Charles Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities in 1859 and his opening paragraph could have been written yesterday....
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair..."
World economies are collapsing, unemployment is high and yet shopping malls are full of people buying gifts for friends and families. And so often I hear the question..." What do you buy for the person who... has everything/wants nothing?" Are you the type who gives gift cards? Apparently more than 80% of them go unused. Or are you the type who buys a gift that will ... best case scenario... be "regifted" or sit in a cupboard or garage until the next lawn sale they have?
I have the perfect solution... one that's a win/win for everyone. With so many people doing without this year... Make a donation in their name to your favorite charity. Not only will your donation make a difference to a total stranger in need, it will put the spirituality front and center in the Holiday Season.
- send a card in their honor to a charity of particular importance to you or whoever you're sending holiday wishes to. (One of my favorites is FEED NOVA SCOTIA.)
- host a different kind of party where, instead of Host/Hostess gifts... how many bottles of wine or funky gadgets do we need anyway?... have your guests donate to a charity of your/their choice or even a change jar at the door. Admission = the loose change in pocket or purse.
- volunteer at a community food drive or soup kitchen
- check out websites & Facebook pages of wonderful organizations that will donate money for every click/like you do. Kraft Canada donated $50,000 to food banks across Canada, Red Rose Tea donated 10,000 pots of tea... and there are many more wherever you live.
- bring your canned goods & cash to local food drives
- join a Habitat for Humanity project
- visit a lonely senior and bring a home cooked treat ( a couple or more of frozen dinners would be appreciated)
And since holidays center around food in my world...and with all the pre-holiday stress of shopping and cooking and baking for those upcoming feasts... here's an easy recipe for some intriguing