Wednesday, December 1, 2010

a season of giving

I love the holiday season. Christmas is probably my favorite, mostly because it’s always such a great time of getting together with family and friends…and because my family has a ton of fun traditions during this time [and let’s be honest…I love Christmas music].


I get pretty excited to give gifts (and am completely horrible at keeping them secret), but as I’ve grown older, I’ve seen more and more consumer greed pollute a pretty simple holiday. And I hate it.


I don’t often get preachy on this blog because that’s not what it’s about, but this holiday season, I really want to challenge myself to focus on using the resources I’ve been blessed with to help others who are truly in need. I’d love for you to join me on this, so today [December 1st?!], I’m introducing…

12 days of giving logo copy

[Note: Since there are obviously not 12 weeks in December, and the 12 days of Christmas traditionally begin on December 25, I’m going to take the liberty of spacing the days out randomly throughout the month.]

Day 1: Fill a food bank

While my family consumes an abnormally large amount of food on Christmas Eve (we have a traditional Swedish smorgasbord), many families will be struggling just to put food on the table.

Here is a national directory of food banks, which are always looking for donations. I thought this poster was interesting regarding giving monetary vs. food donations.


From the website:

If people go to the store and buy food to give to a food drive, every dollar they spend puts only a dollar’s worth of food into the charity food distribution system, and the donor receives no tax benefit for their gift. If they give money (write a donation check) instead, they can claim half of what they give as a credit on their income taxes and as much as a quarter of it as a deduction on their Federal taxes, so each dollar they give may only cost them 25-cents, and then the Food Bank can turn around and turn their dollar into as many as 33 meals’ worth of food! Fund drives make adequately addressing the hunger problem possible by making it affordable.

Tax deduction? Yes, please. Just another fantastic reason to donate. So forgo your extra jar of $8 nut butter or $4 holiday latte at Sbux this week…and do something that really matters. :) Feel free to copy the logo above and put it on your blog if you’re participating! {and be sure to let me know!}.

On a food-related note: it’s still roasted vegetable season.


[image via 101 Cookbooks because mine was not half as pretty]

Beets actually pair pretty nicely with delicata squash…who knew? Loosely based off this 101 Cookbooks recipe

What are you doing to give back this holiday season?


p.s. so fitting that it’s snowing on December 1st. Anybody else get their first winter dusting this morning?!

and don't forget to enter the Stonyfield giveaway!


  1. Dave and I have talked about getting a bunch of $5 gift cards to Target, Starbucks, Walmart, and the like, and giving them out to random people throughout the month - a waitress, the bank teller, a stranger on the street, etc.

    That food bank contrast is amazing. I hadn't ever thought of it like that, and I think the awareness of "how to maximize your giving" is important, especially in cases like that.

  2. this is great! usually i'm in a bah-humbug mood over the holiday season but i'm actually feeling the christmas spirit this year :)

  3. Love the braided bread out there.

  4. What a great idea! I would love to participate. The spirit of giving is one of my favorite parts about Christmas!

  5. I'm already participating Krista's giving-back idea... which is to buy one staple in the pantry every week before Christmas and give it to the food bank :)
    I totally agree that we should remember when we celebrate holidays those that are not as fortunate as us :)

  6. That's a wonderful idea! I'll for sure be joining you in this day of Christmas. :)

  7. Great post! I am actually donating to a food bank today :)

  8. Thanks for the foodbank link; I look forward to reading the other tips that you have throughout December!

    This year, I'd like to buy gifts that "give back." It's kind of a cop-out, but I guess it's better than buying everything at a giant, soulless chain!

  9. your family totally does have the greatest traditions during the holidays! can't wait to see what you've got in store this year :)

  10. love this idea--thanks for the great reminder!! :)

  11. lovely post and food for thought and congrats on a great page rank hugs Rebecca

  12. Great post! And a SUPER idea! Can't wait to follow your later posts!

  13. Love the picture of the braided bread. I too love Christmas music and listen to off and on during the whole year for inspiration.

    Plan B

  14. Emily, this is such a great idea. So are you saying give the money directly to the food bank? I'm slow. I will definitely have to do this. I know some grocery stores collect money for the Foodbank at this time of year, and I give whenever I am able. It's really so easy!! There are no excuses not to give at least some money. We can give up our $8 Barney Butter one time, people!

  15. The first picture looks a little like Challah bread. To give back we have our students volunteering in the community and I assist and supervise with some events.


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