Stumped on a Gift? Give the Gift of Your Time.

The hubby and I enjoyed a feel good movie on date night this week, Delivery Man with Vince Vaughn.  Man, he is tall!  If you were wondering, just like me, is he really that big or is everyone else puny?  Vince Vaughn is 6’5″.  As you can tell, it was lady’s choice.  Even though it averaged about 2 stars in the ratings, to all the men out there who might not want to go to this movie, you will leave the theater feeling good.  Take your wife, girlfriend, significant other…the night will end good for you ;).

There is a part of the movie that really got me thinking this holiday season. 
Vince Vaughn’s character visits one of his biological children in a nursing home.  The nurse coaxes him with this advice, “just tell him whatever you are thinking.”  After spending the entire day with the boy he is leaving the facility and passes by the nurse again.  He says to her “I didn’t say one word.”  She replies, “you did good.”

There are a lot of people out there who need our help and not just financially.  They just need someone by their side.  You may know a few.  A neighbor, a distant relative, maybe the parent, aunt, uncle, or grandparent of a friend who doesn’t make it home for the holidays anymore.  What would it take to ask them to join you for a cup of coffee.

Maybe it’s not someone you know, maybe it’s a stranger.  My husband and I were in a Starbucks in the heart of the D.  At the table beside us was two men.  One, was clearly living on the streets.  He wore a shoe on one foot and one half of a boot on the other. His companion had clean clothes and cash.  They talked like they were old friends.  I marveled at the mutual respect the two men shared.  Both left the coffeehouse feeling great about themselves. 

I am not recommending that you go to Detroit and befriend the first person you come across on a corner, but for those who want to make a difference, there are plenty of opportunities to do so.

Detroit area volunteer opportunities:


Children’s Hospital Volunteers provide a wonderful gift to patients and their families by offering their time, their presence, their smile, and kind gestures that can draw a smile or even a giggle from the child, making their day as normal and happy as possible. 

A Time to Help  A Time To Help has staged more than 100 monthly projects ranging from building houses, delivering meals, beautifying city streets, running adoption fairs, repairing homeless shelters, packing food, and hosting an annual Christmas party to a shelter for battered women. 

Assistance finding a place to volunteer:

Volunteer Match  Find a cause that lights you up. Get in touch with a nonprofit that needs you.

Network for Good  Some of the best reasons to give are the ones you may not have considered — the ones that make it worth your while to go that extra step. People who have spent time volunteering for a cause report that they get back in satisfaction and joy more than they ever expend in inconvenience or effort — what you get back is immeasurable.

Christmas Miracles Come Big and Small

Working in retail for as long as I have I see first-hand how stressed out people become at the holidays.  So much to do and so little time to do it.  So much to buy and so little money to buy it with.  Friends and family too far away to share time with.  Friends and family no longer with us to spend time with.  It ’tis the season to be jolly, but it does take its toll in the days leading up to the big day.

I also get to see first-hand how generous people are. Salvation Army volunteers freezing the tails off to collect donations.  Toys for Tots, Forgotten Harvest, Gleaners Community Food Bank, and so many others making the holiday so much brighter for so many people. 

Sometimes it may seem like there are so many that need our help that we give up before we even try.  Anything you can do this holiday season will make a difference.  One of the biggest gifts you can give is the gift of your time.  The food banks are a great place to help out.  They need people to sort and box donations that they receive.

A friend shared this video with me that really shows how the holiday can bring out greatness in people.  Look at how this team comes together to create a Christmas miracle.  They had me with the snow, but they went so much further.  I would love to meet the person who came up with this idea.

Stocking Stuffers For Runners

As promised here are my stocking stuffer ideas for runners.  They are perfect for any level runner, from run-around-the-block to marathoners.  Since it’s getting awfully close to the big day I listed all on-line sources so you can order right in your jammies.  If you missed Stocking Stuffers for Her check it out.

Nutter Butter Reindeer

Here’s an easy fun treat you can make with the kids.

1 package Nutter Butter cookies
1/4 c chocolate chips
1 package m&m minis
1 small bag pretzel thins

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave.
Break pretzel sticks into different lengths.
Carefully split open cookies.
Place 4 pretzel sticks as antlers.
Reassemble cookie by gently pressing the ends (do not press the middle or Rudolph will have a broken nose)
Coat the back of a red m&m with melted chocolate and place on his nose.
Coat the back of 2 m&m’s for his eyes.
Look out for m&m thieves!!!!

Stocking Stuffers For Her

Stuck on what to put in her stocking?  Here are some of my favorite things that any girl would love.  You can find most of them at Ulta, Sephora, Nordstrom, or Target. 

Coming soon:  Stuffers for him, stuffers for teens, stuffers for runners.  Anyone else you are having trouble with?

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