Posts filed under ‘Christmas’

I know, I know, Seven Weeks and Counting?

You know why I do this but if you don’t know why I do this please read the About Lesley page….

It is that time of year again, Christmas is coming over the horizon. For most this thought makes us happy, for some it causes pressure and depression. If you can afford to buy all those items your children want you can look forward to the Season of Goodwill. If not then you have that sickly feeling of dread in your stomach. You know what I mean; we have all had that feeling. It is normally fleeting, most get this it only in moments of great fear or danger but it passes quickly leaving ‘just’ that lingering nausea. When it is constant life is painful…

So, have I created a little guilt yet? Have I hit the collective conscience? I jest but only slightly. Christmas is after all the time when we should be thinking of others. With this in mind I am going to make a few suggestions.

  • Buy charity cards but I add a note of caution. Make sure you check the pack of cards to see how much of the money will be going to the charity. Charities do like there to be at least a 10% donation but, from the little research I have done, there doesn’t appear to be any legislation. You can also buy direct from the charity to maximise the amount they will receive. Look closely and let your motto be check the pack and get the most charity bang for your buck!
  • Consider purchasing some gifts of goodwill? It has become more popular to donate as a gift and present your family member/friend with a certificate about the donation. There is a wide choice of charities you can do this with, I have added a few links at the bottom of this post.
  • When you are battling your way through the crowds with ‘that’ list full of names, ideas, strikeouts and ticks, why not buy one extra present for families in need in your area? There are always local collection points who will be happy to take these from you. In my area the Post Office and banks always participate. One note from me, please remember the teenagers, you can always find presents for young children and we all love buying toys but teenagers love gifts too.
  • Lastly, a concept that is new to me but one I am going to take advantage of. A kind friend on Twitter, @Pancake_One, sent me a link to a site (Easy Fundraising) that donates to charities for every purchase you make. They link you to the major retailers and you select a charity to benefit from your on-line spending. I have registered with the site and have asked that Barnardos be my chosen charity. I picked Barnardos as I donate monthly to two other childrens charities and thought I would spread the love. You don’t have to use this site, there are others out there. Please check and be happy that any site you use is secure before you purchase anything, I am always cautious online and would urge you to be the same.

I hope this post finds you happy about the upcoming Holiday Season, I also hope you will think before you buy? Enjoy! 🙂

Links

I have included a selection of charities and sites here but please have a look for your favourite. Remember – check the sites out and only use if you are comfortable….

Easy Fundraising – http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/

Save the Children Wishlist – http://shop.savethechildren.org.uk/wishlist/

NSPCC Online shop – http://www.nspcc.org.uk/donate/donate-and-buy/

Barnardos Online Shop – http://www.barnardos.org.uk/shop.htm

Unicef Online Shop – http://shop.unicef.org.uk/

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are old enough.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

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November 8, 2011 at 10:50 pm 2 comments

Post Christmas Blues? Bah Humbug…….

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

I went back to work today after almost 2 weeks of rest, lovely!. I have done like many of you. I have eaten too much chocolate, drunk too much wine and stayed up too late watching movies or cricket. I don’t regret any of it and judging by the number of times I had a wee doze I needed the rest:)

I have also tried to blog more than normal so that I can prompt people to write to me. This was fun for me. Although I am back at work I am going to blog more than I did before the Christmas break. I may ask my Twitter pals for more themes to blog on; they can be relied on to give me interesting and daft ideas.

That is the thing about blogging on a very specific topic, if I bore myself then what am I doing to everyone else? So, I will put out a request soon and see what kind of nonsense I can come up with. The thought of this makes me happy, I do love a challenge. The last time I asked Twitter peeps to give me suggestions I blogged on topics as diverse as Diamonds and Star Wars, Unicorn and Platypus. It taxed me, that is true but isn’t it better to have ideas from many people than just one?

I will therefore make sure that I don’t let the post holiday blues get me. I will be positive. I will blog and I will ask you all to write to me. I do have one little ambition for the blog. If we could have £5000 of donations by the time I reach my blogiversary (if it isn’t a word it should be) in April 2011. I hope you don’t think that is too much to ask, it is good to have something to strive for and I am happy to strive:)

So please, get me thinking! Feel free to suggest a new topic for me on this blog; I will be delighted to do my best for you. Wouldn’t you like to give me a challenge? I am up for it if you are:)

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity. Donate a present to a family or child that will not have the holiday season that you might expect and plan for.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

January 4, 2011 at 8:49 pm 2 comments

Stuffed?

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

So, are you all stuffed? Full of turkey, brussel sprouts and cranberry sauce? Did you pull crackers and tell daft jokes? Did you eat your fill of pudding and chocolate? I do hope so, I know I did! I hope that whatever you did on your Christmas Day you had the day you wanted. Some choose solitude, some choose small groups of friends and family, some go with crowds. All are good, whatever pleases you is what I hope you had. I also hope you received gifts that mean something to you. To me it isn’t the cost of a gift but the thought around it that matters the most. I like choosing gifts, I hate shopping but choosing something for someone else is fun.

It is now Boxing Day or St. Stephen’s day if you prefer. The clearing up will be finished and the leftovers nibbled. I love leftovers and will boil up turkey bones to make broth tomorrow, yummy. Then there is the finding space for all the gifts received. This makes me think I have too much stuff. I will therefore start a clearout, declutter, implement a minimalist strategy – I wish! I may not get everything just as I like it but I will make some room in the cupboards over the next few days. I will then recycle the bottles and those things I can now live without. I am sure you will all do the same so that someone else can benefit and even enjoy those possessions you can now live without. I love recycling, the notion that someone can use what has had its time with you is sensible, practical and helps others, why wouldn’t you want to do that?

At this time of year I start to think about resolutions as well. When asked I say I never make them but I do in my head. I will be nicer to people, kinder, fitter, thinner, work harder, travel more, get my life how I want it to be. All these thoughts run through my head now. I make too many resolutions in my head, will not succeed at them all but if I can achieve a couple then perhaps that will do:) One thing I do intend to do is keep going with this blog. I am amazed that so many people have written to me in only 10 months. It is heartening to see all the good that you do, you really are a wonderful lot.

So please, take this as my thank you to you from me. I could not do this without people and I am truly humbled that you take the time to read my words and tell me about the kindnesses you do. I know there is a lot of darkness in this world but you counteract that with your actions and words……..

Thank You!

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity. Donate a present to a family or child that will not have the holiday season that you might expect and plan for.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

December 26, 2010 at 8:34 am 1 comment

Brrrrrr……..

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

This is one of the busiest times of the year for many of us. Have you finished your shopping, made your Christmas cake and Christmas pudding? Have you started boiling the brussel sprouts? For the latter, why not? You know the house requires the aroma of brussel sprouts to permeate the entire house for the two weeks before Christmas… or is that just me?

Seriously, I hope that you have a feeling of some control over all that needs to be done, especially over those things yet to be done. I make a list. I know how that may sound to you, either control-freakery or a daft attempt to make sure that I don’t have that last minute panic. It is of course a smidgeon of both but there is always that small nag in the back of my mind, what have I forgotten to put on the list? Tell me you don’t have that feeling too. If you don’t then you are more organised than I will ever be and I am pleased for you and slightly jealous too….

I am trying to be fully prepared this year, I have even remembered the cranberry sauce; the traditional Lesley panic item! I am looking forward to a houseful of people, too much food, loads of wine and laughter and the inevitable detritus from the crackers. I don’t buy expensive crackers, you get the most fun from the really bad jokes and plastic bottle-openers that the ‘mid-range’ cracker will provide. Every holiday season needs a does of naff and I find crackers are the best way to tick that one off my list.

This year we seem to be heading for a very white Christmas. I feel for all of you who are travelling now or in the next week. Airports are full of tired people at the minute trying to get to their loved ones or seeking some winter sun. I have my fingers crossed that you will get where you want to go, I’m not sure that my wishful thinking will help but I will keep it up on your behalf.

The cold makes me think of other people as well, the young and the elderly. This is not pleasant for many. I checked the Age UK website to see what advice they have for us at the moment. I hope you will take the time to check this out at http://www.ageuk.org.uk/get-involved/spread-the-warmth/ and do sign their petition to get the Govt to introduce an emergency winter plan to help the vulnerable, it will  only take a few moments of your time. Please also remember to check on those who are near and dear to you and check they are warm and well.

Children tend to love this kind of weather. Schools close, snowmen decorate many gardens, snowballs are thrown and sliding is a must. I will admit now that I hate snow, loathe it in fact. Some of you will know I have many brothers as well as a couple of sisters. Having so many males in one household cemented two of my personal characteristics very early on, my love of sport and my loathing of snow. The snow loathing developed early on; my earliest memories of snow come from handfuls of it shoved down the back of my neck and one or other of the brothers running away laughing. So, I hope you and your children love the snow. You may gambol and frolic in it all you like; I will stay inside and think it pretty to look at but nasty to be in. You may think me a bit ‘bah humbug’ now but that is okay, I will laugh and smile at many other things….

For now I will hope that I can make it through this weather to do the few things I need before my festive season starts. The latest forecast is that a blizzard is coming my way, BAH HUMBUG!!!

Courtesy of Wikipedia

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity. Donate a present to a family or child that will not have the holiday season that you might expect and plan for.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

December 19, 2010 at 4:21 pm 6 comments

It is easy, if you can afford it……

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

A quick post on giving today. I blogged last week about giving to families in need over the Christmas period. I did this, filled a box with tins and packets and some goodies, everyone needs goodies. I also added a couple of items to my weekly shop so that I could do a ‘girlie’ gift for a teenager, just a couple of make-up items that may make one girl smile, I hope so anyway.

I then flew with Aer Lingus yesterday on a business trip. They paired up with Unicef many years ago on the campaign Change for GoodTM. I like this campaign and always use my spare change and the occasional note to add to the envelope. I won’t add my donations to the blogroll as I never count it, just empty in the coins I have. Please don’t think I am being smug, it is just something that many people do given the opportunity.

This brings me to the point of this blog. I can afford to give to some, I am lucky that I do have spare change, am able to add items to my weekly shopping, can donate monthly via GAYE. There are times in my life when it wouldn’t have been this way, I reckon the same is true for all of us. I still have bills and am still bad at managing finances but I muddle through. I am fortunate that I can say this and I don’t want to make others feel any less because they may not be able to. I am not the person to tell any of you what you can/should/must do, I have no desire to harangue anyone and I hope anyone reading this will get that.

I only want to say this. Where you can do kindess, please do it. This can take many forms. Kindness is not all about money and donating, it is having care for those around you, be they family, friends, neighbours. It is easy to give money when you have it to give but time and consideration are important too. Sometimes checking in with someone, spending time with loved ones and those near to you is just as important. One of the mentions on the blogroll is for RAOK, random acts of kindness, it is there as it reminds me that this one way to make this world better……

I wish everyone a Happy Christmas and Happy Holidays. I hope that you will rest, relax and laugh with friends and family. I also send my thoughts to those who will struggle this year and I hope that you will receive some unexpected cheer…….

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity. Donate a present to a family or child that will not have the holiday season that you might expect and plan for.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

December 13, 2010 at 12:41 pm 2 comments

Will You Buy an Extra Present?

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

Christmas is fast creeping up on us. I was happily ensconced in August enjoying sunshine; next thing I know it is December and I haven’t thought about, planned, made a list for Christmas never mind buying any gifts! Oh dear, I will need to get moving…

I know that Christmas is not a time that everyone celebrates but there are holiday seasons for all of us so I will talk about mine. I love Christmas, always have done. It was a magical time for me as a child and when I had small children. Even though my children are now grown up I appreciate the season for the family gatherings. There is nothing better than spending time with your loved ones, particularly if you can find an old Jimmy Stewart movie. My two favourites are Harvey and, naturally, It’s a Wonderful Life. I will even admit to a sneaking enjoyment for the Sound of Music and the Great Escape even though I can probably recite the lines.

My family Christmases are lovely, I am lucky enough to be able to plan and shop for the holiday. I am also aware that not everyone is so fortunate. It was a reminder to me today when I saw the annual appeal in my office to gather presents for local families in need. My workplace collects for two local organisations every year. We are asked to provide what we can, food hampers, toys and gifts. There is always an appeal for gift tokens for teenagers as well. It is a fact that the very young are often considered first in this type of appeal but it is just as important to consider those heading towards adulthood. Teenagers can get a rough press but they are young and need support,  love and kindness as much as younger children. When you think of the gifts you will get is it not worth getting one of these for someone you don’t know?

There are lots of appeals like the one I will donate to. I hope that you will also do the same in your local area. One of the great joys for me is to buy gifts that I hope people will enjoy. A fairly recent one was buying Optimus Prime, transformer, for my son. My son is in his twenties but he liked the gift, a reminder of a favourite childhood collection. When I am doing my present shopping I will make sure to add one or two items that I can bring into work to help someone else have a Happy Christmas. I hope you do as well, isn’t it a truth that the joy is in the giving and not the receiving?

I wish everyone a Happy Christmas and Happy Holidays. I hope that you will rest, relax and laugh with friends and family. I also send my thoughts to those who will struggle this year and I hope that you will receive some unexpected cheer…….

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity. Donate a present to a family or child that will not have the holiday season that you might expect and plan for.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

December 2, 2010 at 9:54 pm Leave a comment


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