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Ten Things of Thankful: Feeling the Christmas Spirit on Friday the 13th

Photo: A red statue of the words, "Light the World" stand between poinsettias. A red star hangs in the background.

It's two weeks before Christmas, and the holiday season is in full swing. The cold I had last week is pretty much gone, and I've been decorating the house, listening to Christmas carols, and addressing cards. Today is Friday the 13th, but I'm feeling the Christmas spirit.

1. I'm thankful for how easy it is to help others. For the past couple of years, giving machines have been part of the #LightTheWorld initiative. Instead of a vending machine that dispenses snacks, a giving machine allows participants to purchase items for the needy. Each year, more locations all over the world, from London to the Philippines, New York to Las Vegas, have giving machines. The closest giving machine to my house was in a local mall. I decided to go check it out.

I went mid-morning on a weekday, and was pleasantly surprised to find a line, even with several machines. (That means lots of people are donating!) When it was my turn, I was impressed with the number of choices: comfort blanket, back to school gear, trauma support kit, new home stability kit, a night of safe shelter, lifesaving nutrition, three chickens, one sheep, one piglet, one acre of sweet potatoes, box of hand soap, water purifier for a family, water tap and basin for midwife, reliable toilet for a school, install a well, take-home meals for a child, box of fresh produce, holiday meal for a family, 100 meals, 250 meals, one hour of child care, therapeutic book, 11-week parenting class, child abuse prevention class, individual therapy session, art supplies, baby blanket, send a kid to soccer camp, suicide prevention training, or books for a classroom of kids. Global and local charities benefit from the donations that are collected at the giving machines, and donations of all sizes are welcomed. 

Photo: A red giving machine filled with photos on cardboard to represent many different choices of donations

After I decided on an item, I made my selection and swiped my card, then watched the cardboard piece fall to the bottom of the machine. It felt good to see a growing collection of donations at the bottom of the machine. 

If you happen to live near a giving machine, I'd recommend checking it out. Go to the #LightTheWorld website to see if there is a giving machine in your area. 

2. I'm thankful the giving theme continued this week at book club. As we discussed the book (Educated), we also assembled New Mom kits for a local hospital. 

3-8.  I'm thankful for connections: texts, phone calls, walks, personal visits, Christmas cards received, a dinner with friends. Those interactions are so important.

9. I'm thankful that projects continue on our yard. We hired a highly-reviewed, reasonably-priced fence installer this week. Sometime in January, our backyard will be entirely fenced. Seed catalogs have been arriving in the mail, and I'm looking forward to a garden next summer.

10. I'm thankful for John. We survived over a decade of having teenagers in the house. John must have thought having an empty nest would mean a break from all the hormones. Ha! Menopause threw that theory out the window! Poor guy. Good thing he has always said, "Life is an adventure, and adventures have a way of working out." 

Hmm, just like a Hallmark movie. Maybe I should watch one while I address more Christmas cards. 😊

What are you thankful for this week? Share your answers with the Ten Things of Thankful community!

Joining me this week:
The Prolific Pulse
On My Way Home
MessyMimi's Meanderings
A Season and a Time
The Wakefield Doctrine
Carin's Gratitude
Backsies is What There is Not
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  1. What a cool idea to have the giving machines! I was so happy to see the ornaments all gone on the giving tree at my nearby coffee shop. We adopted a lady for it and it was so much fun to shop for her. Each year, we get some things for the women's center and I will be making that drop next week. Kinda want to find a few more things before taking it in. To me, it's what makes it truly a meaningful time of year.

    1. Giving trees are wonderful! Glad you are finding meaning in this season. :-)

  2. ❤ Thank you for hosting Ten Things of Thankful. 😊

    1. I'm so glad you linked up again with us! I can't find the comment button on your blog, but I enjoy reading your posts!

  3. What a cool way to give! It reminds me of the catalogs i get, this would be just as much fun as perusing one of those and choosing a gift, and probably more people see these and have the opportunity to do something.

    1. The giving machines certainly are popular! It is a fun, novel way to make a charitable contribution.

  4. Like that notion of the Giving Machines. They're getting closer (nearest NYC).

    Having a company install a fence is one of those things that makes the difference, at a certain point. (The difference between fun and satisfaction from the first fence we all did and the.... 'hey, this is a lot more work that I remember')

    Weather here is typical New Winter. Crazy cold followed by wishfully warm. Three days on, two days off.

    (Thanks again for the work you do hosting this thing.)

    1. Hopefully the Giving Machines will make it to your neck of the woods in the not-too-distant future.

      John is capable of putting up a fence, but he's more than willing to hire out the project. Rocky soil (or more accurately, soily rocks) and a slope make the job quite labor-intensive.

      We're having a cold snap here, with snow on the mountains, but not on our street.

      Thank you for co-hosting!

  5. That is quite a variety of things offered in the giving machines!

    That is great that you are getting a fence. Will it be high enough to keep out the deer, or is that a concern?

    Yes, connections, connections, connections. . .so important.

    1. I don't remember so much variety last year, but I could be wrong.

      The fence will be 6 feet high. Not high enough to keep the deer out, probably, but I'm hoping they will be lazy. The installer asked if we had deer, and when we said yes, he asked if we wanted barbed wire on the top! No, no, no! The only thing I want less than deer hopping over the fence is deer not quite making it over the fence. Also, I'm not into the prison look for residential neighborhoods!


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