The last couple of cold weekends, I have basically been shuffling around in my jammies and wooly socks, drinking coffee and doing my shopping online in between clearing out the house for charity donations. You see this year, I looked around our toy-filled house and said, "Enough." Before more is coming in here, it's time to give away all the toys that our child has outgrown. Time to clear my own closets for warm clothes and shoes that others need.
So, instead of doing more around the holidays, my biggest effort has been to get us down to LESS. I also spent more on charitable donations than any one person on my list including my kiddo. After easily finding six 55-gallon bags of stuff to give away, I realized just how much we still have. Some of her "gifts" are clothes and activity fees and things she needs, not just toys.
For family, I created most of their gifts online, making photo albums to celebrate all the moments we shared in the past year. For nephews, I did gift certificates. Teens pick out their own presents better than I do. Why risk that gift becoming another donation quickly?
Tomorrow, the bags and bags go out for pickup. On Thursday, my spouse and I will show up to volunteer, loading two moving trucks of food and donations and new toys for families in need.
After an earlier health scare for a family member this year, we are pretty grateful and blessed that everyone is healthy and we'll be together at the holidays. This, we feel, is more than enough. It's all that matters.
I will cook this weekend. I'll try to post some good recipes soon. Right now, I'm enjoying this Christmas season in a way I haven't before. Less is good.
If you want to learn about volunteering at a food bank, check out my guest post on Grist.