Time to torture my pets by dressing them up in cute outfits for the holidays! I love this time of year!
But before fun pics of puppies dressed like elves and eskimos, I want to talk about something that has been on my mind. Actually, Matt said he has been thinking about this as well, so we are going to get into action! We haven’t volunteered much since the wedding. Life got a little crazy but now that the wedding planning is over and I’m almost finished with school we are going to look for worthwhile causes to get involved with!
We were looking for a place to volunteer on Thanksgiving Day, but so far we are not having luck finding anything in Jacksonville or Orlando. I don’t know if organizations have enough volunteers or they just aren’t maintaining their websites, but we will try calling places. The best Thanksgiving I ever spent was serving food at a Salvation Army event in Orlando. It wasn’t that I felt good about myself because I had done a good deed, because I volunteered all the time. I was very moved by the realization that there were hundreds of complete strangers coming together on that day and I didn’t feel like we were all strangers. It was an amazing experience talking to people I had never met before, sharing a day that is usually reserved for close friends and family, and talking to them like we were already acquainted. What a powerful thing!
Yesterday in church Pastor Stovall talked about how much our members have given to the church and in essence to the community and the world. Honestly, it was hard for me not to cry because his message spoke to something that has been on my heart recently. After the service I shared a thought I had with Matt (more about that in a minute) and he agreed that it was a great idea. Then today on my drive home I heard a message on NPR about a website called redefinechristmas.org. I’m so glad they are creating awareness for this, because when Matt and I started making our holiday travel plans we agreed — no gifts! We are not buying gifts and we do not want to receive gifts. This holiday is going to be about spending time with family and giving to others.
That being said, we had still planned to send out holiday cards to everyone… until yesterday. I proposed that instead of sending out cards this year we take that money and donate it (most likely to an Adopt An Angel program). Sorry to ruin the surprise for the few people who read this blog and are on my Christmas card list, but I wanted to put the idea out there early so that other people could consider it for themselves. Our plan is to create a photo holiday card (which we were going to do anyway) and email it out to everyone with a holiday message about what we are doing and why. And as a bonus, this idea is eco-friendly! Hooray green Christmas!
Now comes the fun part… the photo for our holiday card. A couple years ago we took a family photo with our (then) two cats and one dog. It took us 100 tries before we got one where the cats kinda sorta looked at the camera. So this year… no cats. Sorry! Last year when we got Peanut we bought matching little red jackets trimmed with white “fur” for our Christmas photo, but our delay in taking Peanut home caused us to miss out on the photo opp… until NOW! As usual, Peanut LOVED posing for the camera. He really knows how to work it like a supermodel! Taz was reluctant, but he gave his best Bah Humbug! to the camera anyway. We are probably going to email both pics out with our holiday greeting. : )
With all the cold weather we are getting right now and all the “signs” about giving, I thought this was an appropriate time to start spreading messages of love for the holidays. In case I don’t blog again before Thanksgiving (final paper due and oral exam next week) I wish everyone a happy and safe holiday full of reasons to be truly thankful!