We dated the Zeros… so you don’t have to.

08
December

A different kind of Holiday Gift Guide

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They’re baaaack.  I’m not talking about the ghosts that haunted young Carol Ann and her family.  No, I’m referring to the scores of holiday commercials that are inundating our TV sets.  Every kiss begins with Kay…He went to Jared…etc.

I’ve got nothing against exchanging gifts during the holiday season.  I don’t really #occupy anything, except for my bed at night.  However, it seems like the holiday shopping can get out of hand. Megan wrote about the insanity of Black Friday and the injuries that resulted.  Injuries!  The holiday season is supposed to be about peace on earth and good will toward your fellow human beings.  With this in mind, here are a few (non-shopping ways) to spread some much needed holiday cheer.

Volunteer Your Time
Do you happen to have a free hour in between your holiday celebrations?  Why not spend it volunteering?  There are plenty of organizations that would be grateful to have you.  Check out local homeless shelters or even your place of worship (if you happen to have one).  They can always use an extra pair of hands.

Donate Your Stuff
This is the time of year when many people find themselves with an influx of stuff.  Want to cut off the cutter before it even rears its ugly head? Try donating some of the things you don’t need anymore.  You know the old saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”?  If you have items that are in decent condition, chances are that someone will want them.  Consider donating your old goods to an organization like Goodwill (http://www.goodwill.org/) or AmVets (http://www.amvets.org/).  Sometimes they’ll even come and pick up your donation, thus making the whole thing easy as pie (or cookies, if you prefer).

Food
Speaking of pie and all things in between, food is another great way to spread some joy during the holidays.  Want to really make someone smile?  Bring them some cookies. Not only is it super fun to get baked goods, it’s nice to get a gift out of the blue.  And, honestly, it’s even better to give someone a gift that they weren’t expecting.  Cookies don’t take much time or effort, but they can really brighten someone’s day.

Donate Some Christmas Cash
The holidays can be really hard on bank accounts.  Even “in this economy” people are still buying a lot of big ticket items (refer to Megan’s Black Friday article for example).  Maybe consider donating some of your iPad fund to a worthy charity. The Muscular Dystrophy Association (http://www.mda.org/) works with people with neuromuscular diseases, and does a lot of work with children.  The ASPCA  (http://aspca.org/) helps animals in need.  And The Trevor Project (http://www.thetrevorproject.org/) prevents suicide among LGBT youth.  There are, literally, hundreds of worthy groups out there that would really benefit from the money that you might spend on even one present.  There are lots of people that are in need and the holidays are a great time to offer a helping hand.

The holidays are definitely a time for counting our blessings.  And, maybe, for spreading some of that good fortune around.

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Elisabeth Fitzgerald

About the author: Elisabeth Fitzgerald

Elisabeth Fitzgerald is a Chicago born, Los Angeles based writer. In addition to writing fiction and non-fiction, she also works in the entertainment industry. When not holed up with a pen in her hand or a script at her side, she enjoys Tejano music, vintage clothing and tricking herself into exercising with yoga. Her dislikes catalog a number of prominent ZEROS.

Elisabeth has written 63 articles for us.

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