She’s Ba-ack

Sorry for the long silence, y’all!  It’s been a bit of a rough period, but I think I’m climbing back on top of it.

Since I don’t have any deep thoughts to share, let’s all admire Danielle Steel’s desk together:

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My favorite charities: Angel Tree

it’s a bit late for Angel Tree this year, since the drop off date about the 15th, but it’s not too late yet!

Angel Tree is a program run by the Salvation Army who, yes, are problematic, but since no money goes through the SA, I feel comfortable recommending this project.

While he was alive, my dad always asked for Angel Tree as his Christmas gift, so it became family tradition for my younger sister and I to each pick an angel.

How it works is thusly:

  1. Families in need fill out a little form with information that varies from region to region, sometimes with clothing sizes but always with a present that the kid wants. The age range is from months old to seniors in high school.
  2. That information is transferred to ‘angel’ cards which are sent to local businesses to hang on Christmas trees.
  3. People who go to the businesses pick kids they want to buy for. You can buy just the stuff they requested or get more- we usually do more.
  4. Bring back the UNWRAPPED gifts to where you picked your angel. Sometimes their are volunteers, but sometimes there’s just a box to put the gifts in. Make sure all the toys are attached to the angel card.
  5. Volunteers sort the gifts and the families come pick them up.
  6. Christmas!

I like Angel Tree because it gives a kid, who otherwise wouldn’t get anything, a Christmas. There are at least a few other programs like it, but it’s the one my family uses.

This year Kevin and I picked two kids because Big Island kids don’t ask for much. Most of them only wanted things like towels, cooking implemented, and clothes.

I also like to pick the teenagers because most people prefer to choose little kids, and the idea that age might disqualify someone from having a happy holiday make me particularly sad. On the mainland that usually means I’m buying a bike.

Endless Travel

I browsed the internet for a pithy quote that sufficiently sum up my dislike of travel, but alas.  The world is entirely too enthralled with the idea of moving rapidly from one place to another to share my grumpiness.

I didn’t post last week because I am never at my best the day of or after flying and, try as I might, I’m still too much of a pantser to plan my blog posts that far in advance.

Kevin and I are buying a house approximately 5,000 miles away from where we currently live and, as you might expect, this requires a certain amount of travel.  First we had to fly him out for a week (an experience neither of us were particularly adept at dealing with) then, a week later, we both went out for a week and half.  Now we’re home for a tragically short period of 3.5 weeks before we fly back out to complete the purchasing process, witness my younger sister’s graduation from college, celebrate Christmas and (part of) Hanukkah with family.  At the end of it all we’re fleeing to Disney World for a short, well-deserved break and birthday celebration.  Then, just about a month later, we move into our new house.  Aaah!

I am not a good flyer.  (Mild understatement.)  Technically it’s a phobia, but living in Hawaii one has to fly to get anywhere, so I’ve been undergoing unofficial exposure therapy while we live here, what with the multitudinous trips we’ve taken all over the world.  As a result, I no longer cry whenever we take off, but I still have to go through my rituals to ensure I can pretend I’m not a plane.  Progress!

I’ve decided that, for the month of December, instead of my regular Life/Writing alternating, I’m going to post each week about a different charity I like.  Giving to charities is a big part of my family’s Christmas tradition, so I’ve become pretty adept at researching which ones are most efficacious and which ones support causes that are important to me.  As an added bonus for you guys, I can do them mostly in advance so you’ll get regular weekly updates!

How are you about air travel?  Do you prefer train travel?  (I do.)  Are you going anywhere exciting this holiday season?  Got any tips for dealing with problematic relatives?  I’d love to hear about it!

 

P.S. My manuscript is at 57,875 words!