Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tis the Season To Be Giving!

 'Tis the season..To be Giving!

Most of my friends are over 40 and I think we all came to the same conclusion a few years ago..We had,too.much.stuff.

So we all started our mass clear clutter feng shui attacks getting rid of clothes,books,things we have to take too much time to babysit for..You know,those intricate cute little carved items that you spend half the weekend trying to get the dust bunnies out of or using special toxic cleaners to make look new again..

I now have a desk that just has my Giant Mac computer ,phone,cellphone and pens,paper notebook, framed photos and that is it. So where's the photo's you ask ?
Off site in a vault! Not to mention how much we love virtual storage where everything is secretly and safely stored.

It took a long time getting to that point of stark simplicity but somewhere along the line you have to realize..someday you are probably going to make a house you really want to spend weeks and months packing up house ?
Wouldn't you rather be free  to enjoy life,the 10 days of sunshine we've been getting lately and not worry about your 'stuff ?'

So,here is what we did..In our prospective cities(I am blessed to have many many friends living all over the world) we called companies that would pick up our donations.
Many of us live in big cities with great transportation so we do not want or need cars.
Anyway,owning a car in the city is so expensive now,you'd have to have an ATM in your car to afford a downtown parking space!

Having items picked up was a start. We also made gift bags for friends that we knew admired some of our stuff and passed them along.Hey let them deal with it :-)
Not really,it's just a gesture of kindness.

I remember years ago it was almost impossible to find a charitable organization that would pick up,but if you go online and do a bit of searching,you'd be surprised. Theya re all in serious need of YOUR support. So if you can give,give. We never know when we could end up  on the receiving line of the charities.

Here is one source which we recently used:

Also,my friends and I have made it clear,no gifts! Cards are great and so is lunch or getting together for dinner but don't stress out trying to find a 'perfect gift' or break your budget.Not necessary!

If you are in the spirit of giving and want to look beyond the person to person holiday gift,how about creating a great memorable card and donating what you would have bought to a charity in need or a friend in need that has not weathered this awful recession very well.

A few charities I am familiar with and have supported in one way or another thru the years with check donations are:

The Salvation Army

The Greater Chicago Food Depository

Special Olympics
Make-A-Wish Foundation
Smile Train
Starlight Foundation
Susan G.Komen for the cure
American Cancer Society

Your church or any cause or group you believe in that help others instead of just themselves.

Your local food bank accepts money or unexpired sealed canned goods.

You can also check out a charities stats here to see where the money goes:

Also look into your  areas hospitals to donate new or unused toys,art supplies,books in good condition. Call first if you have to make a trip to drop off.

Women's shelters can always use clothing items in all sizes.

Senior Citizens homes-call and ask what items they might accept. I've donated stacks of new magazines and books to my local ones. You'd probably have to drop them off as many are short staffed.

A little vintage inspiration on 'stuff' from George Carlin!

It really is better to give than to receive.
Enjoy the season!

Linda Matlow