How to Step Outside the Christmas Box

Ah, Christmas.

As somebody in Retail, I hate it. I strongly dislike all the customers being rude, and so help me, I really dislike the fact that I’m trying to lose weight and I can’t seem to say no to a delicious chocolate brownie.

Or three and then dessert.

But we’re going to avoid that conversation, and move onto something I think is a bit more important-how to get involved in your community, and helping other people out this Holiday season.
1. Purchase gifts that have proceeds that go to important organizations/and or round up this season.

Amazon already offers 0.5% of your purchase to a Charity of you’re choosing when you make a purchase-and during the Holiday season when you’re trying to get everything, it really adds up. I would definitely suggest adding that to help.

Other companies/organization run businesses that have a certain percentage that goes into helping people are also the following:

Amazima Industries-Currently they are running a 30% off sale on any ten regular priced items, and free domestic shipping on orders over $75.

Hand in Hand– Currently, they are running a series of deals, and as of 12/11, they are offering 15% percent off your purchase, and free shipping on purchases of $55 or more.

Bombas– Their current holiday deal is 20% percent off your first order.

STATE– If you order by the 12/13, you should be able to receive any purchases by 12/23. And if by signing up with Messanger, you can save 10%.
2. Donate to Local Charities

Often times this is something you’ll see frequently this time a year, but definitely consider donating; local charities are often overlooked. I would highly encourage looking around, or doing a little research on the local charities in your area, and finding out how you can help.
3. Volunteer on Christmas/ Leading Up To

Retirement Communities-This is usually good for people of most ages; depending on maturity levels. Often times volunteer jobs will have you spending time/interacting with the guests. There might be special tasks with the holidays, so *always* (and I can’t-and won’t-stress this enough) call ahead and *ask* how you can help (don’t just call and demand).

Local Homeless Shelters- Again, call ahead, there are most likely several areas that you can help/volunteer in, it’s just understanding your own limits-but not putting so many down that they don’t have much to work with.

Hospitals- Now, I know the rules tend to change where I live one Hospital allows it, the other is a no-go, but oftentimes finding a way to go about volunteering at the Hospital, specifically around the Holiday Season, can be very helpful.

AHEM.

CALL.

GET IN CONTACT WITH THE RIGHT PERSON.

Jail/Prisons- I’m just going to start this one off by saying, find an established group or somebody who has done it before and bring them with you. Who goes in/how you do it and what you do are things I can’t tell you for certain. Just make sure you know what you’re doing and as always.

CALL.

GET INFORMATION ON HOW YOU CAN HELP.
4. Find out Items that Local Charities Need This Time of Year

You know the donation thing earlier? I was talking about money. I can give you a list of things they can almost always use (knowing from personal experience what some of the most common products they run out of are), but just call and make sure they can really take the donation-and to find out ultimately what they need. While it is nice to give pretty things this time of year as gifts, don’t forget the importance of toiletries.

1. Razers (I don’t know about all places, double-check before you donate, there might be a rule against them)

2. Shampoo/Conditioner (Travel Size)

3. Baby Wipes
5. Smaller Random Habits to Pick Up…

The Random List

  1. Every ten dollars you spend on a gift, you donate ten cents…or a dollar…or TEN DOLLARS. Or something along those lines.
  2. Purchase things on sale, and then donate the remainder of the money you would have originally spent.
  3. Buying in bulk to save? Donate the items you don’t need.
  4. Schedule family time, but set it up so that you’re volunteering in the process.

I hope you found this list helpful and will go through the holiday season with a cheerful spirit!

Last Minute Samaritans Purse Gifts


So, the National Collection Day for Samaritans Purse, Shoe Boxes, is in 5 days, BUT that doesn’t mean it’s too late to jump on board.

I know from experience, as well, that sometimes people pack some questionable things…(I work at a thrift store and people choose some strange things to send). Anyway, that’s why I want to suggest a few items for you to send that are both marginally affordable and/or very useful to send.

  1. Felt Toys/Books (Pictures)

Felt toys are not only something that would be tricky for a kid to swallow but also something that’s a bit more compact and easy to send. You can usually find toys like this at your local craft store or a place like Walmart. If you have Amazon prime, ordering it now (or very soon), should have it to you in time.

2. Toy Phone/Music Players

These are great toys, and you can even find them for less than $10. (Also, do provide a pack of batteries to go with it, if you do go that route).

3. Coloring Books

Coloring Books are easy to find, and you could almost definitely find them at the Dollar store. Try to avoid coloring books that have words in them or controversial pictures.

4. Crayons

Crayons are naturally a great choice, though I find these to be the best option; these are the crayons that my mom carried around, and sat in hot cars for my brother and I. I think personally, any are great, though these might be best especially if a person is in a hot climate.

5. Stuffed Animals

Stuffed animals are one of the “WOW” gifts listed, and let’s be real here, a kid always needs something soft and cuddly to sleep with. Just remember that they have to fit the shoebox/box they go in.

  1. Binoculars/ Outdoor Explorer Set

These are fun little sets that kids might enjoy. It seems simple, though I can remember my brother and I definitely enjoyed having kits like this around that age.

2. K’nex

These little gears are similar to Legos, but somehow, also different in their own entertaining way. If you find a small kit, then these would be a great option.

3.Dolls

Dollars are great options. I personally chose Polly Pockets for my box (I found a bunch of characters at an Outlet for 1.99, and then put them in a cute little purse). Barbie dolls are great options, or if you can find baby dolls small enough. I know they have some newer dolls on the market that are very cute.

4. Cars

Cars are great for both genders. Sending HotWheels is definitely an option, and of course, the usual Tonka Trucks (reasonably-sized ones).

5. Legos

Ah, Legos, both the most entertaining, and scary thing. But also, they’re great for hours of play and universal play.

1.  Travel Sewing Kits

This is roughly the age where you might consider sending things that are both entertaining and serve a purpose. Sewing kits are definitely something that one can find useful, and/or entertaining if that’s their type of thing.

2. Portable Fishing Kit

My dad found a smaller sized fishing kit online, and it is a suggested gift. I highly suggest these as something that you can both pack and is great for universal use.

3. Feminine Hygiene Products

Reusable Feminine Hygiene Products are something they highly suggest, especially for the older girls. I’ve found some on Amazon, and they’re actually a great investment.

4. Adult Coloring Books

Adult coloring books are great for ages 5-14, but I thought that for teenagers they’re definitely something that’s great for entertainment and stress relief.

5. Gardening Supplies

Gardening supplies wasn’t something I could link, though you could probably put together a little pack yourself. Such as gardening gloves and a gardening trowel. (This is also stated on the Website).

Now granted, most of these are on the Website, however, I thought that linking them, and giving you an idea on what to look for would definitely be useful.

Overall Suggestions might be:

Collapsible Bowls/Cups

Multi-Use Utensils

Camper Blankets/Towels (Compact and easy to Send over).

So now, my big question for you is-are you participating this year? Would you use any of these? What do you usually put in your Christmas Boxes? I would love to know!

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Merry Giftmas!

Hey there, Yūjin, it tis I, the ginchtabulous HaziWords…bringing you your daily forecast of…

GIFTS.

Thats right, today I share with you gifts of every variety, for all my epic friends…

I mean the ones I see, not the ones online. That’s hard to give anything to the ones online except a virtual card or sometin’ like that. (As you can tell, I’m not tec savvy. That’s my mom’s and brothers job (seriously, some guy was getting into our computer system, and my mom outsmarted this guy. And my brother just knows how to find cheats and get around family security locks on his phone). Anyways, the point is, I have some gifts for you, that you might like, and find affordable (or not) gifts or ideas…for peoples…

Okay, so number one, we have this incredible loop scarf….which was originally 8 dollars (Big Lots), but we got it discounted and paid…five…I think… scarves are great gifts, because I gave my friend a fuzzy one for her birthday, and everyone thought it was cool (well, they thought it was cool, not hypervenilation like I was doing when she got the part of a book series I hadn’t read yet).

Alright, now here’s this awesome blanket scarf (Big Lots), which we paid eight dollars for (was originally 10). Oh, and bonus picture of my brother modeling it.

Okay, now we have this really pretty 3-D puzzle I got at Barnes and Noble for 3 dollar’s (discounted from twelve).

And this notebook.

All notebooks work really.

You can’t have too many notebooks.

Except me…

My mom won’t buy me anymore until I finish using the fifty-some odd I already have.

Dang it.

It has PARIS. On it. Paris. I dream of Paris. Standing at the bottom of the Eifle tower (not actually going on the Eifle Tower because I’m terrified of heights), pulling some sort of Audry Heptburn move….ah…so nice…

Anyways, we got this for like, 2 dollars, because Kmarts was closing. I’m not sure the original price, but it’s cute.

AND NOW WE HAVE SOCKS.
FUZZY SOCKS. WHO THE SUGAR COOKIES DOESN’T WANT FUZZY SOCKS? They also have bonus padding so you won’t slip and die running down the hall way…or at least give you a concussion when you bang your head on a bookshelf….

We got these bad boys for 5 dollars, from Big Lots, and might I say, they are going to make some mighty fine gifts for Christmas.

Now for a less direct gift, here’s one for all your favorite Harry Potter Fans out there…this bow set which I also got marked down to a dollar, from Barnes and Noble. And I also don’t know the original price of tbis

That’s all I have for ya’ll today…or right now…whenever I post next. I hope ya’ll have an epic day, and make sure to stay warm (and ginchy)

Hot Chocolate, and Marsala Mash (don’t ask),

      HaziWords