Dear Santa, about that Penguin…

Can you believe it is the last day of November?!? Here is to saying good-bye to Movember and moustaches and hello to candy canes and carols.  For those of you who were on your A game and are finished or close to finishing your Christmas shopping, way to go!! I am more of a last-minute shopper.  A talent instilled in me by my dad who would take me Christmas shopping every year on December 23rd for my mom.  This year, I have to get a bit of a head start because I am going home a week early to visit with the munchkins and my family.  I can’t wait!!  Christmas through the eyes of a child reminds you of the wonder of the season, and less about the busyness and bills.

For those of you who have a gift exchange at work, with your extended family, or with friends, why not try something different this year?  In recent years it has become increasingly popular to give charitable gifts.  While people have been making charitable donations for years (thank goodness!), online gift giving catalogues from organizations such as World Vision and  Oxfam Unwrapped  has put a new spin on charitable giving.  From bags of seeds to digging a well, the opportunity to give has never been easier.  Going through the items on the lists also helps you to take a moment and give thanks that your christmas list doesn’t include potable water,  the opportunity to attend school, or a childhood vaccination.

See your gifts in action - OxFam Unwrapped

If you are looking for something closer to home, there are still many opportunities to share your Christmas spirit.   Hope Mission’s 2011 Christmas Gift Catalogue includes much needed items such as warm clothing, toques, blankets, sponsoring a meal, or a shelter stay for 1 month.

Have a cycling enthusiast in your home? At Bikes without Borders you can buy a new bike for a Community Health Worker in Malawi for $150.  In Malawi, a bicycle not only serves as transportation for health workers, but as a much-needed ambulance to transport patients.

The Bicycle Ambulance - Bikes without Borders

For the animal lover, why not adopt a species through the World Wildlife Fund? “Your symbolic adoption supports WWF’s global efforts to protect wild animals and their habitats”.  You also get an adoption certificate with species info and plush toy in the species of your choice.  Seriously, who doesn’t want a Polar Bear for Christmas?? I am pretty sure this Rockhopper Penguin also had a starring role in HappyFeet!

If you prefer to give your time, there are plenty of organizations that still require extra assistance over the Christmas season, and events where you can drop some non-perishable items into the big bins.  Watch this space for our new Christmas challenge that we are kicking off tomorrow (December 1st!).  Happy Wednesday and goodbye to the moustaches!! While I appreciate the cause full heartedly, I am not a fan of the stache!

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