By in Holidays

This Holiday Season, I'm Doing Something Different

I enjoy looking at the holiday lights and the Christmas trees adorned in all their finery, but this year, I won't be contributing to either of these traditions.

Having only so much disposable income limits my spending -- as it does most everyone's. I no longer have children at home, and my grandchildren have Christmas trees at their own homes.

I've decided I will enjoy the decorations that others have, using the funds I would have spent on them to make someone else's Christmas a little nicer.

I know two small children who won't wake up on Christmas morning with but a package or two apiece, so I'd like to make a small difference there. They need never know I contributed -- that's not important. What I do feel is important is for them to have some joy and full tummies on the day of giving.

It's a small, small act that will only make a difference for one family, but I'm already beginning to feel the warmth of it.

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melody23 wrote on December 1, 2014, 10:14 AM

We have so many Christmas decorations! When I got my first flat I was given some from a family member who knew I didn't have any money to buy some, then over the years I have been given more, my mother moved into a much smaller house this year and so has given me even more! My plans for the day are to go through them all and see what we will and wont use, what we don't need is going to a youth club for their Christmas show. they are based in a really deprived area with lots of immigrants who receive no help from the government. I did a placement in the area and have seen the deprivation first hand, it is nice to know I will be helping them in a small way to do something for the children. I also plan on trying to go and see the show depending on what day it is if I can make it or not.

Feisty56 wrote on December 1, 2014, 10:20 AM

That sounds like a wonderful option for re-purposing your extra decorations! It may be a small gesture, but small gestures add up and pretty soon make big differences. You'll likely never fully know the impact your giving will have, but that's okay too, isn't it?

AliCanary wrote on December 1, 2014, 12:00 PM

I think it is a wonderful act. Kudos to you! My mom set a good example for me with her volunteer work, and I will be helping serve meals at a soup kitchen this month. I still decorate for Christmas, but I just use my same old ones that I've had. If I ever need new ones, I wait until after Christmas and buy them for half off!

maxeen wrote on December 1, 2014, 12:15 PM

I have special decorations from the 6os, Wow ! Antiques now ... I just put a few up then remember all the busy,busy times...

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on December 1, 2014, 1:00 PM

I don't have money to spend on decorating, either, and there's not much point just for me. I'm toying with the idea of putting up a tiny tree this year, but it will be one I cut off my property that I really didn't want growing up around the yard anyway.

WordChazer wrote on December 1, 2014, 2:24 PM

I'm afraid I'm a sucker for Christmas decorations and buy new additions to the stash every year. We have a 6' white tinsel tree and a 2' purple tinsel tree which I pretty up with vibrant tinsel and baubles. Where we choose to economise is by only sending 9 cards apiece to friends and family and buying donations of food, bedding and treats for the local animal shelter in memory of the cats we have lost over the years. Anna's memory allows us to buy tuna flakes, while Harry gave us Dreamies. Polly was the niphead while OediPuss loved his Wiskas. I like your idea too, mind.

HappyLady wrote on December 1, 2014, 2:55 PM

I felt really encouraged when I read your post. It made me feel I could also maybe rethink what I do with my very small income this Christmas. I cannot do much for everyone so doing one worthwhile thing makes sense and I know the two children you have chosen to help will be grateful.

Bethany1202 wrote on December 1, 2014, 4:24 PM

It may seem small but it will be a world of difference for whomever you help, how wonderful! : D

Feisty56 wrote on December 1, 2014, 4:29 PM

Yes, there's no sense paying the full price for something that gets used once a year -- or at least that's how I see it.

I've tried to volunteer at the local soup kitchen, but was actually turned away. They said they needed monetary donations rather than bodies. I wish I could help them in that regard, but I really only have my time to spare.

I hope you'll write about your experiences volunteering this month.

Feisty56 wrote on December 1, 2014, 4:31 PM

All things old are new again -- I had one of those silver trees that spun on a stand while a color wheel spun in front of it. I know it's not "cool" these days, but it was nostalgic for me.

maxeen wrote on December 1, 2014, 4:33 PM

Ah! Nostalgia! That is the word....

Feisty56 wrote on December 1, 2014, 4:35 PM

That should be really cute -- a tiny tree from your yard. Last year I put together several limbs that had fallen from the trees, put them together like a Charlie Brown-type tree and put white lights on them. lol

Feisty56 wrote on December 1, 2014, 4:38 PM

I have no quarrel with anyone enjoying the beautiful trappings of Christmas. I certainly enjoy them when I go to other people's homes. The plight of this family with the two children was on my heart this year and I had to choose between the decorations or doing something for the family.

How sweet of you to give donations to the animal shelter in memory of your cats! I'm sure it's much-appreciated there by the kitties waiting for a forever home.

Feisty56 wrote on December 1, 2014, 4:42 PM

I have found that a limited income has fostered imaginative solutions for some issues. Believe me, what I have to give to the kids won't buy them anything fancy, but it should provide each a package or two.

I'm sure there are many activities and ideas that don't require any money expenditure at all -- like picking up an elderly church member for services or offering to watch kiddos so parents can go Christmas know I just got another idea for a post -- thank you!

Feisty56 wrote on December 1, 2014, 4:44 PM

Thank you -- I think so, too, but I will do it anonymously. But yes, I do believe that small positive acts add up and fill hearts and minds with hope.

AngelSharum wrote on December 1, 2014, 7:10 PM

I'm glad that you are going to be able to help someone.

Ruby3881 wrote on December 1, 2014, 7:24 PM

What can I say, Deb? Reading this brought a tear to my eye! I think this is a most excellent way to celebrate the holidays.

MarkRobotArm wrote on December 1, 2014, 7:45 PM

We have a huge problem in the UK at the moment with families not having enough money to feed themselves. It's not just those on welfare, but working parents, in minimum wage jobs, or worse, zero-hours contracts, who are seeing rising rents and fuel bills leaving less and less for food. As a result, I've asked all the members of my family who would normally buy me presents, instead to donate food to the equivalent amount to their local food-bank. I've got more than enough "stuff". To get anymore, at a time when families are struggling to put food on the table, to me seems obscene.

bestwriter wrote on December 1, 2014, 8:24 PM

My Christmas Tree is waiting to be put up. I put up this more for those poor kids who will be celebrating Christmas at ours. This year I have bought all the stuff online including the tree. It will be up by 19th Dec as I am expecting some guests from the US and I want them to see it. Normally it is the practice here to be ready for Xmas around 23/12.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on December 1, 2014, 9:46 PM

I would love to have a Charlie Brown tree. I have tons of unwanted pine seedlings in the woods or encroaching on the yard. I hunted last year, but never found the perfect one. Maybe this year. If not, I've spotted a few cute little cedars 2 or 3 feet high. I've got that one cedar in my front yard that used to be cute that my dad liked to light up, but it's gotten so big and wide, that would be a huge undertaking.

BarbRad wrote on December 1, 2014, 10:08 PM

What a great idea. I like shopping the World Vision gift catalog and selecting animals like chickens or bunnies or a goat that can give a family in a third world country a way to make a living. We won't be decorating or having a big dinner either. It's the meaning of the holiday that's important -- not the external trappings.

Feisty56 wrote on December 2, 2014, 8:42 AM

How neat to have so many possibilities not far from your door! I hope you'll treat us to a photo or two of the tree you use and decorate. : )

Feisty56 wrote on December 2, 2014, 8:43 AM

Thank you...I think this option will fill me with the Christmas spirit more than anything else.

Feisty56 wrote on December 2, 2014, 8:46 AM

Awww, thank you, Ruby3881 . : ) I know that for me, this small act will make all the difference in how I feel about Christmas this year.

Feisty56 wrote on December 2, 2014, 8:48 AM

What a wonderful, generous idea! I hope you'll write a post about this -- I think it will be inspiring for many and spark new ideas.

Feisty56 wrote on December 2, 2014, 8:51 AM

I can only imagine all the planning and preparations that go on at your home for Christmas and the celebration with the children, let alone your own family and friends. You are a most generous person in thought and action.

Feisty56 wrote on December 2, 2014, 8:53 AM

Barb, another generous and wonderful way to express the Christmas spirit! I hope a post will be forthcoming on this idea, so that many others can be inspired. : )

bestwriter wrote on December 2, 2014, 9:08 AM

I feel so blessed Feisty that I get happiness doing that.

OldRoadsOnceTraveled wrote on December 2, 2014, 11:52 PM

I've become one of those people who take pictures of my food so I can review it. You'd better believe I'll be taking pictures if I find the perfect ugly pine! While I'm at it, I should do something about all my dad's leftovers from his Christmas Tree farming days.

Ruby3881 wrote on December 3, 2014, 5:13 AM

I hope those who normally give you presents, will follow through on donating food. So many "working poor" rely on food banks these days...

scheng1 wrote on December 3, 2014, 8:57 PM

I am sure the children will thank Santa for the gifts since they do not know that you are acting as Santa!