Next, let me explain my Christmas plan for 2008 that lends itself to the "Christmas Scissors idea". My husband and I have spoken to just a few friends about this so far, but have confirmed with parents and siblings, and made the pact within our family of two people and one feline, that we will not be purchasing Christmas gifts this year, other than for my husband's daughter and our new little nephew, Jack. Last evening, we also made the decision not to send holiday cards. Even by downsizing from our usual Christmas Card Project (which was always an event in of itself) to a postcard, we felt that the postage funds should go elsewhere. This year we have committed to taking the money we would have allocated on gifts, cards and postage, in addition to the time we would have invested shopping for the gifts and planning the card, and will be 100% focused on helping families in the Tampa Bay area who have been hit by hard times this year and this season. We are committing time and money to two local organizations to help specific families with dependent children have a true holiday, rich with warm food, Christmas decorations, gifts for the children - as well as the parents. We will take a small part in celebrating Christmas with these families, as well as volunteer time to help prepare and serve meals.
Now, what do the Christmas Scissors have to do with all this? Well, this morning as I was eating my chicken and veggie omelet, drinking my green tea and reading the paper, I found a few ads:
- one for "$10.00 off your visit" to Smokey Bones, an Applebees/Bennigans-like chain of sit-down fast food,
- one for my local Surf & Turf market with great lean beef, chicken and deli meat (Board Head: no preservatives/additives!) sales, and
- one for Metropolitan Ministries, advertising that a donation of $1.67 would feed one person an entire holiday meal through Metropolitan Ministries of Tampa Bay.
And the scissors? Last evening while reading the New York Times, they suggested scissors as holiday gifts...for coupon cutting!!
And so, my suggestion for those of you caught up in the holiday hubbub or those of you who just want to do "something" to serve your community but don't know what to do, is this:
- First, throw away the Smokey Bones "deals", chain restaurant dinners with two for one appetizers in exchange for a meal at home with healthy food choices. You'll save money, even considering the coupon, and you'll actually know what you are feeding your body! Or better yet, get together with friends and cook a meal together. Congregate and celebrate - it doesn't have to be at a restaurant!
- Second, buy some scissors. Clip local coupons. And for those of you that I have personally heard utter these words: "I don't have time" - forgo your soap operas, Oprah or CSI for ONE DAY, give up one redundant, non-productive telephone conversation, or get up a 1/2 hour early tomorrow and just do it. Excuses are for the weak. Solutions are for the powerful. Clip local coupons for healthy foods and services you use regularly. Save a few bucks!
- Third, use the few dollars you saved by eating in and clipping coupons...maybe all of $1.67....to make this holiday a little better for someone who isn't as fortunate. It's not about being frugal for those who are afraid of that word. It's about finding the means and will to help someone less fortunate this year have a happy holiday.
Happy Holidays from RebelHealth. I'm looking forward to 2009 - helping people lead healthier lives!