Thursday, December 16, 2010

'Tis the Season to be Elfish

Click here for my Query Blogfest Entry.

Being Half-Elfish (no seriously, my ears are huge, my body is short, what else could I be?) I really do enjoy giving more than receiving.

It took me two weeks but I managed to bake:
18 mini loaves of Banana Bread
18 mini loaves o Zucchini Bread
139 pieces of Fudge
150 Lemon Cooler cookies
200 Fattigman's Bakels cookies (Norwegian)
124 Mint Chocolate cookies
200 pieces of Divinity

For a total of 849 pieces of baked goods divided up amongst 30 boxes of baked goods handed out to neighbors or mailed to family across the states.

Do you bake for the holidays? I learned this custom of passing out baked goods from my mom. I think it's nearly a lost art though. Mainly because baking is expensive.  I realize I do way more than most but still, a bag of walnuts is nearly $10. Nothing about holiday baking is cheap.

Let's face it, nothing about this holiday is cheap. Sure, I save a lot by doing Black Friday but I put all that savings and more into my baking, wrapping paper, tape, labels, postage for 150 xmas cards, postage for packages, and Christmas activities for my family.

So, for me, it's hard to dig that much deeper for donating to charitable causes. But I love to give. So, over the years I've found some charitable causes that don't cost me a dime, or hardly anything. Some years have been better than others so I've found ways to donate that don't cost a lot.

Locks of Love: I grow my hair out for two years and then hack it off and give it to Locks of Love, a non-profit organization that "provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis."
As a matter of fact, I just did it today.

 Can't donate your hair? Here's the rest of my list:

  • Lit World Book Drive I found this charity through Heather Kelly's blog Edited to Within an Inch of My Life. This charity takes new OR gently used books for their drive.
  • GoodSearch the search engine that donates. Just choose your charity (mine is NaNoWriMo) and search for anything on the Internet. Your chosen charity will earn money per click through.
  • Cell Phones For Soldiers I love this charity. It was started by kids. The goal is for you to send in your old cell phone which will be recycled and then soldiers will get prepaid phone cards to call home with. Are you getting a new cell phone for Xmas? Here's your opportunity to donate.
  • It's always a good idea to clear out some space for new toys. When we do that, our gently used toys go to Kids Rewind or Goodwill. Kids Rewind will give you cash "on the spot" for your gently used stuff. You can also purchase other gently used items while you're in there. Can't beat that.
  • It won't cost you a thing to cut your Box Tops for Education and take them into a public school of your choice. I've been on the PTA Board as the Auditor at my children's elementary and I can tell you for certain that collectively those Box Tops raise a decent amount of money that goes back into the school.
  • SunnyD, our most favorite orange beverage, has a Book Spree. Basically, schools that participate by turning over 20 labels/class will receive 20 books in return. The school that submits the most labels can earn $2,000 worth of books or $1,000 worth of books for their school. Get going. If you already drink SunnyD, then start saving up those labels for next year's Book Spree.
Charities Worth Your Hard Earned Money: (Something to think about in the New Year. Maybe add it to your Resolutions.)
  • Miss Snark's First Victim  Now, I didn't get a chance to participate this year, but I know many of you did. That hasn't stopped me from giving her a small sum to keep the event going. I hope to participate the next time. Any amount will do, really.
  • NaNoWriMo Your money doesn't just ensure all of us crazy writer's have an opportunity to participate again next year, it also provides for the youth writing program.
  • Any Soldier I love this program. There are a lot of soldiers out in the field that aren't receiving care packages, or letters. This cause collects donations and then puts care packages together and sends them to soldiers who don't usually get anything.
  • Adopt-A-Family for Christmas sponsored by the Salvation Army. My high school participated in this cause. It's epecially rewarding if you can get a group of families in on this. The year I did it, our donor family had lost their job, the mom was sick, and all they wanted was something for Christmas for their kids. My class got a tree and decorated it. We all bought gifts,wrapped them and then essenially brought Christmas to this family with a Ham for their dinner. We made sure the kids were at school so they didn't have to know their parent's couldn't afford Christmas that year. This was one of the greatest and most memorable charities I've ever participated in.




  1. That's a great list!
    And I think my boss my have something to say if I grew out my hair...

  2. You have a wonderful list. I donate when I can to Helping Hands, they feed, clothe and shelter the homeless and will find accommodations so the parents can be reeducated for one year and be able to support their family.
    I also like Senior Citizen. I can't afford much and sometimes nothing, but I have them both on billpay and when there is a surplus I will send $20.00.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  3. Between all the baking, school activities, charitable work, when do you find the time to write?

    You are such a kind person. Giving your hair has to be the most personal and loving gesture a person can give to someone else. Your hair is so lovely. But I must say you look great with a bob!


  4. So important to give now and throughout the year!
    I LOVE your hair! It looks beautiful!
    I have never heard anyone baking as much as you! WOW! People must love your goodies!
    I do two kinds of cookies at Christmas, one my mom's recipe and the other my grandma's.

  5. I am definitely book marking this page.
    I too bake for the holidays and I love to give even when i don't have
    the bob suits you perfectly and your hair is so beautiful it will make someone very happy

  6. Good for you for giving! We all need to do more, but life seems to get in the way, unfortunately.

    As I get older, I seem to be donating most of my hair to my pillows, the shoulders of my shirts, and the insides of baseball caps, but you've got a lot of other great ideas. I'm going to bookmark this page and make a serious effort to do a better job of giving.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. AMAZING! You are an amazing woman for sure!! And the amount of baking you did just made my brain hurt. WOW.

  8. Yay, baking! Google Chrome is donating to charities based on the number of new tabs that are opened between now & Dec. 19th, if anyone wants to make the switch (at least temporarily) to Chrome!

  9. Such great comments. Thank you all!

    Nancy - Those are great charities. That's awesome!

    Alex - Too funny about growing your hair out!

    Michael - I don't get much writing done in December. Or blogging for that matter. I feel non-existent in the blogging world right now, but I know I'll be back soon.

    Kelly - Thanks for the compliments. I don't usually love my haircuts the firs day. Actually,it takes me a good month to start loving it. Haha! But it's worth it in the long run.

    Dan - You sound like my husband, haha! He started freaking out when he saw his hair in the shower. At least you guys get better looking the older you get. Us girls are not so fortunate. No worries about your hair.

    Su - I love your comment! I'm right on that. Thanks for the tip.

  10. It's so important to give to others less fortunate. What a great post, sis and I agree with everyone...your hair looks great and you do have beautiful hair!

  11. Hi Patricia - thank you for spotlighting our Bookspree on your blog! Just wanted to make sure your readers knew that while we had an AMAZING turnout this year (we are sending thousands of books to classrooms across the country) as of Dec 1, our label collection is closed as we tally the results of who won the grand prize. You can find out more details on our site and we'll definitely be back with another one next year!

    We have a lot more great promotions to help kids and their families planned in 2011, so becoming a fan of our Facebook page is a great way to stay tuned!

  12. I did this same thing for Locks of Love. Great thing to do. Go you for giving your hair up. Great list of baked goodies, too.

    Happy Holidays & Enjoy The New Hair.

  13. Wow I'm impressed by all that baking. I often to Samaritan's Purse Xmas Boxes. I have two charities advertised on my blog right hand bar Alzheimers and Devon Air Ambulance. I like those suggestions you've made. Very thought povoking.:O)