrushes and toothpaste, socks, shirts, balls, small stuffed animals, shoes, etc) and they stuff boxes. They often get close to 200 boxes that they take to their local drop off.
This is one thing I love and we typically try to do just 15 boxes by ourselves though we are hoping to get more people in on it next year.
We learned last year that older boys rarely get anything in these places, where they take the boxes; so this year all of our boxes were for older boys. And it is funny if you watch the videos of the children getting the boxes, no matter what the age they always love a stuffed toy. It is really beautiful to see.
Beyond that I like to give blood. I did this about a week ago and I won't lie, it was painful. They had to stick me twice and I ended up with a huge bruise. The thing is every time I bumped it and it hurt I thought: "But it saves a life."
Several years back, right after Thanksgiving, my cousin and her family hit black ice on their way home. My cousin and her husband were fine but her two kids were airlifted to the bay area (California San Francisco region) for medical attention. They were airlifted right off the lawn on our family property because it is accessible to the road and has a large area with no power lines so when they MediFlight asked my Ex-Volunteer Firefighter uncle told them yes.
As it turned out my cousin's son had minor injuries and went home the next day but her daughter was in bad shape, though she healed quickly. In situations like this they often as for blood donations.
Now onto the Worst Christmas Present I Can Think OF!
While I was looking at people's stories about the worst gift they've ever received, I stumbled upon a website where you are essentially sending a virtual card to a friend of family member saying you've sent a donation in their name. But it is all fake. You never have to give money. The site tells you it is for the purpose of giving a gift that makes someone feel good without actually having to spend anything. To me this is so sad. The website is careforless.org. Now, the organizations that you choose from are all clearly fake and I think someone you've sent this to would know that but it still seems awful.
Of course, I've heard of really bad gifts before. My cousin and her husband were given a talking fly swatter a few years back. Why would you even buy that?
Me. I got an Elvis poster and a vase from my Aunt that had previously been fixtures in my cousins bedroom. I do not jest. I remember looking at them and knowing how little thought went into them.
Getting gifts isn't the most important thing. One of my favorite gifts is homemade zucchini relish (yes the recipes I made myself finally) which is something I know my Aunt makes in bulk and doesn't have to spend almost anything... but I love it. I even loved the time she donated money in my name. It isn't about what you get. It is about someone caring that you might like it.
Honestly, my favorite thing about gifts is in the giving. I love being there when people open their gifts. I love finding gifts, I know someone will love.
Days Until Christmas: 6