Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

December 1, 2007

Decemberrrrrrrr is here

Woke up to just the lightest of dustings this morning; just enough to make everything look like it's covered in a bit of sugar but not enough to be a problem on the roads. The forecast calls for more snow later today, but I'll believe it when I see it. Tomorrow and Monday are supposed to be very windy and rainy. Welcome to Winter in the Pacific Northwest. I'm trying so hard to get into the holiday spirit but so far I'm not having any luck. In fact, an informal poll I've been taking amongst people I talk to (bank tellers, store clerks, etc), shows that no one seems to care this year. A couple of days ago I was on the phone with a Pierce County Court Judge's Judicial Assistant, and she asked if I was ready for the holidays and I said, "No. You?" and she said, "I am SO not in the mood this year." Yesterday in the bank, I could barely hear myself think due to the blasting loud carols and I finally said, through clenched teeth to the teller, "Isn't this music driving you insane?" Her head snapped up, she got this gleem in her eyes, and she said, loud enough for EVERYONE to hear - customers and employees alike - "I'm not going to lie, it's making me crazy!! I don't see why we have to have it on 24/7 like this, and I have a whole month left to listen to it!!" I glanced around at the other employees and they were all smirking & nodding. Brian told me that the holiday music is equally loud at the Washington Mutual Bank in Federal Way as well. I'm so not in the mood that I don't even feel like dragging out the decorations. Maybe I'll feel differently in a week or so, but right now I'm not at all enthused about it.

So what can I do to get myself in the holiday spirit? I'm not sure. I think we are going to try to give to more charities this season. Maybe the feeling of giving to others in need will make me feel better. Weyerhaeuser is having a clothing drive so I'll round up some stuff for that. I'm sure the local food banks could use donations too.

I found a small grassroots charity out here called Forgotten Children's Fund, which was started in Seattle in 1976. A Seattle restaurant accidentally received this letter, and the charity was born. Can you imagine being a parent, facing your children on Crissmiss Day and telling them that "Santa must've gotten lost" ??? The thing that really made me want to cry, is that this little boy, Craig, has to be a couple of years younger than me, as I was only 12 in 1976. I remember that Crissmiss of abundance and happiness in my own home, where I got a tape recorder among other snazzy gifts& clothes, then going down to my Aunt's house and eating till we were ready to explode, and it breaks my heart to think of other kids who were my age or younger going completely without anything that day. Since then, the charity has spread to a few other counties, including Pierce. Brian and I bought a couple of bikes a few years ago but we've never ridden them, so I contacted FCF and they will happily take the bikes off our hands to make needy children smile on Crissmiss morning.

Brian's fave charity is Heifer started in the 1940's and their philosophy on charity work was, and still is, lightyears ahead of its time, especially for the 40's. Donation money goes to buy animals for people in poverty stricken villages all over the world. For example, $60 buys 3 rabbits for a family. The manure is used for crops, the fur can be spun into fibre and lets face it, rabbits can also be eaten. They also multiply exponentially. The family is then required to give away the offspring of their Heifer animal to other families in their village. A gift of chicks is only $20, Honeybees $30. Many times they will provide a large animal (water buffalo) which is already pregnant so that the family can give away the baby to another family. That way, the families can get on the road to self sufficiency. I think it will also make us feel more in the holiday spirit to help people in the world as well as at home.

The bottom line is that we are living with a really terrible situation right now. People are having to choose between food and heating oil. The poor find themselves having to scale down even more than usual thanks to the high cost of gas and oil. Not to mention the "staple" items that cost a ton of money now like cereal, bread, milk, eggs, butter and cheese. Thanks to Bush, and to quote a line from the movie "Flashback", we now have 2 classes: The Truly Needy and the Truly Greedy.

Brian and I are very thankful for our jobs, our warm home and our good fortune to be able to afford food and gas. We piss money away on junk every day. If we see something, we gotta have it now, and we buy it. We don't have a lot of time to donate to volunteer work, but we can open our wallets and share.

If you can afford to write an extra $20 check to a charity of your choosing, or buy a few extra cans/boxes of nonperishable foods with your own groceries to drop off at a food bank, I urge you to do so. Every little bit helps, and giving does feel better than receiving. And let's face it, with the medical insurance and prescription problem in this country, we're all one catastrophic illness or accident away from needing to go to the food banks ourselves.


  1. Awsome!!! Happy December to you!! The true spirit of christmas is joyful giving :-)

  2. jojo, as usual, you cut to the chase...we need more people like you and brian, to not just remind us of what really is important, but lead by example.

    bless you.

  3. Anonymous1:45 PM

    I get into the mood for Christmas when I shut the door behind me on Christmas Eve, probably because it seems to start in January.....

    Thanks for the Charity tips.

  4. Some folks will think I have my priorities wrong, but I give only to animal and environmental causes. This year my cards come from the charity that will take my animals if anything happens to me. They are all the same, so no time needs to be wasted choosing which to send to whom. That's how I feel about Christmas this year!

  5. Welcome Kreativemix!

    Val - Any and all charities need money throughout the year. Saving the animals and environment is just as important as helping humans. If everyone contributes to a variety of charities, then the entire planet benefits. There's nothing wrong w/ your priorities Val! :)

  6. There is a charity here that collects gifts for people in nursing homes, when I buy those gifts it starts to feel like Christmas for me.

    We've had a lovely ice storm today.

  7. we don't really have extra, but we've always lived w/ the philosphy to not ever close our hands to giving anyhow. we don't usually give to charites, but we always seem to have people around us that need help and that's how we do it.

    this year our church is partnering up w/ the salvation army and having a soup kitchen in a rough part of town. so dh and i decided we could scoop soup for awhile;) it's not giving o/o our pockets, but of our time.

    hope you somehow can get into the mood jojo:) maybe if you go buy your babies some x-mas presents that will help;)

  8. You're lucky you only got a dusting Jojo. I think we got about a foot where I live.

  9. Well said Jojo! I do think giving more can put you in the holiday spirit. Let's not forget your local SPCA too! Our school sponsors a 'giving tree' and we all buy gifts for individual children according to what they want (they are in the local children's home). I really love doing stuff like that, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy.
    Val - what you give to is your business and not for others to decide of judge. Someone has to think of the animals and the environment as well. I donate to the Nature Conservancy.

  10. I'm not gonna lie....and most of my friends KNOW this.....I'm ashamed to say I know what its like to tell my children that Santa must've gone to our old house by mistake. What makes it so much worse, is that they would just accept it and tell me its okay.

    You and Brian are stellar human beings, babe. For real. How many people really think of the poor anymore? I DO, all the time...everyday, but only 'cause I was one of them.

    I hope you get into the Holiday spirit soon, hon. The only reason why I am starting to feel it, is 'cause I realized that its my first Christmas in over a decade that I have NO WORRIES!
    ....and its because of people like you and you others (you know who you are) who helped us when we were in dire straights.

    God bless all of you and I hate you all for having snow while my ass is frying here in Bumfuck!