This holiday season, unless you’re a person who does this, you’ll probably spend your gift-giving dollars with care.
While planning your holiday shopping list, here are a few thoughts . . .
1) If you live in
2) All booked up? Consider donating books to an area school, your local literacy coalition, a children's hospital, etc. If you live in
3) Monetary banks aren’t the only ones in trouble these days. Food banks across the country are suffering. We’ve been delivering bags of food to the hungry in our area for over two years and find the bags lighter than ever these days. Last weekend, one man politely asked if we could find one box of cereal for him for the week. I was able to do this only by taking it out of someone else’s bag. PLEASE contact your local food bank and donate canned soup, vegetables, fruit, beans, tuna, jars of peanut butter, boxes of pasta, cereal, etc. on a regular basis. You can find a food bank in your area here.
4) Are there animal lovers on your list? You can adopt a manatee for them here. (Manatees are the only 1,200 pound creatures I know of who are vegetarians, except for hubby. Just kidding, Honey.) How about becoming a foster parent to an orangutan here? Or help out a family in need by sponsoring an animal for their livelihood here?
5) If you want to buy actual gifts for people, may I suggest some from people I know?
a) For a lovely, handmade towel to wrap your favorite child in after bath time, try My Favorite Towel by my friend, Pamela.
b) For high quality furniture and accessories, check out Style and Form. My sister and her husband are offering huge price reductions on EVERYTHING just in time for the holidays.
c) For delectable handmade soaps that smell divine and are great for your skin, visit Naked Lady Soap.
d) Do you know how handmade dolls are created? Neither did I until I read an article by my friend, Sandy. Suffice to say, the process if very labor (and love) intensive. And Sandy created these masterpieces while successfully battling stage IV ovarian cancer. To purchase one of Sandy's elegant, collectible dolls, visit her here.
6) If you’re like me, you'll be giving books this holiday season. May I suggest these gems from friends:
a) If you have a turtle lover on your list, check out Turtle Girl here, a beautiful story, by Carole Crowe.
b) When the sky's the limit, give this rhyming non-fiction book to your young star gazer: Going Around the Sun: Some Planetary Fun by Marianne Berkes and Janeen Mason can be purchased here.
d) Did you miss the hilarious new release from comediane, Leigh Anne Jasheway-Bryant, Not Guilty by Reason of Menopause? Grab a copy here; you can use it to cool yourself in the event of a hot flash.
e) Kieran Doherty's Sea Venture: Shipwreck, Survival and the Salvation of Jamestown recently came out in paperback. To order this exciting read, click here.
f) For a fun middle grade read, pick up Mary Hershey's 10 Lucky Things That Have Happened to Me Since I Nearly Got Hit by Lightning here. Mary's other books are a hoot, too.
g) Mary and I seem to be in competition for world's longest title. Which reminds me, there's a certain middle grade book about a klutzy spelling bee champ whose mother is, um, running for president. You can pick up a copy (or twelve or three hundred or a class set) here.
Have I left out any great books? What about any beautiful hand-crafted products? Is there a charitable organization you'd love more people to know about?
Please share your suggestions in the comment section and have a happy, healthy holiday season!