Tuesday, December 18, 2012

12 Days of Christmas : Day 5 : Christmas Giving

Kelly from Exceptionalistic, Becky from Tales of Beauty for Ashes, and I are now five days into our 12 Days of Christmas series.  You can follow the tag "12 Days of Christmas 2012" by clicking HERE.

Today we are talking about giving back.  When we think about Christmas, it is often just think about the Christmas "wish lists" that the various members of our family have made.  Then there's the gifts for extended family, teachers, friends, and various other people in our lives.  But there's a greater need out there - one which extends beyond the walls of our own homes and even outside our immediate circles of involvement.  The communities in which we live have great needs.  There are organizations, agencies, churches, people, and so on who are within our communities who are counting on people like you and I for support.  Perhaps the community needs are an on-going type of need.  Perhaps the needs are increased around the holidays.  Perhaps the need is a sudden and immediate need.  Kelly, Becky, and I are each talking about ways to give back.  I would encourage you to read each of our posts so you can learn how you, too, might be able to give back in some way this holiday season.

As for me, the need I decided to share about was that of the local organization which relies on your donations.  Look around your community - I am sure you have at least one of these.  You can find them in the form of your local Goodwill store, Salvation Army, or Habitat for Humanity.  Maybe one of your local houses of worship has a drop-off point for gently used clothing or household items.  Perhaps your local hospital {children's or otherwise} is in need of books or magazines for waiting rooms.  These are just a few options, but I'm sure if you start looking around within your communities, you will find many organizations like these which could use your help.

So, how am I giving back this holiday season?

We recently moved into our rental house, taking along with us a lot of clutter which has followed us from place to place for years.  We have a much smaller place now than we had 4.5 years ago when we moved from Houston.  Not only is our square footage smaller, but we have no garage here for storage.  We also live in the South where there are no basements.  It finally dawned on me that the reason why my family home where I grew up never had any clutter was because a) my mother was a neat freak, and b) we always had a basement where we could store all the stuff we didn't use all the time!  Friends, it makes a huge difference.  The lack of storage has gotten to a point where we need to do something.  We donated a lot of stuff before we moved and we've donated a lot since we moved - even since we moved into our current home in September.  But we still have too much stuff.

I feel like in our current home, there is little room to be sentimental about things, so it is my goal before the end of the year to, once again, go through closets to find things which we can donate to a local organization.  We have a walk in closet full of clothes, but most of the clothes don't get used - they either don't fit or  just don't wear them.  They need to go.  The closet is full of boxes and bins.  We can't even really get into the closet for all the "stuff".  I need to go through the "stuff" and either toss or donate.

There's a good chance, if you're like me, that there is clutter in your house which is just taking up space.  There's also a good chance that some of the stuff you are hanging on to but not using is something that someone else could actually be using on a regular basis.  Or at least more often than you ever will!  Wouldn't we all be better off if we could redistribute the things we aren't using so that they could benefit someone else?

Look around your community.  There's someone or some place that can use what you are not using!  It's simple.  It's quick.  It doesn't involve a huge time commitment on your part.  Yet you'd be helping your community!

And now for something special!  Kelly, Becky and I are having a giveaway!!

That's right.  Each of us is giving away two months of ad space on our blogs and we are giving away two $25 gift cards for restaurant.com.  As bloggers, this is our way of giving back to you in the blogging community.  This giveaway is going to be simple.  We're not requiring all kinds of mandatory follows at all.  Just by showing up here, you can click to enter and earn 10 entries!  There are another couple easy entry options for even more entries.  Read more about our thought process behind this here.  Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.  There will be two winners - one for all that ad space and one for the gift cards!  But don't forget that this post is another link up opportunity.  Scroll down a little further and you can link up your posts on how you are giving back this holiday season.  We look forward to hearing from you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Feel free to grab the button below and be sure to link up your posts sharing your own favorite Christmas memories!

12 Days of Christmas 2012

Here's what we have coming up in our series so you can plan to share your posts in the days ahead:

12/19: Christmas Scripture: regular "Into The Word Wednesday" post, holiday-inspired
12/20: Christmas Tree: picture-only post of tree and ornaments
12/21: Christmas Song: favorite holiday song and why
12/22: Christmas Creations: last minute Pinterest-inspired gifts
12/23: Christmas Future: new tradition to put into place next year
12/24: Christmas Eve: favorite traditions, routines, or plans
12/25: Christmas Meaning: what Christmas means to us


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