This post is going to be crazy-ass hard to follow but it’s probably worth it, so buckle-up, buttercup.
Last year my lovely readers accidentally forced me to save Christmas by making me let them buy Christmas presents for children who might not have had any otherwise. It’s hard to explain, so instead I’m going to send you to a link explaining how a giant, taxidermied boar’s head (named James Garfield) led to strangers donating over $40,000 to other strangers in what was probably the most baffling and profanity-filled Christmas miracle ever. It was awesome.
This year I’ve had a lot of people ask if I’m doing the accidental-Christmas-miracle again this year and my first reaction was a resounding, “Oh, hell no.”
And that’s still my reaction.
But here’s the thing…almost all of the people asking if I’m doing the Christmas Miracle again this year are the people who were helped last year. Except that this year they want to give back, because they were so moved by the way strangers reached out to help them last year that they want to pay it forward.
Holy crap, you people make it difficult to be all hard and grinchy. And I suppose that’s why I love you. Grudgingly. And completely.
But here’s the problem: Last year I was so completely overwhelmed and exhausted that I found myself in a stress-induced rheumatoid arthritis flare-up that made me want to cut off all of my limbs. And then I’d just be a torso. No one wants that.
Tons of people have offered to help, but honestly the whole thing sounds suspiciously like a plot to make me lead some sort of annual charitable, good-will organization and I think I speak for all of us when I say that that is a terrible idea. My skills are much used in buying giant metal chickens, and harassing Nathan Fillion. It’s what I do.
So for the last month I’ve been thinking about what I could do to still help people while not actually having to do any work whatsoever. And I think I have it. Lightly organized good-deed doing. Like, almost not organized at all. Practically chaos, really. Which is, I think, what you’ll all agree that I excel in. So here’s how we’re doing The Second (and possibly last) Annual James Garfield Christmas (and Hanukkah) Miracle(s):
Miracle # 1: Right now there are more more homeless children living in shelters in the U.S. since the Great Depression. There’s an organization called Project Night Night that donates over 25,000 free Night Night Packages to homeless kids each year. Each package contains a new security blanket, a children’s book and a stuffed animal, all nestled in a new canvas tote bag. The organization needs at least 750 bags right now. They’re $20 each, and you can sponsor a Night Night Package for a child by clicking here.
Miracle #2: Toys for Tots. Every year Victor and I donate a shitload of toys in my parent’s name. We take pictures of the donation and then give the pictures to my parents and thank them for teaching me the importance of giving to others. End result: Kids get presents and my parents feel awesome for raising me right (even though a horrible side-effect is that they haven’t gotten a proper Christmas present from us in a decade.) But they’re cool with it because they’re not assholes. My point is that you should consider doing this for your parents, because if they make you feel crappy about it they’re terrible people and don’t deserve proper presents anyway. Moving on.
Miracle #3: The Heifer Project. Basically it’s about giving livestock and training to families around the world, because llamas are awesome. Or something. I don’t know. I get confused after I see the llamas. But I do know that they do amazing work and that you can buy a share of a goat for $10. Which is great because you’re helping a family in need and you also get to tell your horrible aunt Frieda (who made you feel fat when you were 12 and won’t stop asking why you aren’t married yet) that for Christmas you bought a share of a goat in her honor. The ass end. Merry Christmas to everyone concerned.
Miracle #4: This one is closest to last year’s bonanza, but I’m also shining a blinking “ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK” sign here because this one takes some trust. There’s a website called Wish Upon a Hero. The premise is that anyone can post a wish for something they need. Sometimes people ask for encouragement, or for cards to cheer up a sick kid, or for clothes, toys, food, whatever. If you’re someone currently in need of help, sign up and make a wish. If you want to give help to someone in need then sign up and go here to find the kind of wish you want to grant. It can be as simple as a word of encouragement or winter coats for children. Your choice.
Miracle #5: Just by reading this far you have already donated. Tonight I’m donating $1,000 to the places above in the name of “You and everyone you know.” And before you think this is totally selfless, please know that the $1,000 came from my online store, so technically this money came from you anyway. That’s why it is entirely ethical for you to tell friends and family that this year instead of giving out gifts you’re just giving to charity. And that way you can use the money you would have spent on crap-for-people-who-don’t-need-more-crap on something more useful instead. Like mortgages. And pie. And goat asses for bitter aunts who need to learn to mind their own damn business.
The fine print: If you’re inspired to donate, please feel free to leave a comment telling us what you’re doing. I loved seeing that stuff come in last year and I know it was inspiring to others as well.
If you leave a comment asking for help you can link to your Wish Upon a Hero post, but please don’t leave your email or contact info in your comment or it won’t get posted.
If you want to share a link of another charity that you love, or links to resources that people can use if they need help please do so.
And finally…thank you. Thanks for listening, and for caring, and for reading this far.
We’re all in this together, people.
UPDATED: I just bought a llama. In a shopping cart. Technology is weird. And awesome.