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2010-10-23

9 Weeks 'Till Christmas

Spreading Peace & Good Cheer 


It is easy to get caught up in the chaos of shopping and Christmas preparation, to forget, momentarily, the essential meaning of the Season. It is a time for family and friends, of food, gifts and revelry, yes, but also a time to focus on peace between Nations and Peoples, a time to remember those less fortunate, a time to give of ourselves. Here are some ideas to help spread the "Peace & Good Cheer" as we head into the Holidays:

  • Share your hobby where it would be useful and /or appreciated - For the past few years, I have made Christmas cards with the residents at a local Seniors' Home. It is rewarding to chat with them of their youth and families and to help them create handmade cards for their loved ones! Other possibilities could be:
    • Perform a small Christmas concert at a Seniors Home.
    • Make ornaments for a Church Craft Fair.
    • Decorate a tree on a hospital ward.
    • Visit children at a hospital to perform a magic tricks for them. 
    • Visit a hospital or Home to read aloud to someone.
    • Bake up a special holiday treat for the residents of a home (be sure to provide complete ingredients as some may have special diets)
    • Volunteer with a youth organization or a community group to show them how to make your craft as gifts or fundraisers.
    • Local churches and schools are good resources to help find a fit for your talents!
  • Help provide clothing/toys/gifts/Christmas Dinner for a family in need:
    • donate to the local food bank
    • support your school's food collection
    • donate to VOCM's "Coats for Kids"
    • contact a local guidance counsellor or minister to ask if they know of a family in need and see if you can anonymously provide one of the gifts for the children, pick up some essential winter clothing or help them with their Christmas groceries, etc.
  • Think Global:
    • Use the power and convenience of the Internet to teach your children how very fortunate they are to live in Canada, away from the diseases and famine that strike so many other countries in this world.
    • Help them envision their donation and the good it will do through specific gifting options available through UNICEF, the Red Cross or the World Wildlife Federation. (Last year our boys chose to vaccinate infants in Africa against measles because they didn't want babies to be sick. Another time they purchased mosquito netting to help prevent malaria. This year they are thinking of protecting polar bear and penguin habitats!)
  • Make your Christmas Shopping count by shopping via the websites of Charitable Organizations. For example:
    • For a wide selection of beautiful homemade gifts, accessories, collectibles, cards and so much more, visit www.unicef.ca. Proceeds support children in need. 
    • Visit www.redcross.ca and click on their link to the Amazon website to donate 5% of your Amazon purchase total to the Red Cross!
    • To support their continued research and cultural sustainability initiatives, shop items from around the world on www.nationalgeographic.com..  
    • Help fight cancer by shopping the clothing, purses, jewelry and other items at www.shopcancer.ca
  • Last but not Least - let's not forget that charity begins at home: 
    • Help an elderly relative with their Christmas Shopping.
    • Help an elderly neighbour to decorate their tree, put up their lights, etc.
    • Local churches, food banks, schools are sure to know of families suffering form the effects of Hurricane Igor. Contact them to find out what you can do. 
    • Donate through the Red Cross and support their relief efforts here. 
Have fun!

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