Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Christmas Tradition

December is here! Christmas season is upon us! Woo hoo! Christmas and the holiday season is the most popular time of year to give back to organizations. I've seen more can drives, angel trees, and bell ringers in the last month than I've seen in the last six months. I was raised to be a community participant. I currently volunteer regularly at the Birmingham Museum of Art and then some major events through the year. I love finding new ways to give back to my community.

However, every year for as long as I can remember. My mother ALWAYS did the Angel Tree. I distinctly remember driving with her to the mall two days before Christmas to snap up any angels that were still left hanging on the tree. Now let me explain something to you, my mom was single and raising two girls in rural Alabama. We didn't have money to throw around. But my mom tried very hard to make us understand that as hard as it was for us, there were people - KIDS - that had it worse.

That moment has stuck with me, so I always make a point to participate in an Angel Tree every year. So this year while at J Clyde with my roommate, I noticed a tree on the bar with little cards hanging on it. I knew instantly what it was and after some discussion with Mallory, we decided to help a 10 year old girl.

This was a break from the norm for me. I typically choose babies or toddlers because I love shopping for cute little outfits. And really... I can't have that awkward diaper conversation in the baby aisle enough (Miss lady mom with your drooling big headed baby.... What kind of diapers do you buy?). However, I have a little cousin who is nearly the same age as my Angel. My (second) cousin is an awesome little girl with a super cute sense of fashion. And I couldn't let this Angel not have a fantastic holiday!

So me, my roommate, and a few of our friends are all chipping in to give some joy to this little 10 year old girl. And this is my favorite Christmas tradition. I know one of the new trends is to give gifts of donations instead of a traditional gift. I think that's okay. If you are looking for a way to downsize your Christmas, then I think this would be an excellent way to do it (especially if your homemade ornaments look something like mine). My family is fortunate enough to have more than we need, so I am going to give to someone who needs it more.

This year I am actually participating in the Holiday Wish Program for children affect by AIDS. The program is being run by AIDS Alabama. It's not too late to help them out! Check out their website.

How will you be giving back this holiday? Please share in the comments section!


  1. This is great, Mandy! I may pick up an Angel myself. Do you know if they have a tree at the mall? I may be at Brookwood during lunch, so I'll take a look!

  2. I'm really excited about participating with you! I got a nice Christmas card earlier with some cash, and I'm just tickled about being able to give back in a way.

    Also, FAVORITE:

    "Miss lady mom with your drooling big headed baby.... What kind of diapers do you buy?"


  3. I am so excited to have both of you guys helping out! I am going to post updates on the blog about the experience! So stay tuned!