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December: Making it Merry Toy Drive

There are twelve months in a year, and each one will bring a feeling to each of us. September is associated with fresh starts for going back to school, or the cool air of fall can bring on feelings of dormancy and nesting. April is seductive as the month of rain: the showers that bring May's flowers, and a cleansing that washes away winter's dirty secrets. 

December is month unto it's own. It is the double statutory holiday month, the Christmas crazy countdown, the post-Christmas feelings, the re-launch of counting down the end of the year; home to the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year. It's crazy. It's wild. Oh, and it's my birthday month as well. 

The holidays can bring out the best in all of us, and it can also bring out the worst. For me, the last two weeks have been frantic moments of finishing up files at work, last minute requests, trying to remember the spirit of the holidays while stressing about what to buy those who already have it all, and it makes you wonder if it's worth all the hassle. It's spending time with family, and it's also dreading time with family. (lol)

Toys for the littles...

A couple of weeks ago, an email came in that said "We need 20 bloggers for something cool this Xmas!"

Now, this was new and exciting! Christmas? Bloggers? I'm a blogger! I like Christmas! What's this about? 

J. Money, of Rockstar Finance, sent out this call to action. He was giving away $100.00 to 20 bloggers and our only mission? 

Make. It. Merry.  (or, in his words, to do good.) 

See, Rockstar Finance is the best resource for personal finance, and J. Money and team try to help as many people as they can. (Go here for more stories.)  I jumped on this email like a kid on a candy bar, and signed up. J. Money sent the dough, and I was ready to go. 

My day job was collecting for ProjectShare, a charitable organization in Niagara Falls. At the time I received the email, it was one week away from our Toy Drive, where employees can donate unused toys in exchange for dressing down. 

My goal was to spend that $100 and find toys and gifts for children of all ages, and be mindful of finding items that were inexpensive and that fed the imagination. 

There's nothing quite so fun as spending someone else's money! 

Lots of goodies for a great range of ages, and I hope there are some smiles Christmas morning for all the merry that J. Money allowed us to share. 

Picture of all the goodies

Gifts for the not-so-littles... 

Side Note: $100 US converted into $124 Canadian, so you are actually seeing about $145.00 Canadian in goodies. 

So as we are about to rest our heads on our own pillows, and count the moments until the jolly man in red slides down the chimney, I want to thank J. Money and crew for giving me the opportunity to remember that Christmas is more than just for the ones close to us, and so much more than just gifting; it's about spreading a little bit of joy in our homes, in our neighbourhoods, and in our hearts. 
I filled it to the brim! Proud moment for me. 

It's hard for me to imagine a home where the tree isn't covered in ornaments, and the floor beneath covered with a family and their gifts. My childhood was far from "normal", but there was never a bare Christmas and we always had each other. I can not picture the heartbreak of a child who doesn't wake up and see at least one gift under the tree, and knows the magic of believing.

Even with spending what we did, I was amazed at what we could pull together in just one night. I'd love to keep it going, and have a plan one year to build it up so no one goes without a visit from Santa. 

Thank you, Rockstar Finance, for making it merry in Niagara! 

Merry Christmas, everyone! Love each other, be generous and patient. Thank you for sharing a moment with me, and if you want to help a child in need, feel free to reach out to me in the comments, or at 

Did you do something this year that makes you feel good? Share below in the comments! 


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