Currently, I'm at that place where I'm content with my Christmas gift purchases but have yet to wrap all of them which means that I'll inevitably go out one more time in a frantic panic because I've forgotten something... or a great idea popped into my head and I just have to make it happen this year. That's pretty much how it goes. As of tonight, our tree looks like this:
It's slightly absurd because these gifts are only for the two of us. I haven't started wrapping gifts for our family or friends. It's overwhelming. Sean and I keep reminding ourselves how lucky we are and how amazing it is that we're able to give each other gifts that we want and absolutely don't need. There are times, frequently, that we feel like we're treading water and just getting by. But then a day like Christmas comes around or a birthday and we're able to give and give and give to each other. It makes us second guess our monthly spending and how we budget -- sure. But with everything that we give to each other at the holidays -- we try to give to others, as well.
This year we've committed to three causes: donating money to the Greater Boston Food Bank (a $25 donation can provide 75 meals), donating toys to Toys for Tots and donating items to our local humane society (most shelters have wish lists and sometimes they are easily accessible through Amazon). It's impossible to give to everyone in need and it's hard to say "yes" to everyone asking for a donation at every store you walk into. But I feel it's important to pick out causes that mean something to you and your family and to give when you can. I couldn't look at my tree, and the presents under the tree and say that I have nothing to give. If Sean and I make it happen and give to each other, we can easily give to someone in need. I urge you to do the same if you're able.
This website helps you find out about most charities and gives you a little background on how much of your donation actually goes to those in need.