Celebrating the season by giving, thankfully!

I am from a large blended family.  Today, with spouses, children and in-laws, the Christmas season can be extremely hectic and we tend to receive a lot of “stuff.”   We pass “stuff” around the living room in a hurried frenzy making sure everyone received some and we pile it up next to our feet which grows to the height of our knees or beyond.  This ritual around the tree lasts for hours as people come at various times of the day.  The most relaxing part about Christmas is dinner which seems to go by far too quickly.  It is the only time when we sit together in true peace.

My oldest sister, Suzanne, takes on the yearly tradition of pulling names to determine secret Santa’s.   The rest of the gifts are doled out as assorted stocking stuffers…therefore accumulating a lot of “stuff.”  Thankfully, this year, instead of sending us seperate emails to notify us who we were to buy for, Suzanne sent a group email requesting that we skip the secret Santa and cut back on stocking stuffers.  In exchange for this, as a family, we will put money towards a new refugee family that just arrived in Toronto from Palestine.  Everyone was overjoyed with this proposal and quite relieved that there would not be another year of accumulating stuff under the tree.  So, now, in the true spirit of Christmas gift-giving we will be doing just that, helping a family in desperate need of funding. 

I have listed some of my favourite charities in a link on the side which I donate to through the year.  Matt and I have proudly sponsored a little girl, Rukaya, for four years now, through the CCF and tend to give to Doctors Without Borders as birthday gifts to certain people we know who do a lot of humanitarian work regarding medicine in Canada.  Most agencies have catalogs that help you to see where your money is going and provide you with a Christmas card to give to the individual, whose name you have donated in honour of, and I guarantee, these gifts are always much appreciated by the reciever!

“There is a wide world of noble causes…”  – Joni Mitchell

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