Sunday, December 13, 2009

HO, HO…STONY SILENCE. - Christina Hollis

Look at that - it’s only the beginning of December and I’m a ho down already!

Last weekend we travelled in from the country for a pre-holiday meet with my two sisters-in-law and one brother-in-law. We’d arranged to do some shopping and have an early lunch at a big garden centre. So far, so good - until we discovered that the usually quiet venue had gone Christmas crazy. Except for fir trees, poinsettias and cyclamen in presentation wrappings, everything plant-related had been sidelined in favour of glitter and glitz. It was a miraculous makeover, attracting twenty times the usual number of customers. Each attempt to reach a shelf or display involved fighting against a tide of other people, like a salmon struggling upstream. I’m sorry to say the fourth time I was trodden on really brought out the Ebeneezer Scrooge in me. We soon decided to cut shopping to a minimum, and took refuge in the restaurant. That was packed too, but the food was both good and affordable – which is something you don’t often find these days.

Luckily, I only have a couple more presents to get, but the shops will be even busier between now and the big day. I can’t face that sort of free-for-all again, so I’ve decided to make the last few gifts via charity donations. Browsing through the online Good Gifts catalogue supplied all sorts of ideas, from funding farming projects abroad to supplying a toy for a child who would otherwise have nothing. Have you come across this before? The present giver chooses a suitable cause, makes the appropriate donation via Good Gifts and the recipient gets a card with details of the ‘present’ that has been given in their name. This way you can ‘give’ an acre of rainforest without having to worry about how to wrap it, or provide vital healthcare without needing to know anything about First Aid!

I think it’s a great idea. If you could give a blank cheque to any charity of your choice, which one would it be?

Whatever you are doing and whether you’re alone or in company, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a happy, peaceful and successful 2010.

Christina Hollis is spending the next twelve days being very, very good, and hoping Santa forgets the other fifty-and- a- half weeks…


Linda Henderson said...

I think if I could give a blank check to a charity it would be Childrens Miracle Network. They purchased a lot of the equipment that my granddaughter used while she spent 4 months in the NICU. I knew they did good work, but you have no idea what all they do until you have an opportunity to experience it firsthand. The other charity I think a lot about is St.Judes. I told my daughters that if I ever won the lottery I would give a lot of the money to St.Judes. Another very worthy charity. Merry Christmas everyone.

Michele L. said...

I would definitely give a blank check to Alzeheimer's research. I have had so many friend's and relatives that either have it or died from it. I wish they would find out what is causing it and find a cure for it. It just seems like so many people have it nowadays.

I had an aunt who died from it in her seventies. She was also a nurse, lived a very healthy lifestyle, exercised all the time, took vitamins, ate right, but she wound up getting it and then died. So I wonder if it is something in our food or lack of in our diets that is causing it.

Christina Hollis said...

It's great to hear from you, Linda - thanks for your comment. When illness strikes at children it seems especially tragic, so the support of St Judes and the Children's Miracle Network must be a great comfort.
I hope you and your family have a peaceful Christmas.
Best wishes

Christina Hollis said...

Thanks for droppping by, Michele. My father has a form of senile dementia so the Alzheimer's Society is a cause close to my heart. Luckily Pa is otherwise in good health and his naturally sunny disposition hasn't changed, but his mind is evaporating. Like your aunt he led a sensible life and it struck out of the blue, so the cause is a mystery. It's such a shame.
Best wishes for a Happy Christmas,

Alison said...

I'd send money to the Toyal National Lifeboats Association in the UK - you may find this hard to believe but the man (and some women) are all volunteers and rely on charity for their equipment.

Christina Hollis said...

I used to be a collector for the RNLI, and Alison's right - it's a very worthy cause. The very nature of their job means they often have to put to sea in the sort of conditions where no one should be out on the water.
For a really inspiring story,try G*ogling 'Lifeboat Louisa'+Porlock.
Have a merry, safe, Christmas!

Christina Hollis said...

Here's a link:
Hope it works. Pushing a lifeboat up Countisbury Hill must have been hard enough: holding it back during the descent of Porlock Hill must have been a nightmare.

Mary said...

If I could give a blank check to any charity it would be the ASPCA. I think they do alot of really good work.

Christina Hollis said...

Thanks for dropping by, Mary. There's a cat on the ASPCA website at the moment that looks exactly like our much loved moggy - luckily in a message dated 14th December, pretty little Cheyenne has found a new home in time for Christmas, thanks to the ASPCA!
Happy holidays and a peaceful new Year to everyone on the blogs,
Best wishes