Giving rocks!

Overused as the phrase may be, it IS the season for giving. (You didn't think this post was going to be about sharing stones/pebbles/boulders ... ROCKS ... did you?) Most of us reading -- or writing -- this have more than enough stuff, more than enough food. Though it may not seem like it during these tight and tough times, we likely have so much that we can share just a bit with those who don't have more than enough -- or even enough -- and whose times are even tougher and tighter than ours.

There are a lot of organizations out there doing all kinds of good things that help seniors, animals, military foks, etc. But the ones I'm most partial to are those that help kids. Seniors have had a few good Christmases, I would think. Dogs, cats and canaries (even whales) don't know that it's Christmas. And although I am thankful and appreciative for all the harrowing and heroic things the military men and women do for us every single day, most have families and/or military support to get them through the holidays. But disadvantaged kids are the ones hoping and praying for Christmas miracles -- or at least a small gift to make them feel like Santa and Christmas and holiday goodness hasn't passed them by just because they're poor or just because they have crappy parents who made poor choices and left their children to suffer the consequences.

So, in that vein, here my top five ideas for giving to a child -- one that isn't yours -- this Christmas:

Toys for Tots -- This partnership with the United States Marines is one of the oldest organizations with the goal of providing disadvanted and underprivileged kids in the United States with gifts and goodies during the holidays.

Operation Christmas Child -- This week is its National Collection Week so click quick, fill a shoebox with goodies, and get it dropped off to those who pass these along to the kids.

Angel Tree -- This organization ensures children whose parents are in prison get a little something in their stocking or under the tree.

Covenant House -- Their tagline is "Opening doors for homeless youth," but what they really do is give teens on the streets food, blankets ... hope. And this month, any donations will be doubled. You can also click on their "Gift Catalog" link to choose exactly what you want to purchase for the teens, such as the $19 gift to provide a week of formula for a baby whose teen mother is living on the streets. (Man, that's just heartbreaking!)

Local homeless shelter -- Contact your local homeless shelter to find out ways you can provide homeless kids with something special, even though they don't have a chimney for Santa to come down.

Like I said: Giving Rocks!