November 20, 2011

Tis the season to be giving

Americans are expected to spend an average of  $715 on Christmas presents this year. That's a lot of pennies. The older I get, the more I realize that gifts need to be one of two things: 1. practical or 2. an inside joke. Anything else is pretty much a waste of money.

Thanks to pinterest, I have been inspired to do more DIY projects, and before I knew it, I ended up making monogrammed kitchen towels for my in-laws! (Shhh, it's a secret, so don't go sharing this with them!!) It brought me back to my childhood, when I used to spend long plane rides cross-stitching. All I needed were some bargain kitchen towels (found mine at Marshalls for $4), some thread, and a stitching hoop! I cranked these babies out during two evenings of TV before bed.

(Please ignore the deformed monogram in the middle)

Wondering what you could do this holiday season? Give presents that give back: TOMS, World Vision Donations (great ways to give under $25!), volunteer at a local soup kitchen over the holidays...

...or donate a diaper bag filled with awesome/ridiculously cute baby stuff!

My church offered us various opportunities to give back to the community around us this holiday season; Operation Christmas Child boxes and three different Foster Care opportunities. Before I knew it, I was signing up to fill a diaper bag with baby stuff for infants needing emergency placements. Just look at how cute that baby stuff is! It was so much fun -- except for the part where everything had to be gender neutral.

Dare to be different this year. Consider spending that $715 on others in a practical way. No matter who you are, you can do something to give back this holiday. Happy giving!

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