Wednesday, November 30, 2011

'Tis the Season to Give . . .

Ok, so I totally can't believe it's been 20 days since I last blogged!! I really couldn't believe it when I actually checked the date or that tomorrow is December 1. Now I am sitting in pretty good shape for Christmas. Half my gifts have been purchased. I just finished making (yes, you read that right!) our Christmas cards (blog post to follow this month). 95% of our Christmas decorations are up (uh, ok maybe 85%; make that 80%!). Both trees have been purchased and are in their stands, no lights or ornaments though but we are well on our way.

Once the turkey has been eaten and a crazy shopper has pepper sprayed other shoppers during Black Friday (seriously people, is this what we have come to?? So glad I no longer work retail!), the holidays hit us hard. One big sign that the holiday season is here is the sound of the Salvation Army bell ringers. They are out in front of every store!! Does anyone feel guilty every time you walk by the bell ringer without putting some money in their bucket? I know I do but I can't afford to give money every time I pass one (does this mean I need to get a job or go in stores less?? Hummm?)! My girls also like to give so we came up with what we think is a great solution! A roll of quarters!

Now, this little roll has a lot of power. When my girls were younger and we took road trips, we gave each girl a roll of quarters at the start of the trip. If they misbehaved or asked "are we almost there?", they lost a quarter. When we reached our destination, they were able to use the money they had left for their souvenirs. Genius, I know (I think I stole this idea from Family Fun magazine but don't quote me on that!).

For the holidays, I give each girl a roll of quarters on December 1. They keep their quarters in a coin purse in the back pocket of the front seats of our car. That way they are out of sight but the girls know where their money is at all times. Then they have the power of the of giving - and they love it! Anytime they want to give some money to a bell ringer, they can. They can give it all to one person (I do try to discourage that though) or spread it out for the holiday season. This way, they are not asking me for money in front of the bell ringer (especially embarrassing when I don't have ANY money in my wallet, which is more often than not!) and they feel like they are also giving back. At the end of the holiday season, we have given $20 to a great cause (in addition to our yearly charitable contributions) and the girls feel like they were a part of it. Just had a brainstorm while typing - maybe have the girls earn their quarters. I like that! There are already pine needles all over my house and they are not going to sweep themselves!

Well, off to work on that other 20% of our holiday decorations. I won't wait so long to blog next time and will start posting Christmas decorating photos in the next week but, that is for another blog!

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