Thank you from me, Victor, Hailey, Anderson Cooper and James Garfield

UPDATE: Wow.  That went heartbreakingly fast.  But there are other people out there who have so sweetly offered up gift cards that they don’t need or who’ve sent emails about wanting to help so keep leaving comments and I’ll do my best to match up donators with those of you needing help.  I’m sure we won’t be able to help everyone and I’m sorry for that but every little bit counts.  Also, consider contacting Toys for Tots if you need presents.  It’s easy (aside from the line you have to wait in) to get new presents for your kids that way and there’s no one there judging you.  And I hope that everyone reads the comments and it spurs you on to donating, even if it’s only a few dollars or to just remember how lucky we are.  The world is both darker and brighter than we think.

**********************

I’m about to ruin your image of me but it’s for a good cause.

In my family we have one Christmas tradition that we never, ever skip.  Every year at Christmas Victor and Hailey and I go out and buy my parents the best Christmas present that they never actually get.  This year we’re gearing up for the same thing (and I totally recommend it to anyone who has some extra cash to share) but we’re also doing something different.

This year was hard for so a lot people and so many people I know are struggling.  They’re looking for work or for places to live and suddenly the things that you take for granted, like buying Christmas presents for your kids, become a luxury you can’t afford.  I’ve had my years of struggling and borrowing and getting the water shut off because you couldn’t afford to pay it but this year we’ve been really lucky.  We aren’t rich but we’re blessed and so much of that is because of you.  Whether you left a kind comment or nice email or supported me by buying ridiculous James Garfield holiday cards you made a difference to me.  And that’s why we’re taking all the money you gave me for James Garfield cards and we’re giving it back.

If you’re struggling for money right now and don’t know how you’ll give your kids presents then leave me a comment.  You don’t have to use your real name or leave a url or prove anything.  Just leave me a comment and your email address (always hidden and never used) and I’ll email a $30 Amazon gift card to the first twenty people who leave a comment explaining why it would make a difference in their lives right now.

Thank you to everyone who made a difference to me.

PS.  My guess is that with so many people out of work right now these will go fast so if you’re in a place where you’re lucky enough to have money to share then please donate to Toys for Tots.  Or if you’d like to help by doing your own gift card giveaway (even giving one can make a huge difference and you can do it all online) on your blog then just leave a comment with your url below and we can keep this going until we help as many people as we can.

PPS.  I’m so grateful I’m able to do this and I wouldn’t have had the money to do this without you.  Thank you. You make the world go ’round.

PPPS.  I promise to be less sappy tomorrow.

778 thoughts on “Thank you from me, Victor, Hailey, Anderson Cooper and James Garfield

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I am not in need, I just wanted to say how absolutely wonderful I think this is. It’s just beautiful, even if you are only doing this as a smokescreen for your evil intentions. 😉

  2. I’m in a hard place right now, but I also realize that there a lot of people out there hurting harder because they have families to support. I don’t have much, but I donate what food and clothing items I can to the Salvation Army. This time of year really sucks when you don’t have anything to really celebrate.

    I like to bake cookies for my friends and family as Christmas gifts. It’s not much, but the thought that counts.

  3. And I do know that the kids would appreciate a gift NOT from the Goodwill… even though it has been very, very good to me this year!

  4. While I could use this, like just about everyone can, I’d rather you give it to a blog friend that we both know. She has 3 little ones and is struggling and in a real bad place in so many aspects of her life. $30 might not do much, but it’d be better than the nothing that she is already planning on doing. So if I “won” I’d give you her info to send it to her.

    Also? You’re amazing. Sappy or not.

  5. I’m actually a child not a parent, but my dad has been unemployed for two years and I’m a college student (read: broke). He’s getting really depressed and feeling like he can’t take care of his family. I’d love to buy a little something for Christmas to show that I (have /will/do) appreciate all the unpaid things he’s done for my and younger bros growing up and now.
    🙂

  6. Your blog has inspired me since the first day I read it, and you’ve made me cry today.

    My husband has been unemployed for 22 months out of the last 24. I work part time-and we’ll be applying for help just to pay our heating bill this winter. $30 would buy quite a bit of goodies for my kids this year.

  7. I don’t need this, so please don’t send me one. I just wanted to let you know that my eyes teared up at your generosity. You are totally awesome!!!

  8. We are hurting. I am so embarrassed to admit that so I didn’t use my real name. Thank you for being one person who really cares. I promise to pass the love on as soon as I can.

  9. Your generosity is amazing.

    While my husband was able to find work after being laid off, the time off, combined with a medical crisis has really come crashing down on us. Despite all of that, I’m grateful for everything we do have. Money comes and money goes and while there isn’t a lot of it right now, that’s only temporary. We have what we need, if only barely. The rest will come in time.

  10. My family kicked me out this year. My divorce made me an embarassment to them. My best friend’s family adopted me, and I want to show them my gratitude but I’m broke and can’t afford presents. This money could help me say thank you for not letting me be alone, falling in between the cracks. Thank you so much for loving me when my family couldn’t.

  11. Wow, I am so glad you are able to help families. We have a really rough two years, and we didnt really know how we were going to get much for our kids this year. A wonderful Lady in the US, (I’m in Canada) sent each of our boys a toy and a book. Just wanted to encourage others, there are so many good people in this world. Our family plans on giving back once we are back on our feet again.
    Merry Christmas and God bless you and yours.
    Dana @ The Sears Fam

  12. As if just ordering James Garfield cards wasn’t awesome enough, knowing that my purchase of profane Christmas cards is going to help someone else out is even better. And now I have a new wallpaper on my work computer. It’s like TODAY is Christmas. Thanks for being you, Jenny.

  13. $30.00 at Amazon would assist me in doing what everyone in this country is having difficulty with right now: Getting gifts for my beautiful children…

    Jenny, you’re beautiful.

  14. I love your blog and this post made my day. Whether or not I luck out, it’s awesome. My son REALLyY really wants this crazy little motorcycle that I could not believe was $16 but that’s ALL he really wants and if I get this card… he’s gonna get it! And a book or few to even it out! 🙂

  15. I never thought I’d be in a position to not be able to buy my son something for Christmas. Unfortunately, here we are, with my husband looking for steady work, my salary frozen, and a voicemail box that’s filled to the brim with messages from bill collectors. So, I’m making as many things as I can for him, and I’m considering wrapping up some toys he’s forgotten about and re-giving them to him. I’ve contemplated asking friends for a used bike his size but I haven’t done so yet. We’ve already saved up a few hand-me-downs and fortunately I’m creative and can come up with a lot of novel project-like things out of scrounged materials, but still. This sucks. Whether I am one of the lucky recipients or not, you’re amazing for doing this. And if you know of anyone who needs some artists, give me a holler.

  16. Since going through the divorce this past year things have been rough. I am living with a roommate and have taken a barely paying job just to barely make my bills. I cant afford xmas this yearfor my children which is killing me. I just want to b able to give my kids a lil something so they know mom still can do stuff like that.

  17. I am making a comment on behalf of my mother. She injured herself in October and couldn’t work for 2 months. She has no health insurance of any kind, so my husband and I moved her in with us to help her get back on her feet. Thankfully she was able to go back to 1 of her 2 jobs in the last week, but she will not be able to return to her second job because of her limitations now.

    I know she is very depressed about not being able to afford to get my 3 year old nephew, her grandson, anything for christmas this year. I tried to talk to her about it and offer her some help, but she refuses because she already feels like a burden on us. She’s doing better, but i would love to give her this so she could do something for him.

    Thanks Jenny, you always make my day brighter!

  18. I’m not in need either but My brother and his family are. He’s been out of work for two years. He has a daughter that has major medical issues and a wife that’s been having some medical issues and is unable to care for the kids. So he’s been taking care of her and the girls. There’s no money coming in and there is no money for Christmas gifts let alone any to pay bills by gas or pay for dr’s visits. I’d give them the card. They so deserve it.

  19. Jenny – this is a fantastic idea. One of my suppliers at work sent me some Best Buy gift cards at some point in this last year. I was going to give them away here at work but the supplier sent me US gift cards which are useless to us here in Canada (not redeemable at Best Buy Canada and Best Buy US.com doesn’t ship north).
    I’d be happy to mail them to you to be used in this giveaway. I have a couple – so email me and tell me if you can use them.

  20. I wanted to also tell you, it would make a huge difference this year because we just found out we are having another (surprise!) baby and not only are we hurting, but scared now, too. In this economy it’s hard to have even one child and now we have to plan for another. A baby is a joy, and I am so happy. But I’m scared.

  21. I think I may be in the top thirty, and I had a really rough year, and someone was really generous to me, letting me buy presents for my kids, but now I know a family worse off than I am, and a way to be able to help them out would be entirely more awesome than anything I can think of. We’ve already given them some of our gently used toys, but giving them the opportunity to give for themselves would be awesome too.

  22. Things can change so much so fast. Went form being the person that was helping families last year to needing help this year. I supported you by buying an ad when you needed money for exterminators or an exorcism or something :)) Now that times have changed for us, $30 would ROCK!! You’re as bad ass as wolverines!

  23. I just made my first school loan payment…it’s scary growing up! I didn’t even start shopping yet!

  24. Why it would make a difference…

    I don’t need a thing. I live on disability and it’s okay when I’m by myself every month, but Christmas freaking sucks. Everyone in the family says, “no gifts, don’t worry.” I worry. I guess I don’t mind for my nieces, nephews, etc. I’m sad as hell because I can’t do much for someone close to me that I used to be able to.

    I feel like a big whiner because I have a roof over my head, food on my table and I bitch because I can’t buy extras. But I still whine.

  25. I do not need it but as a legal aid attorney, I can think of numerous clients who could use it. Too bad they don’t know about this. You are awesome.

  26. wow. you are clearly one hell of a remarkable women. Yes the past 2 years have been turmoil for us, medical issues, natural disasters, and job loss. But we are so grateful. we and those we love are healthier this year. lucky to have a young child who is happy with that alone. The older kid. Has given up Christmas for 2 years so younger kid can get a gift even trying to work to help come up with a present or 2. We are fine. We are just grateful and thankful to be here, alive and have friends. You are an inspiration even when you don’t want to be you zombie killing James Garfield loving, red dress rocking, dead squirrel bidding, bag of amazing.

  27. You are amazing. I say this on a daily basis (mostly in the form of laughing so much that I pee myself while reading your blog). Thank you for doing this. If I could afford to, I would. I may not be able to afford my cable bill or christmas presents for my family (I don’t have kids but a lot of brothers and sisters) but I have a roof over my head, a full time job and food in my fridge. Thank you for doing what so many other people should do. You rock my socks Jenny.

  28. I don’t need this, but just wanted to say, what a great idea, Jenny, bless you!

    And I never say “bless you,” so you know I must be really touched.

  29. I’m sick and can’t even go to the damn doctor, but I managed gifts. I’d sell a gift credit on e-Bay and use it on a co-pay.

  30. You are an amazing creature. I’m so glad you exist as it makes the rest of existence worth while. Happy Holidays to you and yours, Ms. Jenny.

    p.s. don’t send me anything, I want for nothing and am looking forward to sharing what I have with my friends and family…IF they are good. 🙂

  31. We’ve gone through some VERY difficult times in the past few years… it’s still pretty tight but we’re getting by. I’m grateful to be able to do what I love all day—> I’m home with my son… and I made my craft my job with “Yah Bags”. So I know how much your gift will mean to these people. A hand up… not a hand out. Good for you… seriously, you’re making a difference.

  32. I’ve had a really hard year. Divorce is expensive yo. However? My kids have some presents under the tree despite that. My family will make sure my kids (and I most likely) are throughly spoiled.

    I don’t need the gift card. I just really wanted to tell you that you are doing something amazing. I love you for that.

  33. my own husband has been without work for nearly two years…but we’re doing all right. my daughter’s husband lost his job just after their third baby was born, 3 months ago. they are living with us, so they DO have a roof over their heads, but there is no money for gifts. her children are 7, 3 and 3 months.

  34. You are wonderful.

    I don’t need anything, but my in-laws could use it. My father-in-law has a prison ministry, and through it he’s met lots and lots and lots of people in need. One family in particular has a newborn and a 2-year-old and little else. They need all kinds of baby stuff; the 2-year-old doesn’t even have a bed. I know they could use the help, and I’d love to pass something on to them from you.

  35. I don’t need the gift card, but you could give it to me and I would pass it on to my friends who just had a baby, had their landlord tell them that he wouldn’t renew their lease because he wants his daughter to move into the house. They’re moving this weekend with a 4-year old, a 2-year old, and a one-month old.

  36. I am totally tearing up right now. While I am super underemployed I did manage to scrape enough money together to get gifts for my loved ones and I feel really lucky that I was able to do so.

  37. I lost my job about a year ago and had to skip on presents for my family this year who are wonderful to me, I could stretch $30 a long way.

  38. This year is the hardest it’s ever been for me and my family!!! A gift card would help me more than I can tell you! Thank you! God Bless and Merry Christmas/Happy New Year!!

  39. You not only make me laugh, you make me cry. You’re a wonderful person, Jenny. We get by, but not easily. My husband is battling agoraphobia and depression and despite that is the most wonderful partner, friend and father in the world. We’re not really doing presents for each other this year but I’d love to get him a surprise just to say thank you for keeping on truckin’.

  40. I don’t want a gift card (even though it looks like you’ve reached your quota) but I had to tell you that I love your blog. I wanted to thank you for all the laughter (and the tears) that you’ve brought into my life. 2011 is looking great with a blog like yours to peruse! Thanks for doing you.

  41. This year has been so hard on so many people. I’m in the middle of an ugly divorce and an even uglier custody battle. Despite that, I’m blessed. I have my baby girl and she has presents.

    I don’t need anything, but I just wanted to tell you that you are amazing and I love that you are doing this.

    Now, for god’s sake, write something funny! Too many people making me cry today.

    xo

  42. I have been fortunate this year and I don’t require the card, but I must say the karma coming back on you and yours for this will be amazing! It’s nice to know that the generousity of the holiday hasn’t been completely wiped away by consummerism!

  43. I’ll give out the 21st gift card request you receive; $30 at Amazon. Just give me the email information and I’ll send it along. Happy Holidays everyone.

  44. My husband hasn’t worked in almost 9 months. Thankfully, he just found out last week that he has a job! The only bad thing is it’s in California. But a job is a job and we need the insurance. We will have to pay two living expenses and travel to visit each other, but we will make do. It couldn’t have come at a better time, since we’ve finally maxed out all our credit cards and the money I make is just not enough. As much as we need a $30 gift card (to anywhere) for ourselves, I would give it to our friend. She is a foster mom who has had a 5 year old with many issues for quite a while. Yesterday, she took in a 15 year old. Neither child came with anything. Anything. No clothes or toys. She is a kind hearted person and very patient. This is all in addition to her full time job and her grown children. If I got a $30 gift card, I would give it to her. We’ve had lots of help from family and friends, but she needs it more right now.

    Jenny, I love reading your tweets and your blogs. They make me laugh. Sometimes they are inappropriate; sometimes they are silly; sometimes they are touching. You are a true woman.

  45. I would just like to be able to get some educational gifts for my kids. They actually like toys that teach them something, especially my son.

  46. Have I ever told you how awesome you are?? Bc you complete me, but in a total non-stalkerish way! 🙂

  47. I’ve been reading your blog for well over a year, and this is the first time I really felt like I should comment. What you are doing is awesome. That is all.

  48. I’m not in need either, just wanted to tell you how beautiful this is. Thank you for doing this for all the people that are having a tough time.

  49. That’s an amazing thing you’re doing.

    I am not in need, but just wanted to say I wish I was half the woman you were.

    If I had to choose, I’d pick the lower half because there’s a penis there and I’m not sure this analogy works with me having man-parts. God..it’s the tiny details that always get me.

  50. Hmm. All of my comment got deleted except for the final line. Weird.
    Recap.
    Christmas is always the hardest time for us money wise. My birthday, thanksgiving, christmas, my daughters birthday. And then to top it off, my fiance and I r getting married in april so were realy tight on money this year. So, to make sure that our daughter has a christmas, my fiance and i decided not to buy each other presents this year. Everybody else is getting crocheted scarves or fleece tied blankets and pillows. Along with baked goods.

    We don’t have the money to go out and but new presents for the toys for tots program, however, our 4 y/o daughter has agreed with us and we r giving away over half of her old toys.

    Basicly, long story short. U r awsome. Thankyou. 🙂

  51. We aren’t in need, we’ve been very fortunate this year but I wanted to say…how absolutely fabulous of you and amazing that you are able to give back like this!

  52. My husband left in June and my son and I are living on food stamps and the $400/month I make freelancing. He hasn’t had a present or a treat from me in almost two years — since I’ve been out of work. It would be so lovely if I could be the parent he likes this year.

  53. I am not in need and so very grateful for that fact. I organized the participation in an Adopt-a-Family program for my office this year through the Salvation Army and it was so incredibly humbling and inspiring to see the junction of human strength and generosity. Many many families in need will have presents under the tree this year because of them….everyone should consider organizing something like this.

    Jenny, I LOVE your Christmas traditions and want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for spreading happiness in the world. You make my days brighter all the time.

    xo
    Liz

    P.S. I was always suspicious that you were possibly a genuinely nice and sappy person underneath your cold hobo-finger-cutting off exterior. Now we know.

  54. I’m in need. I took over handling the finances from my hubby and he has NO idea how much debt we are really in (due to adoption expenses…but still). Could really use this…

  55. Your blog makes me laugh and cry thank goodness so far I haven’t peed my pants while reading it. Thank you for doing this. And I don’t need a card I wish I could send you more to give away though.

  56. I wanted to thank you for this. We’re in a tough situation right now- lot’s of people are, but I want the money to go to others. (no, really) Our kids and I decided to make this a “homemade” Christmas and we’re really enjoying it and the time we’re spending together doing it.

    I think this is a fantastic thing you’re doing and I hope it helps out many who need it. Merry Christmas!

  57. I’d totally take you up on the offer, but Amazon doesn’t carry the specific type of pornography that I like, so I politely decline.

    Oh, and it’s so great that you’re doing this for everyone, blah blah blah…off to check out some more hot sheep-on-goat action!

    (sarcasm aside, this is very, very nice of you. May your next year be filled with more bizarrely taxidermied animals!)

  58. I commented earlier about wanting to help a family I know since I was helped by someone else this year. I know you hit your limit, and I am kind of embarrassed since I made a mistake in my comment and thought it was 30 not 20 cards, but that’s neither here nor there. The family I am talking about is a single mom with her daughter, the daughter is 5 and in kindergarten, she used to be a twin. Her twin brother died in a pool drowning, and then my friend, the mom here, got ovarian cancer and had to have her ovaries and uterus removed. Once she started recovering from all this, the cancer came back, and she had to go through chemo. While going through all that, she was married. It was this past summer that her husband left her. So, she has lost alot. Now she lives with friends and they work so hard to put food on the table etc, she is on disability because the cancer keeps coming back, she just had back surgery, they don’t even have furniture to sit on, you see where I’m going, it’s bad. I don’t want this comment going on the site, I know you moderate, but if there is any way that anything comes through that can help this family. Her email is Start a chat ladyravenstorm13 @yahoo.com. She is a wonderful lady who is doing everything she can to make the best out of a truly truly horrible situation. Thank you at least for listening.

  59. Hollywood kisses to someone who ACTS compassionately and makes me laugh consistently. What a great idea you have here. BIG love

  60. I’ll donate another gift card, but I’m not sure how to e-mail you. Please advise. 🙂

    PS– I feel like I should be able to figure the email thing out. This is a little embarrassing.

  61. this made me all teary at work. you are fantastic. i’d like to give away 3 more $30 giftcards. just let me know if it would be easier to set it up on my blog or have you pass on 3 of your overflow email addresses. the world is a better place because of people like you (and james garfield).

  62. My husband called me a couple hours ago and said “Don’t get me anything for Christmas. Let’s give that money to charity.” You and my husband are awesome. I love him and you (but maybe him just a little bit more…sorry). We’re big kids at heart, so I’m thinking a huge Toys for Tots donation will be coming from our family this year.

    Also, over the weekend I saw a “Now Hiring” sign down here in Florida (somewhere near DeLand) … a taxidermist is looking for an apprentice. I hear that’s a highly respectable line of work. Plus, they could “pay it forward” by creating a friend for James Garfield. 😉

  63. –>I (heart) The Bloggess even more now. Your generosity is admirable and I hope to hear in a future posts the wonderful Christmas celebrations you’re providing to so many families (even if anonymously).

    Our family is in want of nothing and although we have the funds to buy gifts, we’re all making an effort to scale back and share the gift of time with each other. Plus, we need the extra money for booze, just in case.

    Merry Christmas!
    xoxo,
    deb

  64. Hi! First time commenting.

    I found your blog relatively recently and keep track through twitter (I’m a twitter stalker,btw) and it’s helped me a lot, really made a difference right now. Your blog keeps me in a high mood even when I have to be isolated for months due to illness (the only living thing I kept contact with for two solid months at one point was my neighbouring eagle that comes to sleep right accross my window every night, so in those months I’d lay for hours waiting for the sun to come down and I could stare wistfully at little whitey as it prepared to sleep without ever noticing she was being stalked, and then the rest of the night just lay down unexpectantly for the next weary day to come along).

    I don’t need the money, I can’t use it anyway as I’m far out of its reach here. I just felt that if you posted a thank you note, I wanted to give you the thank you back. Especially because I’ve never bought anything from you due to being, like I said, economically out of reach from your country.

    So A BIG THANK YOU to You and Victor and Hailey and Anderson Cooper and James Garfield.

  65. I am a guy and must admit that this even choked me up…I totally lose my mancard for that and for reading your blog (I think?). I’m okay financially and don’t want the cards, but thought I would just let you know you’re VERY awesome for doing this …very kind and generous. Wishing your family a happy holiday!

  66. I’m not in need either, thankfully, but I wanted to add to the chorus of the “I think what you’re doing is amazings.” This season isn’t about getting it’s about giving and reading this blog post has helped restore my faith in humanity. Jenny – you’re awesome. Thank you for being you and for doing such an incredibly generous and thoughtful thing for folks who are struggling to get by. My heart is thoroughly warmed. Or maybe that’s hearburn. Who can tell really?

  67. Thank you for this post. I’ve been stuck in my own little pity party – and this is a nice reminder of the things I have to given – even if they are just monetary. Thank you.

  68. We could really use the help this year. My husband was killed by a drunk driver in July and since he was the primary income earner things have been very tough. I have twin girls that are 5 years old and this is just the worst time of year to be poor and to be missing the love of your life at the same time. I wish I could just crawl in bed and sleep through Christmas but my girls deserve more. Thank you for all you do Jenny. You are an amazingly beautiful person.

  69. I think I saw the 21st gift card offered – I can give the 22nd. Please let me know the person’s email address and I will email it to them.

  70. Brian and I adopted a child this year. We’d never done it before, and for that I’m sorry. Shopping for some random kid I would never meet and wouldn’t get to see open his presents was far more fun than I ever imagined. I am envious of your huge toy stash you’re able to donate. You’ve given me a goal for next year.

  71. I rarely comment here anymore because I just can’t compete with your army of funny readers, but I thought this one would be safe since no one’s being super clever. I may be having a hard time this year, but I at least still have a job & my boys have loving grandparents who get them gifts. So I do feel very thankful for that because I know there are many who don’t have those benefits. I am also thankful for knowing (in a way) someone like you who does something so generous each Christmas, and who gives me other reasons to smile all year long. Merry Christmas, Jenny 🙂

  72. You are too cool. And your parents are very, very proud of you (as a parent of two thirty-somethings, I can say this with authority). I do toys through our local Food Bank recipients, but also give a donation to a local family shelter (takes in the entire family, not just men or women). The family and friends I used to give gifts to get a card with a note inside that a donation has been made to the shelter in their name. No one has complained yet!

  73. I’m a single mother of four beautiful children. They are my world, and I would love to give them something special for Christmas. The extra money would allow me to do even more for them.
    I’m being laid off in February, so I want to make this season as special as possible before it becomes more difficult at that time.
    You really are a special person. Your blog never fails to make me smile.

  74. Like so many others here, I just want to tell you how much I love you for doing this. You amaze me.

  75. I’m following your lead and giving away a $20 gift card. I posted the details on my blog; I guess I could have just offered on here in comments. Anyway, I hope whoever reads this will pass the giveaway along to who needs it.

  76. I have been saving up farts in a jar for you ALL year long. Just wait until that UPS delivery arrives from New Jersey… mmm, mmm, mmm.

    Also… this.

  77. This has been a tough year for my family. The cost of everything keeps going up but our income keeps staying the same. I try to remember to be grateful for the low paying jobs that my husband and myself have because so many others are unemployed. Our priority is to pay the mortgage on our very small house, which has gone way up as well, and keep the heat and water on. My daughter is 9 and needs so many things like new glasses and tennis shoes, I keep putting it off and hoping some money will come from somewhere. Thanks for having such a warm and giving heart. In times when I had any extra I have tried to help others and one day I hope to be able to again.

  78. We have been fortunate this year and are not in need, but there have been years where we relied on the kindness of others and were grateful. My best friend of 30+ years left her abusive husband three months ago and is struggling working two jobs to support herself and her 10 yo and 15 yo and battle for what little child support she gets. If you could help her out, she might regain her faith in the world.

  79. I have no wants or needs but wanted to say how awesome it is that you are doing this! Now can you help me with this minor bout of typhoid I’m having? Thanks, xoxo

  80. Jenny, I love you. Thank you for doing this. I would like to help out by sending a gift card, if you would send me the e-mail address. 🙂

  81. I can’t bring myself to ask you for anything but I just want you to know I’m sitting here bawling my eyes out. I’m a single mom to three kids who had to decide between giving my kids gifts and keeping the electricity on. At the beginning of the year I was in great shape financially and mentally but then, as has happened to so many other people, the bottom dropped out. I’m humiliated, have no one to turn to for help, and can’t tell anyone about any of this. I’m dying of shame by inches while pretending everything is just fine. I know there are more deserving people out there who need important things like coats and shoes, which we have. I just wanted to thank you for doing this and making me feel for the two minutes it took to read your post that there are some decent people in this world. Have a wonderful holiday.

  82. It doesn’t look like I’ll be buying my kids gifts this year, but others — our family friends and family will make up for it. I also think the holidays have become too much about consumption anyway and don’t mind the chance to teach my kids that disappointment is a state of mind. Still, I feel bad for them because they are teenagers, which puts them in that ugly place where adults don’t think you’re cute anymore but you still want to feel like a kid at Christmas even as you experiment with makeup and kissing and curse words.
    When my daughter cracked a joke about why put a tree up if there’s not going to be anything under it, I told her that under the tree was where we’ll put the gifts we are going to give to others. The wise men didn’t show up expecting handouts from Jesus; they brought gifts to give. This year, like last, we will volunteer for Toys for Tots, handing out gifts to those who in many cases have even less than we do. Anyone can receive, it is a privilege to be able give.

  83. Jenny, this is why you’re a true inspiration.

    I decided this year that presents don’t mean as much as love. Though Chicken’s father has never been in her life and never will, every penny I own goes to making her life happy. And that makes me happy.

    I only sent out Holiday Cards this year because I couldn’t do much more than that. I had an artificial tree donated to me. But whether or not my daughter and I HAVE belongings this Christmas, we have each other.

    For those who are struggling along with myself, a lot of more fortunate families do donate some very nice things to your local thrift stores and many of them have days where extra discounts apply. Like at mine, Wednesday’s you everything is half-off from 7-9 pm…including toys. I have been able to buy some things that way for her. And kids go through clothes so fast, many of the clothing they have is barely used. Find out when your store typical gets their weekly shipment in and go that day or the next to score the best things!

    Happy Holidays everyone!

  84. I wish I would have seen this earlier, we could really use this. I have been chronically ill and bedridden for 2 years. We have had to sell our second car and lots of other things in order to pay for my treatment and everyday things. We are living on the bare minimum. We have 4 girls ages 6 and under

  85. Jenny, I love you. Truly. And I am so thankful that you exist. Usually I use the gift cards my aunts give me as presents to get presents for other folks; if I come into anything unexpected I will certainly send you and email and ask if you can help hook me up with someone who needs it.

    Thank you.

  86. I can give a $30 gift card and I would love to! Match me up with someone or let me know what to do. I’m sobbing my eyes out over here reading everyone’s comments, and I just wish I could give more!

  87. This is fantastic! I am so excited for Christmas this year, but not for the usual reasons. Compared to you Bloggess, I am a blogging neophyte. However, a couple weeks ago, I posted My Christmas Wish List on my blog. I mentioned a girl in my mom’s class who struggles with so many issues, not the least of which is struggling to raise her younger siblings because her mother is mentally ill. This girl is 10. Often, they do not have enough to eat. My awesome readers donated $200 to buy her and her siblings food and gifts for the holidays. I didn’t even ask for donations. They just wanted to help. So this weekend I’m doing something I have absolutely refused to do for 31 years. I am going shopping the weekend before Christmas. And it is going to be so much fun! I am going to search out the great deals. I am going to stretch those dollars until they beg for mercy. And this year, those kids will have presents from Santa and food for their pantry.

  88. I tweeted this to you, but I should post here as well.

    I would be thrilled to add another three cards to what you are doing here. It’s a wonderful thing. <3

  89. I am completely overwhelmed by your amazing stories, strength and by the amount people offering to donate gift cards to others. THANK YOU.

    You made my heart grow 3 sizes and now I have an enlarged heart.

    Right now I’m putting together a spreadsheet to try to match people so if you haven’t heard from me yet that just means I’m still working. You should get an email soon if I have a card for you or if you want to donate a card to someone else.

    Thank you. For real.

  90. We’re in need now more than ever. Two years ago last week my gramma’s house burned down. My mom was living there & had to move in with me & my husband. This summer my mom lost her job & this autumn I did as well. My mom’s unemployment benefits ran out last week. Now we’re living on just my husband’s paycheques — a full-time 50 hr/wk job & an on-call part-time job [he also mows lawns in the summer]. My mom gets foodstamps, but just enough to pay for her own food [she eats meat & we don’t]. I wanted to buy Chrismukkah gifts for my brothers kids — my brother & sister-in-law are separated, she works as a waitress & he’s unemployed [& going to prison soon] — I just wanted to make sure they have a nice holiday during this stressful time.

  91. This is a wonderful idea. I’d love to help out three more of your readers with their holidays by sending them an Amazon gift card. Just tell me who and I’m on it.

  92. I’m not in need and happy to help wherever I can. I’d like to go and purchase a few gift cards for the commenters in need. Just email me and tell me what you need, and I’ll get whatever I can.

    *sniffle*

    And no, I’m not crying like Alice. Not at all.

  93. Wow. I’m not generally all weepy at work; mainly because everyone would look at me funny and I would have to spend all of my paycheck on Kleenex, but I made the exception today while reading your post. In a time that didn’t really feel all Christmasy, you reminded me why I love this holiday. I am not in physical need, but I was in need of some Christmas Spirit! Thank you!

  94. I would love just a little bit extra to help my son have a magical Christmas. He’s 2, so this is the first year that he is getting caught up in the excitement. My husband and I have crappy jobs (but so blessed that we have jobs at all) and we just haven’t been able to save up enough after all the bills to get him any gifts.

  95. I also made comment number 19 up there…and I did it quickly as I was running out of my cube to get lunch. See, I’m lucky to have a job but that doesn’t mean that we’re not hurting anyways. I had a horrid nightmare last night that it was Christmas morning and I woke up with my kids, went to the tree, and there was nothing there. I know there are a million other problems in the world much bigger than Christmas presents, but when you’re a mommy or daddy, being unable to get gifts for your kids feels like every problem in the world all rolled in to one…

  96. Hi Jenny,

    I can only bear to post this anonymously. Last Christmas time, I found out my teenage stepson was molesting my younger daughter. We went through court and counselling and social workers and he was sent to live with his grandmother after no legal action was taken against him (partially due to his age, also to his emotional issues). After 6 months, my husband insisted he move back home. The boy has never expressed any regret over his actions and even blames them on me for not being his REAL mother. I couldn’t handle the thought of him being around my daughters, and my husband wouldn’t support my decision to not have the boy around my girls, so I moved back to my hometown. I’ve been unemployed since July (when I moved), and used my entire savings to get us set up in our apartment. My family has helped out as much as they can, but they can only spare so much. I would appreciate any gift card amount – it doesn’t even need to be as much as $30. Anything the girlies get from it would be something they won’t be getting otherwise.

    Oh, and this may be only my second time commenting on your blog, but I read every post. And I adore you. You can really make me laugh! Thank you for that.

  97. We did have enough money for presents for our 5 year old daughter, but we have had to car repair after car repair and that has eaten up the Christmas budget almost entirely. We had to do 3 this week already and it’s only Wednesday. All the OT dh was working to pay for Christmas is going to car repairs.

    What’s that saying? You make plans, God laughs? Yeah, that’s us.

    Oh and the PC I use to make money with has all but died on me.

    Thank you for doing this. You are really a good person, despite what some say. LOL

  98. Jenny
    I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now and I’ve never commented before but I simply must now. This is such an amazing thing you’re doing for others that it’s brought me to tears, which is particularly awkward due to me being in my cube at work. Despite the image you project on the internet, which I absolutely LOVE, you are an amazing and generous person.

    You’ve inspired me to give back more than I have. I’m going to purchase some of your James Garfield Christmas cards to help with your donations and I also plan on giving my mother the best Christmas present she’ll never receive.

    Thank you, Jenny, for just being you

  99. I know I’m too late but thanks for helping us strapped folks… I am really struggling to hang on to my apartment. There’s no way I can afford prezzies for my stepkids. I’m glad you could make that possible for someone else.

  100. I am not in need. I’m lucky that I am gainfully employed & able to keep going. I’m doing Handmade Holidays for the second year in a row b/c I can’t afford to buy, but I have the stuff to make the gifts from when I was a little more flush with money. I think the only ones in my life disappointed by this are the cats. Have you ever tried to make catnip before? They don’t like it when I sprinkle parsley on the carpet.

    Anyway, I really just wanted to say that you’re doing an amazing thing here. I wish that I was in a position to donate this year, but maybe I’ll get to pay it forward next year. 🙂

  101. I tweeted you (@ktreads) but I figured I’d drop into the comments in case you don’t see it. This is simply amazing. I’m happy to donate, just send me a name 🙂

  102. Count me in to donate. I’ll be happy to send a walmart/target/whatever Jenny tells me to gift card to someone.

  103. I’m not asking for me, but for a dear friend and blogger named Joanna. She is permanently disabled from an old car accident and a couple of botched surgeries. She is trying very hard to get into subsidized housing in her hometown of New Orleans; but has been hosed over twice now. She can’t afford her utilities and has two, much-loved elderly cats. One of the kitties has a suspicious growth on its tail, but she can’t afford a vet. She has to perform home surgery on her babies & it breaks my heart. I have sent her money when I could, but she needs to pay for utilities and she REALLY wants to get back home to New Orleans.
    Please, if you can help at all, let me know. my email: nadinetheartist@gmail.com. Please, especially if you work for government in New Orleans, one of your wonderful ladies wants to be home–with her babies.
    Thank You from my heart,
    Nadine

  104. While we don’t need any help, my hubby was lucky enough to have a decent job this year after a couple of hard years, I just wanted to say I think what you are doing is amazing. Usually your blog makes me laugh until I cry, but today I just cried. It is heartening to know that there are still people out there who really care for others.

  105. I am not in need but I just wanted to say: Yesterday I was wondering what Anderson Cooper (the silver haired fox, not the cat) would think if he googled his name and came across this blog. Now I know he’d be thrilled.

  106. You have made me cry on multiple occasions this year and yet I can’t get enough – that’s really saying something. Keep on doing what you do, Jenny! There aren’t enough people out there touching people like you do (um…somehow that sounds much dirtier than I’d intended, but I’m going to go with it anyway).

    I have 1/1,000,000th of your bloggy clout (on a very good day) but I am going to see what I can do to drum up support for this. Like you said, every bit helps and doing something – even a little bit – is better than doing nothing at all. Every time.

  107. I have an Amazon giftcard that I won at my work’s Tack Christmas Sweater contest and I would be happy to donate it. Please let me know how to get it to you.

  108. Hi Jenny. I read your blog frequently but have never commented. But I just want to say that this post fell into a sequence of events for me that have together deeply inspired and touched me. I immediately talked to my husband, and together we decided that, for our first Christmas as husband and wife, we will keep gifts for each other to a minimum, and instead donate to charity. I feel light and refreshed all of a sudden after making this decision, so I’d like to thank you for your contribution to that.

  109. Wow. First I’m amazed at all the people going ‘I’m having a hard time, but please give one to my friend’, all fabulous people. I’d love to hand out four more gift cards for Amazon, just email me. I’ll spread it round Twitter too. This is a fantastic idea.

  110. I’m happy to donate an Amazon card to someone in need! Please just let me know where to send it!

    Noelle

  111. I just wanted to write and let you know what an inspiring thing you’re doing. I’m trying to hold it together while I read this at work. My husband and I donated in our relatives’ names this year instead of giving them gifts for the same reasons you’re doing this. Your generosity is reaching so many people. Keep doing what you’re doing!

  112. I am not in need. And I am so grateful for that. Count me in as someone who can provide a gift card if needed. Thanks for doing this.

  113. You are even more amazing than I originally thought. We’ve had a crazy year but are blessed enough to have a job but many are not.God bless you for providing 20 people’s child a gift this year!You are my hero!

  114. Thanks Jenny for being you. You have a great heart, I enjoy your wit and your personality it would be amazing to be your friend!

  115. I would love to contribute a gift card; I’m currently living, as they say, “one paycheck away from disaster” — but heck, I’m that much farther away from disaster than a lot of other people are.

  116. This January marks 2 years since my dad was laid off and out of a job for over a year. Watching my parents go through the toughest time of their lives and making it out stronger has been one of the most valuable lessons/examples I have ever experienced. I can’t tell you how many people came together to help my family when they needed it most. I would be so, so grateful for the opportunity to pay it forward.

    I have two $25 gift cards to Target that I would be happy to give to two lovely people. Just let me know where I should send them.

    Merry Christmas!

  117. I’d love to be able to pass this on to my co-worker and friend who sits right next to me. He and his wife have adopted two kids in the past three years (they also have one biological daughter who is 5 yo), and just today I asked him what he’s getting his wife for Christmas. He told me that for the past few years they “don’t do” Christmas gifts for one another because with three kids (and adoption expenses) it’s just not in the budget. I’d love to be able to give this to him so he can surprise his wife with something special! I’d be happy to give you his email address so you can pass it on to him directly. He and his wife have built an amazing and selfless family.

  118. I’ve got clothes to donate: Jeans, sweaters etc. If you know of anyone in the Chicago area Boys size 8-12. You can pass along my email address.

  119. Wow. Words can’t even describe how awesome you are. Thanks for being you Jenny. You are an amazing person. And if I wasn’t all the way in Fiji and I had a credit card or such, I would want to help you help others.

  120. This is so awesome! But coming from you, could it be anything less? No, it could not. Thank you for doing this!

    Last year I might have asked for one of those cards but after over a year of unemployment I started a new job on Dec. 7 and got my first paycheck on Dec. 23, so we just barely made a Christmas then. Now I’ve been working for over a year and while we haven’t recovered quite enough to offer up our own gift cards, we have been giving our time to some local charities as our gifts. Hopefully, by next year we’ll be able to again give something of monetary value, too.

  121. Um… hi. Long time lurker, first time commenter.

    I ditto what everyone else is saying, about the tears and how great this idea is. My proverbial cup is running over – I’m gainfully employed, have a great family, and have been able to afford everything I’ve wanted to give them this year.

    I too would like to give back. I’ll donate to a fund, send a gift card, whatever you say. Thanks.

    (Oh yeah, love your blog! I stumbled on it from hyperboleandahalf, and was instantly hooked!)

  122. Hey Jenny, if you want to bump up the number of gift cards you send out, I can PayPal you a few bucks. I’ve been selling quite a bit of Tree Lobsters merch and you’re responsible for at least some of that traffic so I figure I owe you. Just say the word.

  123. Wow, I am in a dilemma. You told me to leave a comment if I am in need. But I’m not. All I wanted to do was say ‘what a great post’, but now I feel that I am implying I am needy by commenting. But if I didn’t comment, that would look like I didn’t care. Shit a brick, when did this become complicated?

  124. I read about halfway down and I couldn’t take anymore. The people in need, and the people just leaving a message so you know that what you are doing is amazing. And all the people who want to help. 2010 has been my worst year, and I was going to go into detail but it makes me want to cry to rehash it all. So I’ll just say that 2011 is looking like it will be better…

    So thank you everyone who wants to help. When things look up for me, I’m going to be doing all I can to give back. You are all amazing. All 155+ of you.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  125. This is the first comment I’ve left on your site but I have laughed many, many times (and cried a few times too) when I read your incredible writing. This post is no exception! What an amazing, glorious idea. My respect for you (and for the others participating) has just gone through the proverbial roof.

    I am struggling this year, yes. My husband has just lost his job and has no idea what he will do next – the only thing he knows for sure is that he doesn’t want to do sales, which just so happens to be the only work he has done for his entire working career and thus the only thing he is qualified to do. I am immensely grateful that we had already finished the Christmas shopping when this happened, so I don’t need to be on your donor list. It’s not so much “Christmas presents in December” we’re in need of, as “mortgage payment in February” when his severance package runs out. Since there’s no nifty gift card for that, I instead humbly request from anyone who might want to contribute, your good wishes and prayers (for those who are the praying type) that my husband is able to find a direction for himself and that it will not cause undue upheaval to our little family as we re-embark in that new direction.

    Thank you for your goodness and Merry Christmas to all!

  126. I am part of the un-hurting this year and my partner and I went Christmas shopping on Saturday and decided that both our families had more than enough this year. We purchased instead, socks, hats, gloves, and a bunch of other stuff and made homeless bags to be distrubed in our town to the many people who sleep out in the streets of Seattle.

    I have read many stories of people doing the same this year, helping out the other guy. I get pissed at Americans sometimes because I think we can be really harsh assholes and than there are times like this I love the shit out of each and everyone of us. Happy Holidays!!

  127. Jenny,

    You are an incredible human being. We have had a rough couple of years, but this year things began to turn around for us a little.

    I would like to donate a card. Please match me up with someone.

  128. Hi Jenny,

    I’ma recent bloggess fanatic and usually I laugh so hard I get stares in my office but today I just smiled and teared up. What an amazing person you are.

    I don’t have much to give (I’m in graduate school) but I can donate a giftcard to whoever you tell me to. Just say the word. I hope someday I can spread the Christmas cheer to my blog readers as you have with yours.

  129. This is a truly sweet thing to do for others kiddo. I’m happy to report that thank goodness we’re OK this year. But I do remember the years when we had nada and $30 would have been the world to us. Good going.

  130. You’re amazing. And not just because of your cleaveage, but because of your good personeage.

    I can’t afford a gift card on my own right now but if there’s some way I could go in on a card I would be thrilled to be able to do that. Also, maybe this is a crazy thing but if there’s anyone out there in need of winter clothes (including boots and coats) for boys up to size 6 and girls up to size 5 I have some things in great condition I would like to share.

  131. Your blog has reminded me how ridiculously blessed I have been for the past 18 years, and how ridiculously important christmas is to absolutely every child. Thank you for that. I am sadly lacking in money to give, but am currently emailing my parents to remind them to make their holiday donations and texting my friends to get them to volunteer at the salvation army with me when i finish these silly papers and finally go home. thanks for being such an incredible inspiration, and for the much needed reminder about how much less important my grades at this silly school i’m attending are in comparison to about a million other things happening in the world

  132. This year i was able to pull off christmas and i am very happy and proud that my son and stepson will have a good christmas. I just wanted to say that Jenny you are such an amazing woman! Its wonderful what you are doing, and what you do, you have helped me, made me laugh when i needed it and inspired me to enjoy being me. You are a beautiful lady inside and out, thank you for all you do!!

  133. Not in need….I’m also not computer savvy…but if you can tell me some way to give 30 dollars via the internet/amazon/paypal… I’ll totally help a family out. I’m too blessed to let someone else go without while I waste 30 bucks on drunken taco bell 🙂

  134. I gave to Toys for Tots this through mycoke.com points. Granted, they weren’t mine to give away but seriously, if people keep using my email address to sign up for things I think are stupid I will turn it around and take that account and usually do something childish or rude in their name. I’m sure TfT appreciates the points more than the lady who signed up for them for a coke themed ipod or something.

    And novel idea Bloggess, keep up the good work.

  135. Hi Jenny,
    I commented earlier about how what you’re doing is amazing. My husband is in the Navy and we haven’t been that affected financially. I am extremely grateful for that. After seeing how many people are in need, I have to do something! I’ll donate 3 $25.00 amazon gift cards. Just email me to let me know who to send them to.

  136. I’d love to join in on the love & donate a $30 gift card. Let me know if you have a match for me!

  137. What a lovely chain of fantastic people!

    I’m jumping on board – I’ll add another gift card to the mix!

    Thanks for all the giggles.

  138. Jenny,

    I’ve been only a lurker on your wonderful blog, but you have inspired me to comment and tell you that I would love to donate a $30 gift card. Just let me know who to send it to! You are fantabulous!

  139. This is an awesome effort and I bow to you. I’ve been trying to figure out how to buy presents for my son this year and coming up empty-handed. If there are still donations to be had I’d be humbled to receive one and promise to pay it forward in the new year when (hopefully) things improve.

  140. Long time reader, seldom commenter, but I had to come out of the shadows and echo the “You are awesome” sentiment that everyone seems to be in agreement on. I have been very fortunate this year and am not in need, but I would love to follow your example and donate a $30 Amazon gift card if you’ll send me the email address.

    Kudos to you and I hope you and your family have the merriest of Christmases – that sounds corny, but you truly deserve it.

  141. I would also like to donate a few gift cards. Let me know what you need and match me up! Thank you for bringing this post about and I wish everyone who is reading and commenting a holiday season of hope and happiness.

  142. your post today was beautiful, thank you for helping so many people. i just did the toys for tots thing with my boys this morning & we decided we’ll be making it a yearly tradition to donate to them. i love that you gave away all those gift cards today <3 have a wonderful holiday!

  143. I don’t work because of chronic pain and my husband has been unemployed for the last 15 months. We have a Junior and a Senior in High School. This year has been pretty tough but we have each other and a roof over our heads. Some people don’t have anyone. While I can’t donate money, unfortunately, I do like to write so if you need someone to send letters to soldiers abroad or people in the hospital, anything like that I would be honored to join in. You do what you can.

  144. Jenny,
    I know you’ve heard this approximately 151 times already, but, you *are* awesome.

    Our family is very fortunate and not in any need of help, however, I was there before. Many years ago, as a single teen-aged mom to a little peanut (who is now 21 and graduating college!), someone annoymously left a Christmas tree outside the door of my apartment, someone who must have known I couldn’t afford one, or a few presents to put under it… it was a gesture that made me cry then, and makes me cry now thinking about it. These things may seem small, but I promise you — to the person on the receiving end, they are huge.

    I’d love to help out another young single Mom – please let me know and I’d be glad to donate any card of your/their choice…

  145. For many of us it is difficult to ask for help when we need it. My husband has been out of work since October and I am too proud to ask my parents for help. He finally got a job but it doesn’t start until next month which means the Christmas season will be light for our three kids. We scraped money together to buy a Christmas tree so at least our house would be cheery. We are not in as bad of a place as many of the other people who have commented are but for the first time in my life I am not sure how I am going to give my kids what they asked Santa for this year. Thank you for giving all of us a smile every time you post! You warmed my heart today.

  146. This isn’t for any kids in my life, as I don’t have any. But if an amazon certificate ended up in my inbox, I would get my mama the best gift I could, because she needs something more than my hugs and my ear. The past few years have been rough on us, and I know it would make her month to get a Christmas present of any kind.

  147. After renegotiating with my mortgage firm, I dumped the entirety of our savings into keeping our house. Keeping the family home is the best Christmas present I could ask for, but a five year old doesn’t quite understand that.

  148. Just saw your tweet about having more donors than recipients. I have two worthy people who answered the call on my blog. I can take care of them, or send them back your way. Let me know what you think.

  149. I wansn’t going to comment, but my sister-in-law needs gifts for her kid. She is basically a single mom. She left her husband last year and made it on her own, and now he’s moved back in but not contributing financially or with childcare. She wants to keep her family together, whatever it looks like. I want her to have gifts for her toddler and new baby on the way. I’m tearing up asking. If anyone wants to help it would be most appreciated by all of us. Merry Christmas.

  150. I hate to ask, but if there is a card to spare, we could use the help. God I hate to ask. It’s been a bad, bad year. We are fighting to keep our house (from a horribly deceitful bank) and are trying to spread very little to keep the Christmas magic alive for four kids who still believe.

    Thank you so much not only for your initial generous offer, but also for being willing to juggle the generous offers of others.

  151. I just lost my job, today, a week before Christmas. I was fired because I missed a day due to a stomach virus that I caught at work from EVERYONE, because it was going around. That one day put them over the edge, because I had missed too much time going to the doctor to find out that my horrible pelvic pain is from cervical stenosis from a previous surgery for early stage cervical cancer, which was making my periods horribly painful, in addition to (what my doctor believes) is endometriosis. I was supposed to have surgery next month because my insurance JUST kicked in at work. And they said they had no problem with the endo/pelvic issue absences, but taking time off for VOMITING UP MY WHOLE SOUL was over the line. So, they fired me. And wished me luck on my surgery (which I obviously won’t be having now, asses). Luckily, Christmas had been taken care of prior to this. Now I’m worried about the future. I’m not asking for a gift card, because there are people that are more in need. I just needed to get it off my chest and say THANK YOU for thinking of others right now. Sometimes life is heavy. It just is. It’s nice to hear that some people haven’t forgotten to think of others.

  152. Things are tight for us this year just like many other families but we are still going to make it work. If you are still giving I would love to nominate another family though. They are a local Dallas PD officer (Whitt) who was recently shot in the line of duty. He is still in the hospital and his wife is a SAHM. They have 3 children and I know they could use some help this Christmas! I’m going to do my best to give something from us too but anything extra would be appreciated.

  153. What a wonderful outpouring of kindness. You and the other commenters have inspired me, Jenny. Please send me an e-mail address and I will donate a $30 Amazon gift card to them.

  154. As a child who got a toy from our church once when my dad had an industrial accident where he broke his hip, shoulder and was burned on 30% of his body, I can tell you that I so appreciate the charity of others.

    You are doing a good thing. I love giving to others, it’s what life is all about. I will send a gift card if you give me an email address.

  155. I have a $25.00 Pappas gift card that has been sitting in my wallet for a year. I also have a gift card for Katy Budget Books (also $25, I think) that I doubt I’ll ever get around to using. Lemme know where to zip ’em off to and they’re yours/whomever’s. 🙂

  156. I wasn’t going to comment because I know people that are in more need than us and it’s easier to put on a brave face than ask for help. But, we’re struggling. I have tried and failed to find a job all year and my dear husband has been the sole breadwinner working a crappy minimum wage job. And now that it’s winter in our tourist town, his hours have been cut down to 14-20 a week. It breaks my heart that I can’t get him anything for Christmas. He hasn’t asked and doesn’t expect anything, but it would mean the world to me to get him something he’s wanted but has had to put food on the table instead.

    To everyone helping and donating, and especially to you, Jenny, thank you.

  157. I am not particularly in need – we struggle, but I am able to provide ok for my children. My daughter’s best friend is another matter. I have helped the little that I can, but it isn’t much, and if there was someone who wanted to help them have something on Christmas, she would be more than appreciative. She is very deserving – a great mother, working and going to school to try to be the kind of parent that can provide better. She has 2 adorable girls, ages 13 and 7, thanks so much to all of the unbelievably generous readers of Jenny.

  158. Jenny This is a beautiful thing you are doing…. I am in awe over the generosity of your followers…

    I have a 6 month old and because I am nursing my diet affects her directly. We have a hard time getting groceries. (God I hate doing this – *embarassed*). I wish was on the side donating instead of asking, but I would be so appreciative of a little help…

    You have to to write a funny post tomorrow… All this emotional stuff is making my mascara run!

    Danielle

  159. I wasn’t going to say anything because my mom made Christmas possible for my 21-month-old son and 3.5-month old daughter this year. My husband and I are young, living on a public school teacher’s income, and without the help of my family we’d be in a lot worse shape than we’re in. So while we certainly aren’t well-to-do, we’re getting by, and that’s what matters.

    My husband called me from school today to tell me that he had a flat tire … and that we had to spend the little bit we saved for each other for Christmas to replace it. We’re used to going without — my son has spina bifida and we’re neck deep in insurance battles to get his care covered, so the two of us give up a lot in order to make sure the kids don’t go without. But this really bums us both out. We’ve had a rough couple of years, the bright spots pretty much being the kids’ births, and now that we’re finally feeling like a cohesive family again, things keep stealing our sunshine.

    When things are good, we’re diligent about donating, and I’m sure after the holiday we’ll be making a trip to donate the clothes and toys the kids have outgrown, as well as a lot of our old household goods we no longer use. Like I said, we’re getting by, and we try to do what we can to help others who aren’t even able to do that.

    This is a wonderful thing you’re doing, and I’m just grateful to witness it.

  160. Now that I’m done crying…just wanted to leave a comment to thank you for posting this. So many wonderful people and so many that need help. It’s easy to forget how lucky we are in our lives – so many others are in a much harder place. Thanks for the reminder of how lucky I am and that our one trip to Toys for Tots might need to be more this year. We really don’t need the things we THINK we do and helping out others is a much better way to give….
    Love you Jenny

  161. I’m struggling this year but I’ve managed to buy presents for my kids. The rest of my family will get homemade baked goods and craft-y things (such as I can manage – I’m craftily challenged). It’s lovely to see so many bloggers contributing to this.

  162. I could not have children, no matter how hard I tried. My life has changed drastically from a few years ago and now I am grateful, because I’ve been laid off and can barely take care of the needs, forget the wants. If I was a parent, I would be the one asking for help for presents. I’m lucky enough to have a boyfriend who can help with the bills and he was kind enough to help me get presents for my family.

    I think I have a way to afford a gift card. I do want to help somehow, someone, but I’m not sure how. If you want Jenny, let me know whom I can help and the best way to help (grocery store card for food, walmart for diapers / dog food, etc)

    I want to thank those of you who can help and I’m sending good thoughts to those of you who need help this Christmas.

  163. Jenny, I have a $25 card to Outback steakhouse that I would be willing to send someone. Also, I will buy 4 Walmart cards at $25 each. If you end up with more that need something than those of us giving, let me know and I’ll see if my budget will let me do more.

  164. One year when I was a kid a local charity set up shop in a vacant storefront and had tables full of toys and clothes that people had donated; my mom took my brothers and me and we were all able to pick out something. To this day it’s one of my best memories, because even as a six year old I knew that people had given those toys so that families like mine could have a decent Christmas. I know how much this act, however small it may be for the giver, means to the person on the receiving end, so thank you, Jenny, and thank you to all my fellow Jenny-addicts.
    Laurie, if you want to send letter to soldiers, you should check out http:\www.anysoldier.com.

  165. Hi,
    My name is Lauren. This year has been really rough on my family and I. I’m 23 years old and have a beautiful daughter who is almost 2. Earlier this year my father was laid off from his job, which was my parents only source of income. We are barely making it on unemployment and what little I can help with considering I am a student and mother who can only work part time. This gift card would really help my parents afford to buy their grand-daughter, my little girl a Christmas present for under the tree. Thank you so much for hearing my story and Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you and your families.
    -Lauren

  166. so many of us out there just needing some more time and one or two more paychecks before the holidays hit…this is an awesome thing you’re doing, and i wanted to say that at least even if i don’t make the list, because it’s a heartwarming post to read. 🙂

  167. I think the worst thing about being poor is having pride and refusing to ask for help. I fall into that trap so often that when I do eventually break down because I’m behind on so many bills, my partner is just baffled that we’re even in trouble at all. I haven’t bought him a present yet this year and I have no idea how I’m going to.

    I live in the UK but I’m sure I could use a US Amazon card if there is one going spare. If not, please give it to a family in need, and next year when I have more money (wishful thinking!!!) I will donate one or two.

    I know others are in such worse situations than us, but I can’t remember the last time I had money I could spend on anything but stopping the bill collectors shutting everything off. It’s like trying to mop up a flood with one towel. Bit by bit.

    Now I’m crying so I’m going to go, but Jenny, you’re just amazing. Thanks for reaching out. And your commenters are the best people I’ve ever heard of. Geez.

  168. I couldn’t make it through all the comments. When you are struggling like we are it’s sometimes hard to remember that there are so many generous people out there. And it’s hard to know that one minute you can be totally fine and the next not sure how you are going to make Christmas happen for your kids. I know Christmas presents aren’t the same as providing necessities for them, but the thought that they will have ever had a Christmas like this one breaks my heart. Thank you for doing this for everyone who is in need this year- thank you to you and to everyone here who is reaching out and giving.

  169. I’ve been at that place. I’d love to do what I can. I know you said right now there are more people willing to help than asking for help, but if it’s needed (just email me if it is), I’d love to donate an Amazon gift card. There’s still 6 days left to use their free shipping and get it by Christmas!

  170. I’ve been lucky this year. I would like to help. If I can send some gift cards, or send some presents to someone, please let me know.

  171. Not for me, but for a friend who’s in need and struggling this Christmas. I’ll pass on info should I be so fortunate as to be a recipient. 🙂

  172. Ok here it is. I wasn’t going to ask b/c I thought she may actually send me what I paid for.
    I think you know about our situation with our son, he has recently been Diagnosed with Smith-Magenis Syndrome and Autism. At this point we have no funding but are fighting with the government to fund our son. $3000 a month is he feeding costs alone. Canadian Health Care is not all the great people. Now I know that I am not going to be able to get what she stole from us for quite awhile again. I have worked my tail off to pay for an ipad for my son. The ipad is what the therapists are recommending for Mason to have it for speech, time tables and so that where ever we are Mason can have a social story to go with us. It was supposed to help us alot. Mason doesn’t stay calm and his Dr. appts are always at least 2 hrs long so we were hoping to be able to play Harry Potter (his obsession) and the only thing so far that keeps him calm. We generally have 2-3 appt a week.
    Anyways, I am rambling. I worked really hard and found an Ipad from a person on Twitter that I trusted. Or used to trust. Sent the money in October and I am still fighting with her to either get the money back or the Ipad. So far I have neither. She told me should we be overnighting it this week. Not the case. I think Mason isn’t getting the Ipad for Christmas. I can’t believe someone could do this to a family, to a child. I just dont get it. Trust me I know I am stupid for just sending the money, I just thought she was helping us out by selling us hers. Ugh.
    Anyways, don’t know if there is anything you can do or what could be done. I am just so sad and devastated that we have been hit again.
    There are many people who are worse off then us, they dont have jobs, or homes. We just have no more money.
    A lovely person in the US sent our boys a gift and a book each for Christmas already. I know that Christmas isn’t about receiving so I guess I just wanted to tell you all to be careful, but do know there are good people out there. I have been supported emotionally by everyone in this network of people. Truly amazing.
    Merry Christmas and God Bless everyone.

  173. I just wanted to say how wonderful this is. My daughter and I lost our home after I suffered a strenuous medical disability and went on to spend the past year and a half in homeless shelter. I know just how trying this time of year can be, for people of all walks of life. I learned a lot about compassion and giving in that time there, also a lot about how cruel and insensitive those who aren’t struggling can sometimes be, and am really touched by what you’re trying to do here. Recently we moved into a beautiful new apartment just in time for Christmas and I couldn’t feel more blessed to be able to celebrate in a real home again. It’s the most wonderful gift to wake up without that kind of worry anymore. We have all that we need. Simplicity and a safe, happy home. I just couldn’t ask for more. We are both feel so blessed that instead of worrying about what’s not under the tree, were writing each other letters about what were thankful for after the past year as christmas gifts. To those of you who are still struggling – remember to be willing to receive the blessings, so that they will come to you. Don’t be too proud to LET someone help you, because sometimes giving is the only thing that truly fills the heart of a person who’s reaching out to you.

  174. Jenny,
    Hubs & I both read your blog, and you crack us up all the time…and boy, have we needed it this year, b/c this year has just been THE SUCK. I had a 3-day hospital stay in Feb, followed by surgeries in March & July. Money was tight before, but the medical bills are eating us alive…I had to beg my neurologist to switch me to generic anticonvulsants, even though that can actually trigger more seizures, simply b/c the copay for the brand name is $50 & generic is $5, and I take 2 different strengths-meaning I was paying $100/month just for my seizure meds-and I take several other necessary meds. I also have an anxiety disorder, which has been through the roof the past 2 months-I’m working w/my doc, but it’s slow going & when you’re stressed out about the possibility of your electricity/phone being shut off, it doesn’t help. All of that said, I’m a bargain shopper by nature, and my children will not go without Christmas presents-they have 1 or 2 new small things, and some gently used things from Craigslist. A gift card to pretty much any store would be appreciated more than words can express. **I also have a gift card for Cinemark movie theaters that I’d be happy to give…movies are not at all on our priority list right now.

  175. I am so very fortunate. I have a job that mostly pays the bills and family who love and support me. Christmas this year was going to be very skimpy–handmade gifts for my nieces and nephews and nothing for anyone else. My Jeep is the one getting all the expensive gifts (new brakes and water pump) this Christmas. This morning I found out I am getting an end-of-the-year profit sharing bonus. It’s enough to pay the car repairs and an outstanding bill. I am so very thankful! All of that to say, please let me share today’s largesse. Can you match me with two people? Thank you!

  176. I love you guys. I am overwhelmed with your stories and your generosity. If you haven’t gotten an email from me yet you will by tomorrow. Right now I’m spending all my time putting together spreadsheets to match you all.

    You made my whole Christmas.

    Thank you.

  177. Struggling single mom doing the best I can. Have a great son who is just realizing his dad doesn’t follow thru. Christmas will be smaller than expected.

  178. You’re an awesome person, Jenny. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to meet you in person at BlogHer! (I was Victoria EF’s sidekick, heh.)

  179. Count us among the (extremely) lucky ones. We have a tree, plenty of presents for the little ones, and the bills are paid. The year’s been really good to us, but I have vivid, not-so-long-ago memories of having to decide whether to buy food or pay the power bill, so I’ve been trying to donate as much as I can to local food banks and such. I’d be happy to kick in a couple of $30 gift cards to wherever people need them.

  180. Count me in with the ones willing to help if there’s still need. I could definitely do at least 2 $25-30 gift cards.

    I’ve had a lot of trouble getting in the Christmas spirit this year for various reasons, and reading this post and all the comments below was just the kick in the butt I needed to remember how blessed I am. Time to get off my melancholy ass and help others.

  181. To know someone out there even cares makes me close to tears. I got laid off almost 2 years ago (and did not quality for unemployment – ugh) and just now starting to get a little freelance work but nothing near what I will need to save my house. My husband left us about 15 months ago – I confronted him about an affair & he admitted it – on our 23rd anniversary. He moved in with her shortly after. My kids are teens, but it’s still difficult to deal with. Money was always tight, and after he left, although he’s giving us some support, we will still eventually end up losing our home soon. What we’ll do for shelter is still a question I can’t answer. On top of all this, a very good friend was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this past August and couldn’t work & lost his apartment and so now is staying with us. He’s on state assistance for medical but he’s not getting any cash assistance. He’s applied for Social Security but who knows how long that will take. Anyway, what will be will be is how I’ve been looking at it and Christmas is going to be very lean. I have a fake tree so I didn’t have to purchase that, & I’ll hit up the dollar store and get some little things for the kids. Thankfully, not being little, I don’t really have to explain why Santa’s not bringing all they wish for. We are still blessed to have each other.
    You truly are a wonderfully amazing person and I love the adventures you write about. You bring a needed chuckle and sometimes a pee-inducing laugh almost every time. Thanks for that.

  182. You are extremely generous! I’m very fortunate right now. And I don’t need it. But I wanted to say thank you for offering up such a gift. That is amazingly beautiful!

  183. I will be happy to give a couple of gift cards to people who need them.

    What a wonderful idea, Jenny. You rock.

    Chuck / Bitspitter

  184. Hi Jenny
    You don’t know me but I have been a longtime reader of your blog. I love how you can always make me smile.
    I lost my job this year and am in the process of packing up my family and the last 10 years of my life to go move back home with my mom. We have struggled before but nothing like this past year. I do have a bit of money for christmas but my girls are still young enough to not really care if christmas is not a blowout. I have really really struggled with myself about posting this and I am only doing so since you have more people donating than asking for help. If there is something available for us that would be utterly fantastic, but please, PLEASE if there are others that would not have anything PLEASE give it to them. I hate asking for anything. I know you don’t now everyone personal story but if anyone seems to need it more, PLEASE give it to them. Thank you for always being able to make me laugh. I really need to do more of that.

  185. This is beautiful.

    I’m a full-time seminary student & my partner is working part-time. We don’t have a lot but we have enough. I’m getting my car towed right now (thus catching up on Twitter which led me here) and as frustrating as that is, I have enough money to pay for it, and that is pretty amazing.

    Anyway, I would love to be on the donor list. I can spare $30. Just let me know what to do.

  186. Crap, I’d really like to offer another card but I’m German and Amazon US apparently won’t let me buy one without a credit card. (Doesn’t look much better for Amazon UK, sorry Kat 🙁 ) But I’m sure there are plenty of other families with similar stories nearby.
    Thanks for reminding me how many wonderful people are still willing to reach out to others in need. Somehow those who make our lives miserable get way too much attention in comparison. It’s good to see things in perspective.

  187. Jenny,

    I don’t need the gift card, but I just wanted to say that this year has been a prize-winning a-hole, and I can’t wait until it’s over – especially as it’s ended with me and the novelist splitting up and me moving out (way to name your blog, Jo).
    But through everything that has crapped out of this a-hole of a year, and especially with what I’m going through now, reading your blog makes me guffaw/chortle/spurt coffee into my keyboard on a regular basis, and you inspire me to keep going.

    So, while I can’t send you a gift card (or anything else of any *actual* value) I want to send you my eternal thanks, and lots of love. Frankly, my dear, you’re awesome.

    Okay, mushiness over…

  188. We went to the mall a couple of days ago and plucked some of those cards from the giving tree – the strange little obscure overlooked ones, like the 16 year old that only wanted a taco bell gift card, or the 20 year old that wanted to go the movies. Let me know if there is someone else in need. I, too, can supply a $30 Amazon.com.

  189. Oh Jenny, what can I say that hasn’t already been said? How about this…I am a single aunt (they are technically my sister’s daughters, but I’ve been raising them for 9 years) to three girls, 17, 14 and 10. They are my life. Every year has been hard, somehow, this one is harder. Maybe it just feels that way. Anyway, you tweeted that there are more donors than receivers, if this is still the case I (and my girls) would be grateful of any assistance offered. Thank you. Thank all of you.

  190. Wow you are awesome! I have two children (a six year old and a 8 month old) and my husband lost his job a few months ago – he had an interview today!! (please keep your fingers crossed) But if anyone knows where I can get a carseat for my 8 month old from for really inexpensive please let me know!

  191. Up until the last year, I would have been itching to be on your list of people who had plenty and who wanted to help someone else out. I’m not 100% sure when the tides turned, but with me only being able to find part-time work and my fiance being in sales at a time of year when no one wants to spend money and my fiance’s ex deciding his 6-year-old gets to spend Christmas with us this year while she and her new, rich boyfriend jet to the Carribean. . .it’s a lot to take in. We haven’t gotten married yet because, literally, we can’t scrape together the $60 it’ll take to get a marriage license. But I’m thankful we still have our apartment.

    I’m not sure exactly what my point here is, but thanks for listening, and I’m glad there are so many people out there who are willing to help other people out.

  192. I…am not one to ask for help. This year has been not as bad as years in the past. The kids all have presents under the tree (which my mother bought for us), thanks to a few very generous people (the Angel Tree my ex contacted for his children to get presents ‘from him’ and a local housing organization).

    But there wasn’t anything left this month for me to be able to get something small for my wonderful boyfriend who supports us all. He is up at 3am and never home before dinner. He’s an amazing man and a wonderful father and I just want him to know how much I appreciate him this Christmas.

    If there’s anything left (PLEASE, we are not desperate, help those with nothing!) I know a wonderful guy who would so love something wrapped up with his name on it under the tree.

    And Jenny, you are an amazing woman. I love reading your blog and am always laughing! THANK YOU for all you do.

  193. I’m sure 20 people have commented before me, so i don’t expect a gift card, but i do just want to say that you both inspire and entertain so please don’t ever change.

  194. This Christmas has been more forgiving than I’m used to, so Jenny, if you could match me up with someone, I’d like to help a bit. Not loads… but something is better than nothing (I hope).

  195. Jenny, I love your blog, and I love you for this. Last year, I was a poor, anxiety and depression-ridden grad student, and I still managed to throw in a little of my money to give a classroom crayons, and a puppy a safe home. This year, I’m no longer in grad school (I decided to get a real job that doesn’t make me crazy), properly medicated, and want you to know that you’ve inspired me to do more this year. I’m going shopping this weekend and going to buy $100 in stuffed animals for Toys for Tots, in honor of you. I was fortunate enough to find a job that keeps my house warm and my dog fed, and I want to do what I can to make someone else’s Christmas a little more joyful. I would also like to encourage your readers to try and join their local freecycle community, which helps keep useable items out of landfills and places them with people who can use them.

  196. Oh, and I’d be up for trying to give a little love to a reader of your blog as well. I may not have much, but I can share what I have. 🙂

  197. I’m commenting with my mom’s e-mail address because she isn’t computer savvy. Not to mention that she’s too proud to ask.

    My dear mom is a single mom of four. She was a stay-at-home mom for 15 years until we moved and my parents divorced. Now she works full time and often goes without so that she can make sure my siblings are able to participate in sports, clubs, and the like. I always dread Christmas because, as the oldest, I’m the one who’s shoulder she cries on when she can’t afford more than a couple presents for the kids. It’s heartbreaking and I wish I could help but my husband and I are struggling ourselves. I know how much she would appreciate this. Thank you SO much.

  198. Thank you Jenny so much for your generosity–not just with the cards, but also the joyful and humorous way you sparkle our lives.

    I am familiar with the shame that comes from not having enough money to subsist. Earlier this year, due to a theft was homeless for almost a month (living in a car until I couldn’t afford that either), and I certainly understand the toll that comes from associating our self-worth as a worthwhile and beautiful human seems tied to material possession and net worth–that’s not true.

    So after reading all these comments (yes, I did–all–they are kind of mesmerizing) I was brought back to recalling my childhood. My parents were immigrants, and did the best they could. My dad in particular worked two jobs pretty often and sometimes graveyard shift so he’d be sleeping when I’d be up and about playing. We had enough to live on. We always had Christmas presents. Yet he was always striving (“American dream” yada yada even though he was not American). When I was a teenager, it was for a bigger better house in a more desirable neighborhood for “us”, I guess.

    He died young of cancer when I was 17 years old (and I’m the oldest; sisters were 9 and 14 at the time). I know I’d have preferred to have more time with my parents to know them as they really were. I think that even though Americans are trained to shop ’til you drop during holidays, most children really want to simply BE with you. If you’re working extra hours and overtime for presents and stuff while spending less time seeing your kids–really, they might not say it out loud because it’d sound corny: but your presence is truly valued too and the time you spend face-to-face loving with them will be remembered decades longer than whatever the toy-of-the-day is. Gifts are only icing, optional. You’re the cake. (Nope, and not fruitcake.)

  199. I just saw this on Twitter and sort of feel like a jerk for commenting, because of course there are a million people out there who need things more than me, but… here I am. I’m 22 and I’ve just graduated college, which means I’m either overqualified or under-qualified for every job out there (funny how that works!), so I’m making next to nothing. All my resources are tapped out, and I have fibromyalgia so my medical bills are through the roof. Right now I’m struggling pretty hard to pay bills and rent, let alone do anything for folks for Christmas. Currently I have absolutely nothing for my best friend for the holidays, and I know he’ll understand that, but oh man, my best friend. He’s kept me alive this year — he’s been my psychiatrist when I’ve been uninsured, he’s been my confidant and my rock, and he’s had a pretty shitty year of his own, let alone dealing with my stuff. I would love to give him something for Christmas. If you still have donors, I would be so very very very appreciative, but of COURSE I understand if not. If there’s someone in front of me who’s in need, you should totally go with them.

    xoxoxoxo to everyone who’s commented on this, whether they’re giving or needing or otherwise. 🙂

  200. Jenny, if you’re not buried in administrating this, please add me to your list of donors and match me to someone who could use a gift card or a check or something. I’d like to give to someone who’s struggling with money right now.

  201. I may be too late, but my family and I could really use some help. We are behind on our car payments and rent, so all of our extra money will be going to paying most of it off. Since our twin girls are only 15 months old, we’ve been telling ourselves that they won’t remember not having toys or a Christmas tree this year. Even so, we’ve been tight on money for a while so they have been playing with the same toys they got last year for Christmas. I feel so bed that we haven’t been able to give them more then the minimum. I never like to ask for help cause I always feel like there is always someone worse off then me, but the guilt of my girls not getting a Christmas this year is really bringing our family down.

  202. I had to ask my family for help this year getting my mini me Christmas gifts. And, as always, they came through in a big way, so I certainly don’t need the help, but I feel for those that do, because without my family to be my safety net, I’d be in a bad, bad place.

    I spent some time helping my dad organize the local “Angel Tree” project this year. It broke my heart to see how many kids were facing no Christmas. I just want to remind your readers that if they can’t donate online, there is very likely an Angel Tree program or something similar in your community and every little bit helps.

    Thank you, Jenny, for being so awesome, and for inspiring that awesome in other people. I hope you and Hailey and Victor and James Garfield have a beautifully Merry Christmas!

  203. I have read every last comment and sobbed. I am lucky enough to have family support to get me through (the holidays, the reduced pay, the probable loss of the house). And I SO WISH I could donate at least one card, but, for me, this is not the year.

    Since I cannot donate, I will wish for a better 2011 for those in need.

    I am BLOWN AWAY by everyone who has chipped in. YOU have made my holiday!

  204. Hi Jenny,

    I know that I am lucky with where I am right now in my life, and would love to be able to help someone else in need. Please match me up with someone who could use a gift card. Email me, and we can coordinate it.

    Thank you!

    -DJ

  205. aww, jenny, that’s so wonderful. hoping you, victor, hailey and james garfield have a wonderful Christmas!

  206. You never cease to amaze me which is refreshing since usually ppl never cease to annoy me. You really are like Mother Theresa (only better)
    I’m overwhelmed by the comments and stories shared here today….if I were able to help out I would but alas….I’ve done it again. Another Christmas apologizing to my kid. I thought that by Christmas #8 that I’d have my shit together but this Christmas feels a lot like my first Christmas as mama…..shitty.
    Massive props to you, Victor and your family for helping….truly, an inspiration~

  207. I don’t comment, EVER. It’s not because I’m impolite or unable to think of anything witty, it’s that I’m Australian and generally, we don’t comment. However, THIS requires comment. I would like to help – all the way from sunny Australia.

    It’s time to send some love halfway around the world and where better but America.
    xoxo

  208. We don’t need anything and I know this is just more emails for you to sift through but I wanted to say ~ Thank You! You give us joy every week with your writing and now you are giving many joy for Christmas. You are one amazing lady. Merry Christmas, Jenny. Thank you for being you.

  209. you are AWESOME! this is my favorite blog: hilarious, non-judgmental (you know, except for those people that are TOTALLY JUDGING US AND THEREFORE DESERVE IT = KARMA), empowering, amazing. Just. thanks.

  210. Thank you so much for doing this. I’d be happy to donate another $30 gift card – just let me know who to send it to. Hope you have a fantastic Christmas and an awesome New Year.

  211. I am actually writing for my sister and her family. My brother-in-law has diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer in Feb. of this year. About 2 weeks before Thanksgiving we found out he only had 2 – 3 months to live because the cancer was spreading so fast. My sister will be 35 next week and they have 2 kids, an 8 year old boy and 4 year old girl.

    When my BIL was diagnosed their insurance dropped them. As you can imagine they have incurred several hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. My sister has been unemployed for over a year and with the cancer my BIL can’t work. There is no way they can pay all the medical bills. We are doing everything we can to help them and make this Christmas as happy a time, for the kids especially, as possible. They know their dad will pass away soon and they are really struggling with the news.

    I don’t know if you can help, but anything that will help put a smile on the kids’ faces would be extremely appreciated. Thank you for what you are doing for needy families. This is so wonderful.

  212. Jenny,
    You are amazing! I’ve watched your thread all afternoon and talked myself out of asking for help. We have a roof over our heads and food on our table and that is enough but it would be so nice if I could give my boys something for Christmas. They are really great kids who (usually) help without my asking and yet, I can’t find a job to provide the extras including Christmas. If you could help I would be so grateful. I feel so much shame in this comment, I’m usually the one giving, we have not been able to help with the tree at the mall or church this year and now not even our own. If you can’t help, would you just say a prayer or think good thoughts or send good vibes that things will change soon? Thanks!

  213. Jenny, I am not sure that anything you do could surprise me anymore. Now I will have to go buy some James Garfield stuff!

    ~EdT.

  214. Figured I would take a chance. It’s worth it to give my 9 year old anything.

    I was working as a portrait studio manager. Found out I was pregnant as well as about five other managers in my district. Turned out I was the only one smart enough to pay my two dollars a month for short term disability. Or so I thought. I got fired two months before I was due. They fought my unemployment but I won. A small victory with a newborn and a 9 year old. A year and a half later still no job and just ran out of unemployment.

    My one year old won’t know the difference but my 9 year old will. It’s hard to not be able to give her anything. She understands but she shouldn’t have to.

    Thank you for helping so many people.

  215. Nikki, comment 236 ~ in NYS, you can take a crappy old car seat to the local sheriff or to the state troopers and they will give you one that is up to code. I don’t know if any other state has that program, but NY tends to be a bunch of stingy bastards, so I imagine they may.

    And Jenny the Goddess, I have read every single comment and I’m a crying mess. I have some paypal I’d just love to send your way. Or somebody’s way.

  216. We are not broke, but I don’t want to do a giveaway on my blog either…I can hear my relations now, it would not go over well, because, well, we just got un-broke about seven seconds ago. Maybe eight seconds, I’m not so sure. So, If you’ll send me someone that replied, I’ll be glad to do a ten dollar gift card… (Did I mention we JUST got un-broke? We’re not all THAT un-broke.) But ten bucks is enough for a toy or some stocking stuffers etc. My kids will have a fab Christmas this year, and I want to help.

  217. Jenny you make the internet such a happy and friendly place.

    and your kitten is adorable.

    When I now think of Bob Barker I only think of Barney telling the gang that bob barker is his dad. “that’s pops”

  218. Jenny – I live in Canada, and I would love to donate a gift card to someone else here in Canada – sometimes those Amazon gift cards don’t work for us here. Please let me know and I will donate a $30.00 WalMart card.
    Merry Christmas to all!!

  219. Hi Jenny,

    I’m too old to be reading such a scandalous blog as yours, but I do, every post. Love it. Especially am looking forward to Anderson Cooper’s shenigans.

    I totaled my car recently, in a snow storm, trying to get a neighbor to Seattle for brain surgery. We are lucky to be alive, and the surgery is rescheduled for January 5th. We’re both on Disability, so very low income. I would love to be able to get him a gift because he feels so guilty about the car accident – as if it’s his fault somehow. His oxygen machine was also totaled in the accident, and the money would go towards the deductible. Seems Medicaid or Medicare won’t cover oxygen machines that were damaged outside the home.

    I know I’m late to the game, but one can always hope. Thanks so much for being you.

  220. I didn’t make it in time to sign up for this — not even close. So, rather, let me tell you what has made my season awesome so far. This is the year the shit’s hit the fan; amongst other things the marriage is heading for divorce and money for both me and the soon to be ex is tight. We’ve always had a real tree — but even a small one would cost $40, and that would buy a little more Xmas for my kid. So, the upshot of all this is I called around and the store that helps support the local homeless shelter has given me an artificial tree — the women there looked at what they had on the floor, went out into the storage area where the newly dropped off donations were, hunted around — and I have a full-sized artificial tree for my living room and my child. For free. I am in awe.

    So — thank you to the women at the Cornerstone Store who heard my story and gave me a tree, and to you who just gave away $600 of Amazon gift cards in a very short time to make a few people’s lives better for no better reason than you’ve “been there, done that” and who just restored a bit of my faith in humanity in the process.

    As one of my wiser friends used to say — don’t pay it back — pay it forward. I owe the universe, and so do a few other people today. Thank you on behalf of all of us.

  221. God bless you Jenny. I don’t need it (and given that I am poster 275 anyway LOL). But I wanted to say thank you for thinking of helping out people who are less fortunate. I did a little charity christmas gifts of my own this year in honor of the people I love. Times are so hard for so many people. Thank you for inspiring us, making us laugh and cry – for being you.

    Merry Chriskawnzikah and Happy New Year.

  222. I am blown over, not only by your generosity, but by the generosity of everybody here. We already donated money to an Adopt-a-Grandparent program that my friend in Texas runs, which provides local nursing home residents, who have no family, with a gift and companionship on Christmas. I wish we could donate to this too.

  223. Jenny, you’re just the most awesome person. I don’t need a gift card from you but I just had to say that you’re amazing and I’m so happy that I found your blog.

    My family is doing alright. Money’s tighter this year, but my brother sells his used games to pay for new ones and I have a part-time job (soon to be two, hopefully) and I’ve been selling jewelry and paintings so we’ve got a little more pocket money and don’t need to ask our mom for money (if we do it’s rare, like if I only have $25 in the bank and I need to get my oil changed at the place that actually puts oil back in your car instead of just taking the old stuff out). Plus, I moved out of my apartment and back home because I couldn’t afford living on my own. Like I said, less wiggle room, but we’re okay.

    We try to help others every year. Last year, my mom and I delivered 30 turkey dinners (courtesy of Sonny’s) to families in need. It doesn’t sound like a lot but it was just the two of us. Everyone else in her company was already on vacation, as it was Christmas Eve.

    Of course, it’s nothing like giving away $600 in gift cards, but we do what we can.

  224. Jenny, send me an email address of someone with a baby who needs help. I’ll send a gift card to them. I have a healthy, happy 19-month-old who has good food to eat and a warm home to sleep in–and gifts under the Christmas tree. I’m deeply thankful. I know the deep-down, wild, desperate, over-the-top, crazy mama love, and I want to allow a mama to buy her baby something he or she needs or wants this Christmas.

  225. This post and the comments made me cry. And hyperventilate. And call my boyfriend in a panic because I was going to COMPLETELY LOSE IT if he didn’t get here in the next 45 seconds to hold me and help me breathe again.

    Let me back up: I have chronic major depression and anxiety. In April, 2008, I had a panic attack at work and was hospitalized in a psych ward for 7 days. 6 weeks after I got out, I was fired for “unrelated” “performance” reasons. That was in May, 2008.

    I haven’t worked full-time since then. I have not had medical insurance since then. My brother has not found a job. My boyfriend moved in with us after I lost my job (he was facing homelessness at the time). My parents have been funding our existence for 2 years (I have worked part-time and minimum wage jobs that didn’t pay the bills off and on but have not been able to pay my living expenses without help even once). Oh, and the hospital co-pay bills from 2008 are still in collections. I have almost $10K in debt that I can’t afford to even make payments on.

    September 30, 2010 was the last day I worked. Jack (my boyfriend) has found a few odd jobs here and there to help out and gets food stamps. Otherwise, my parents have been footing the entire bill.

    We are lucky in that our Christmas will be okay. We will all have gifts under the tree from my parents and they have given my brother money to buy gifts for us and them. My daughter has plenty. I was even able to set aside a tiny bit of money to make Christmas presents for friends and relatives.

    What I really want is for Jack and I to be able to get each other something to put under the tree. He is too proud to ask my parents for money to buy something for me. And his parents aren’t in a position to help either. If there happens to be a spare gift card or 2 you could send this way I would love to give him one to buy me a present and vice versa.

    That said, kids are WAY more important on Christmas. Please give any/all donations to people who need presents for their kids first. My daughter is taken care of. Please take care of other people without supportive family members to help first.

    It has taken me two hours to write this post. I have never asked for help like this in my life and I’m so ashamed.

    Jenny: I would like to offer something to the community: I have no money to donate to the pool… but if you need help with the admin work in putting this amazing project into action, please let me know. I’d be happy to write emails, work the spreadsheet, publicize — please let me know if there is ANYTHING AT ALL I can do…

  226. Jenny, I’d love to help contribute. I know for sure I can do at least $50 in gift cards, but I’m also willing to buy gifts too! Let me know what is needed. Thanks for coordinating this. You’re so great, and so are your readers!

  227. Jenny, I know you’ve heard this many times before, but it certainly bears repeating. You are an amazing woman. I wish more of my friends and family understood when I tell them I don’t want a gift. Perhaps, I’m not wording it right. I would love for them to do what you guys do for your parents. I have always received more joy from giving to those in need versus giving unnecessary and perhaps even unwanted gifts, to those I love.

    I am not able financially to do what I normally do this time of year. I love to hit up the Christmas Wish/Angel Trees until I run out of money and then convince friends to take a card or two. Honestly, I have an issue with knowing when to stop at times. I hope to be back better than ever next year.

    This year my family has already received one of the greatest gifts ever – the continued recovery of my brother from a Grade III brain tumor. The wonderful doctors at M. D. Anderson expect him to live for a “long, long time”. This is rarely heard with his diagnosis, so yes, a great gift indeed. I admit I am conflicted about this (not that he is doing well and the chemo is doing its thing), but his health emergency has altered my life drastically. I lost my job shortly after his surgery this summer when my new employer could foresee my need for time off (got to love contract positions). We have had to combine three adult households and I was forced to voluntarily (not really!!) close my home to fostering infants and toddlers. All of this ripple effect is why I can’t grab those angels off the trees and hit the stores right now, so thank you for all that you are giving to others.

    BTW if anyone in the Houston/Pearland area needs some infant formula and cereal, please let me know. I have a bit leftover from my last two precious placements (various glass jars and a couple of organic pouches (my fave!), six boxes of infant cereal – wheat, rice and mixed) as well as one powered can of Similac Isomil Advance Soy Formula. All are well within date range and never opened. Not much, but I do not want to throw it away and I’m not getting responses from the agencies I’ve called.

  228. I love donating food and toys. I wait until after the holidays, though, when the pantry shelves are empty again and people have forgotten to donate because the holidays are over and we often only think about donating when the holidays roll around.

    Also, I have a taxidermied boar’s head, too. My little one named it “Judy.” My husband went boar hunting in Tennesee and shot this one after it treed a guide. I love Judy. I used her illustrate an article I wrote once on cooking wild game. I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one who uses her taxidermied boar for publicity purposes.

  229. It’s probably much too late, but I thought I’d comment, just in case. My sister & her family have recently lost their home and have moved in with me. We now have 7 people – 3 adults & 4 kids (10, 9, 2 yrs & 8 mos) living in a 3bed/1bath house. So, Sis went on disability with the last pregnancy and was let go from her job after the little one was born. Brother-in-law lost more hours from his job – it’s barely more than “part-time” now. (Because of my own health problems, I haven’t worked for several years. I live on $700 per month.) With all the bills and necessities (ya know, pesky little stuff like electricity & water & gas & FOOD) there sadly isn’t anything left for presents. If there’s anything you think you can do to help us give the kids some Christmas, it would be greatly, gratefully appreciated.

  230. I’m in. Put me on the donor list. I will sleep so much better tonight.

    You are better than Ambian, Jenny.

    And. That. Is. A. Weird. Thing. To. Say.

  231. We are in a reall bad place this year. I developed a chronic pain condition and was forced to stop working, I just couldn’t do it anymore.
    I really hate to ask for help, but you guys are being so generous, this just felt like the right place to do so. Like a family.
    My brother is schizophrenic and collects disability and he came to live with us after I was forced to quit working to help us make ends meet. That worked out real well until out of no where 3 months ago he decided to quit taking his meds, and vanished in the middle of the night leaving us to figure out how we were going to make the reant without his contribution,(3 days before the first) much less be able to pull off christmas. Perfect timing. And none of us have heard from him since.
    Anything, any little bit, would help tremendously. Especially if it’s accompanied with a thought, a prayer, or a lit candle for us this year.
    Thank you so much in advance for your kind consideration.
    -Betty

  232. I’m in the most frightening place of my life…. The works- lease is up end of Dec. no job, in fact I’ve never worked as an adult because I stayed with a man who wouldnt marry me but let me stay home and cook and craft… and raise my child. Not his. I was 8 months when we met. Now he is gone as well. So… everything. I have to do this alone. I have to be the grown up REALLY because this is it, the truth. No one but me. I dont have family but do have friends. And here is the thing. I LEFT HIM. I knew I was walking from EVERYTHING and I have/had NO IDEA how this would work out but I know one thing to be true and that is he treated me poorly and I was treating myself worse by trading my self respect for our 400k home. I don’t want a gift card but if anyone is in Phoenix and can help an exceptional, creative and motivated woman find a suitable career at 38, please please please

  233. please remove my comment. I just wanted to vent. Others need the space more than me. thank you! hope I’m back playing Santa next year!

  234. Dear Jenny, yes, you totally ruined your image with this post. Big time. You went from Absolutely Rocking Amazeball Awesome Goddess in my mind to being THE ONLY “Skittle-shitting-Unicorn” (stealing the image painted by my new friend Being Peachy) that will actually defeat the zombies.

    And you know, we love you right back.

  235. Well, I’m not able to donate money, but I can offer up (2) $20 cyber gift cards to my ETSY shop . I have little girl items such as bows, beanies, headbands, and Tutu’s. I can also do (2) Tutu’s for little girls size 4t and under with hair accessories. You can do 4 families or a gc and tutu to 2 families- whatever you want to do. Thank you for helping others, I’ll try not to let it ruin my image of you. 😉
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/bonniesbows

  236. I have Canadian money to donate, but that’s useless (as you have already established… lol).

    I am sick, on LTD, undiagnosed, 30, losing weight, losing my job, but trying to stay funny.

    I would be happy to donate $30 via gift card or Paypal to someone legitimately in need. I blogged about wanting to donate within my immediate family, and receive donations only in my name. But they REFUSED on both counts! http://seriouslyreallyseriously.blogspot.com/2010/12/christmas-insights.html

    I feel connected to the blogging community and love the idea of us coming together to make a difference in the Christmases of others.

    Way to use your star power Jenny!

    I see your comments are reading the bajillions, but let me know if I can help.

  237. This comes at the perfect time as I was feeling the coldness of this world today. I’m in a rough spot since losing my job in Aug, but I don’t *think* we’ll need help this year…unless anyone wants to donate enough $ to get these bill collectors off my back! Any takers? Nope? Well, moving on…

    I’d really like to submit two friends that could use help more than myself. One is a family with three kids under 6yo, the eldest still recovering from a near-fatal car wreck when she was two. After years of stress and falling deeper into debt & losing their home, they almost divorced this year. They are on the upwards of mending their relationship. I talked to her today and she said she’s trying not to be anxious about Christmas for the kids but she really doesn’t know how they’ll make it.

    Next is a friend that has been out of work for a year and a half. Her husband is a school teacher but is having a difficult time keeping a contract with any of the area schools (tenure, I guess). She has two boys, 7 and 9, that have learned far too early in life the hardships that most parents endure.

    If there is still an overflow of ppl wanting to help, I would like to request help for these two friends. In the meantime, I’m praying my dh gets a Christmas bonus, otherwise, the mtg will be a little late (nothing new these days)

  238. Hi. I want to say how incredible this post is. I read all the time and even stalk you via the twitter, but I have never responded before. My family is stuggling to make ends meet also, but I am not here to ask for help. We got my two year old some finger paints and paper. She will be happy. But I can seriosly imagine how much of a difference this is going to make in the lives of so many people. Thank you, on there behalf.

  239. Hi Jenny,

    I know I am a little late commenting but if help is still available I would like to ask for help for my sister and her husband. He had a stroke last year and has been unable to return to work. He needs round the clock care so she has been taking care of him and working 2 jobs. They are really struggling so there will not be a single gift for their 2 girls. Abby is 3 and Ashley is 5. I am the only family they have and I have given every cent that I can so if there is anyone that can help them I would be eternally thankful.

    Nicole

  240. Toys for Tots and other Christmas aid groups can also give you information on smaller organizations in your area as well. My family runs a small one that reaches children and families in areas that are so rural they don’t have easy access even to Toys for Tots. Check out your local churches to see if they know anything. They often do. We give them all our information. And don’t be deterred by the fact that it is mid-month. A lot of organizations (including ours) keeps some of their budget especially for late-comers. Once you get this information then please keep it. Our organization also does school supplies and clothes for kids and Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas hams, so it often comes in useful again either for you or for a friend.

  241. So sweet that you gave those out! I can’t even afford to send Christmas cards this year, let alone buy anyone presents, but hopefully I will be able to make up for it next year! Can’t wait for the new year to start over again!

  242. To Katya from comment 282- just wanted to let you know you aren’t alone! I had to quit my job because of panic attacks and move back in with my mom halfway across the country, so I don’t have insurance now, either. Hope things get better for you!

  243. I just wanted to say that while I’ve had some serious hardships this year, I am one of the fortunate ones who is able to still eek by (thanks to some great family and friends) or I would be asking for your help as well.
    I think you TOTALLY rock for doing this. So much so that I’ve asked my bloggy friends to do what they can for others.
    Yes, we all do what we can when we can and yes, this is a time of giving and sharing and caring… but this is really too much, at least for one person. You are really special. I know you didn’t do this to get the pat on the back but rather to help out others in need – and that’s the part that makes it so cool.

  244. Hthr Renee (#285) I’m in Friendswood so if you will email me or drop me a line on my blog, I will see if any of my friends need that. I think one has her son on the Similac Advanced but I need to check. If she doesn’t need it, she may know someone who does.
    Oh and a HUGE “Wooohooo!!” for your brother beating cancer! Love those folks at MDA 🙂

  245. I don’t need your money, with three birthdays and xmas all with in 8 days of each other, I start this stuff back in Aug. (It’s also nice because I know all the best hiding places around my house for a body if I ever needed it.) Anyway I wanted to offer a suggestion. I live in a pretty small town (25k population) and we don’t normally have a place to drop off gifts for the Toys for Tots program, but my kids, hubby and I would go to Roswell and drop them off there. (Starting in Aug, there is always extras to give away and still be the coolest mom/aunt in the world.)

    Well, this year, I over heard an ad on the radio about a local cell phone company providing free activation with a donation of a toy worth $10 or more for Toys for Tots. I went ahead and called and asked if I could just donate toys without having to get a cell phone. (Roswell is at least an hour away and NM highways are a whole lot of nothing.) Sure enough they let us bring the toys in to drop off.

    So if anyone else has this issue, listen to the radio and see if there isn’t similar programs with your local utilities or cable/internet service providers. I’m sure they’ll be glad to take up toys for you if you can’t find a place to drop them off at.

  246. Not for me, but my friend. Three years ago she moved to the US to marry the love of her life. When she was almost 8 months pregnant her husband collapsed and had to have emergency heart surgery. He is now too disabled to work. Since his op she has cared for him, her son, her teenage step son and her father in law who has congestive heart failure and was too ill to live alone any more. She always laughs, rarely complains – and the only time I’ve heard her really distressed, since her husband got out of hospital was when she told me a few weeks ago that her son won’t have much to open and now he’s two he’s old enough to know. Her friends have all sent little bits, but everyone is in the same situation. A gift card for my wonderful, crazy, strong friend Anne would be the best. If you have one spare.

  247. Things have been kind of ugly for us this year, my husband lost his job the day after our wedding and then I lost money 2.5 months later. We’re both employed now but don’t make much and every month is a juggling act to try to keep the lights on and a roof over our heads. Add to that the fact that we make $50/month too much for foodstamps (which, btw is gross not net. Does that make ANY sense?) and I’ve had to say no to my sweet 2.5 year old boy a whole hell of a lot more than I’d like to this year. This year has finally stripped me of my pride last week I had to pick up a foodbox from a local church and I’m going to have to try to get help with our utilities too, I think. My boy is lucky that he has grandparents who will buy him presents and there are many people who have it much worse, but if there is an I’d like to make this a special Christmas for him as it’s the first one he’s really gotten excited about and he’s been so good all the times I’ve had to tell him we can’t afford to go to Playgroup or buy that treat at the grocery store.

  248. *lost mine not lost money. Also I want to thank you for being awesome, Jenny, this is a wonderful thing you’re doing.

  249. Wow… You are a truly amazing human being.

    I am a single mom with two beautiful boys! This has been a crazy and tough year, but it’s taught me a lot about what’s important. I found out a month ago that I will be having a surgery I can’t afford in January. The hospital and my surgeon are doing it for free. I feel so very lucky! My boys will have a very light Christmas, but we have each other and that’s what’s most important. Hopefully, next year I can go back to helping others like I have in years past. All of your reader’s comments were so heartwarming and gracious.

    I hope your family has a wonderful Christmas!

  250. This post has brought tears to my eyes, not only because I am so touched by your incredible altruism and kindness but also for the many, many, people (including myself) who cannot afford to buy gifts for their children this Christmas. Reading the comments made me realize that I am not alone; there are many, many others in the same situation and some are in an even worse situation than I am myself. I am not posting for a voucher, I just wanted to say that it is people like you Jenny that make the world a better place and to let all of you out there struggling to make ends meet this Christmas know that you are not alone, I am thinking of you all. And to all of you helping Jenny donate, I want to say what amazing people you are.

  251. This morning I was feeling all Christmas Grumpy and mildly nitchy becasue the kids are sick and I was going to be late for work and there’s so much crap to do for the holidays and thinking I’d just like to skip the whole damn thing this year and then I took five minutes to read my favorite blogs and YOU MADE ME FEEL BETTER. Because you are full of the awesome and what you’re doing is just… a really nice thing.

    Thanks for reminding me that one person can make a difference.

  252. Jenny, I was so moved reading this post and comments, and am so grateful for all that I have (went through a lot of tissues). Your humor keeps me laughing, but your heart gives me faith. Please let me know of someone I can pass a giftcard too-I’d love to be able to help!

  253. What a wonderful thing you’ve done. Thank you for reaching out and encouraging others to do the same. I hope you and your family have a lovely holiday!

  254. You’ve just reaffirmed your status as coolest bitch on the block.

    Although I can’t actually speak for God, I will anyway (actually, I’ll let Luke do it)
    Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:37-38

  255. I’m in. You make me squishy happy. That sounded disgusting but I meant it in a plush, cartoon heart kinda way. Not a soggy, chunky vagina kind of way. Whatever. I’ll happily send two $30 Amazon cards wherever you tell me to. And to think my third grade report card said I didn’t take direction well…

  256. At a little diner where we had breakfast last Sunday they had cards out on the tables explaining that they were assembling gift food baskets for needy families in our area. They were looking for families in need of charity and also for donations from patrons to help their charity go a little further. I gave them $50 that I happened to have in my pocket. I’ve been out of work for over two years now, so I was pretty conflicted about giving up the money because, let’s face it, things a tough for me. On the other hand I’m in better shape than a lot of people who are out of work and depending on the kindness of others. So on the one hand I felt okay about doing a good thing even though it stung a little, and on the other hand I felt like a sap for giving up what was so hard to come by. For one brief agonizing moment I felt like an altruistic fraud. Then the elderly cashier squeezed my hand in both of hers by way of thanks. Prolly the best I’m going to feel this year. I’ll take it. Thanks for all your inspirational tales.

  257. I’ve donated. FYI, Jenny is also starting an Emergency Fund through her PayPal account in case people get gift cards that don’t work in their country. My concern was with me being in Canada and 9 days before Christmas that mailing something to the US might not make it in time.

    Jenny’s PayPal address is jenny@thebloggess.com

    Being a part of this feels really good…it feels like what Christmas is supposed to be about.

  258. This is a fantastic thing you are doing and it just went so fast! I’m in for 2 $30 Amazon gift cards, so tell me where to send them!

    Not to make more work for you, but this was so incredible, that i’m telling all of my friends.

    amazing, amazing, amazing!!!

  259. Such a lovely idea. I’ve been lurking on your site for about 2 years now and absolutely love you and all of your followers. Reading your blog and the comments makes my day 🙂 Please match me up with someone I would love to send them a gift card. My husband and I have been so lucky and would love to help someone else who needs it. If someone’s requested a store other than Amazon that’s fine too. I really have no idea how to do this so I am hoping you send me directions or something.

  260. Thank you for doing this! My girls decided years ago that “they were lucky and don’t need much” (mind you they are only 6 and 9 right now- so they are just great kids). Instead of getting presents for their birthday party we do donations for Toys for Tots. It is amazing how much people give! Instead of bringing one present for the girls- people come with bags of toys! Then we try to find time to help with the organization as well at the holidays. We’ve also done gifts for the kids at the local hospitals.
    Thank you for bringing a wonderful cause to the attention of many. I know it was a side trip off your normal banter- but much appreciated all the same!

  261. I want to thank you for making me laugh until I cry….needed most days. Desperately.

    We are lucky enough to be able to help. Match me with someone and I will send a Target gift card to the family.

    Can I just say that I think my seven year old is you. Reincarnated but you are not dead, so really that doesn’t quite work. Typical phone conversation with Wee…
    “I am blowing out all the eggs in the fridge”
    “WHERE IS YOUR FATHER?????”
    “Don’t know. But I am almost done with the box”
    “IT”S CHRISTMAS NOT EASTER”
    “Yes, but you never know if there will be eggs or chickens then. I am getting ready NOW”
    “Point taken. You are getting scrambled eggs for dinner”

  262. At first I was scared to say that we’re needy, then I thought I shouldn’t because there are others who are more so. Maybe, though, I’ve waited long enough that it isn’t greedy to ask for help, and maybe their are enough other people that it shouldn’t be scary. Next week I’ll be visiting the food pantry for the first time. If I could, I’d borrow an invisibility cloak. The truth is, though, I often feel that I am wearing one.

  263. I don’t write this comment in search for financial gain or anything like that: I write to say thank you. It is very true what you say; about the world being such a dark and bright place at the same time. An it is because of people like you, and your many fans who browse this blog religiously that we can see the light in the midst of chaos. THANK YOU for being you! thank you so much for caring for all of us sincerily and unconditionally. This year, the last 3 months specially have being hell. I’ve been surviving one the worst drepression episodes i’ve had in my very short life, and today i can honestly say that it was , in great part, because of you that i’m still standing; still going strong. Thank you. Your silliness and joy do so much more than you could ever imagine. I don’t know you ( i hope i will someday), but you have been one of the best things that have ever happend to me. Merry christmas to you, Hailey and Victor, and to everyone who has bothered with reading this sappy comment of mine. Thank You all.

  264. Jenny- I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years now- and I have to say- you are the coolest of the cool- You never hesitate to make me smile and James Garfield truly cracks me up. I know I am number 3** something on here and read this last night and hesitated to post but don’t know what to do right now. When I tried to sign up for Toys for Tots in our city they said they had a cut off date and we couldn’t sign up (I am totally serious) I have a 14 yr old, a 13 yr old , a 12 yr old step daughter and a baby boy who not only is it Christmas – he is about to turn 2 next week..I don’t even have anything for his birthday. I seriously hate to beg. I even scrounged up some old toys the kids weren’t playing with and helped out another family that were in need. Even though Christmas is tough around here, it felt good to help someone else. If there is anyway I could get squeezed onto a gift card list even just to get my little boy something for his birthday I would be forever grateful. My husband’s hours got cut , I can’t work due to a back injury and I know I do not have it as bad as most.. I just don’t..don’t..want to look at my little boy who still believes in Santa and birthdays.. and cry. That’s just my truth for today. I’m sorry.. I’m just to ashamed to leave my real name. God bless you Jenny and the rest of you. Merry Christmas.

  265. I never thought i’d comment here, but I am. I’ve been out of work for almost a year and money is most definitely stretched to the very limit. We definitely could use a bit of help.

  266. If you still need donors to match requests I can provide 2 $30 gift cards to any store that lets you do such things electronically.

  267. I’m almost crying reading all the comments. I wish so badly that I could help, but Sallie Mae has me by the balls. I’m blessed to be making all my ends meet, and I can’t wait until I’m in a position to help others. Thank you for doing this, Jenny.

    PS Posey didn’t want to say ‘thank you’?? Ungrateful bastard.

  268. Count me in as a giver. Let me know and I’ll send a $30 Amazon to the next one on your list. I’m sitting her with tears streaming down my face and have to help. Thank you, Jenny.

  269. Is it too late to donate? If not, sign me up. I’d love to spread some Christmas cheer (or a giftcard) to someone who needs it.

  270. Hi Jenny!
    If you still have some $$ to spare, or anyone reading does, watch this video, & check out this link to this website for the Often Awesome Army. Tim & Kaylan are amazing and have been thru so much in the past year fighting ALS. I guarantee this series will make you laugh and cry and feel so in awe of the people who have stepped up to help them in thier fight for ALS awareness.

    http://www.oftenawesome.org/
    Much Love to you for all you do each day lovely lady!
    Holly

  271. Jenny, I’d like to give a gift card! I hope this is the right method to get matched with someone in need. Thank you! 🙂

  272. Hi. I’m sure all the gift cards are gone by now, but in the event you get further donations, I’d really appreciate one.
    I left uni and am now unemployed – I thought I wasn’t rich when I was a student, but it’s nothing compared to now, counting every penny and trying to make less go further while continually searching fruitlessly for a job. Now that it’s the holiday season I’m finding it difficult to stretch my small budget even further. A gift certificate for any amount would be a great help and so appreciated.
    Regardless of whether I get to be one of the lucky few, this is a beautiful thing you are doing. Selfless generosity toward others is in the true spirit of the holidays. Thank you for that.

  273. Gail (Post 322) thats pretty much what my kids did. (Twin boys will turn 12 on the 17th and a daughter that turned 10 on the 15th) We decided that we’ve had hard times but in the end we’re not just blessed we are flipping blessed. We have a house. The only times our utilities are in danger of being turned off is when I’m an idiot and pay two gas bills instead of an electric bill. And we have food in our house that always ends up questionable once the stove and I get done with it. In this economy what more can one person ask for? They decided that instead of Christmas presents that they wanted their toys (about $50/child) to go to needy children. That meant that 15 children in our community that wouldn’t have gotten toys will wake up on Christmas and have one, instead of just 2 or 3 that we normally give. It’s times like that you can set back and relax because you know you didn’t completely f**k up when it came to raising your kids.

    I can’t wait until you and your daughters get to see your blessings. Just remember our children are the best mirrors of who we parents are as a whole. When your children do something like this, willfully it just shows exactly what type of person you are. For everyone else, just remember, the Lord will not take you too it if he can’t take you through it as well.

  274. This is awesome. My SIL has been diagnosed w/ a disease that could take her life at any time. She is awaiting treatment, but can’t find a place that can do it yet. She had to quit her job and move in w/ her parents. Her sick pay has run out and getting disability can take 6 months to a year. She has a 5 & 9 yr old. We’ve got them a new pair of shoes for Christmas, but she won’t be able to get them much or anything. My in-laws have no money for anything extra either. This is absolutely amazing. All of you are angels! People are hurting everywhere. It breaks my heart. We’ve donated food to ourkid’s school and I know every little bit helps. You are amazing Jenny. You and everyone who gives anything from a can of food to a coat and also financially.

  275. I was kicked out of my home by my husband, cut off and penniless and have no $ for anything right now…much less christmas presents. Food would be nice.

  276. It is so sweet of you to do this. We’ve been having a really hard time making ends meet this year so I can empathize with all of these people and I’m sure that receiving a gift certificate that they can use to buy something for their children has really brightened their day.

  277. You are the most wonderful person in the whole world and I want you to know that I’m grateful to have you as one of my (imaginary) friends… even if you don’t talk to me or send me emails or comment on my tweets. You’re still an awesome friend xD

    That said, I know that there are people out there who are in a much worse situation than me, and if there are those who need it more in line ahead of me, please please please match them first. I’ve been in the process of a divorce for over a year now, receiving no child support for my son whatsoever, but I have a wonderful mother who makes sure that there is always a roof over our heads and food in our bellies, which I am forever grateful for.

    As a college student (read : unemployed broke mooch), I have absolutely no money to my name. And while I know that my son is going to get gifts from others, I would love for him to wake up Christmas morning with just one gift under the tree from me.

    And even if I don’t get matched, thank you thank you thank you to all the wonderful people who have so generously volunteered to give. This post and its comments have given me hope for the human race.

  278. What you are doing is truly remarkable and unforgettable. My family is one of the many that are struggling to make ends meet this year. Through a series of unfortunate events, we have ended up needing government assistance with food stamps & WIC. We never thought it would get this bad, but it did. Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like phone calls from collectors saying you’re going to get sued, or the electricity will get shut off in three days. I know my husband works his rear off and I am eternally grateful for his sacrifices he makes for myself and our one year old daughter and soon-to-be daughter#2. With his new job, things are going to start looking brighter for us, thank the Lord, in due time. I am also thankful for my daughter’s young age that presents aren’t really known or expected. I am also thankful I am able to make homemade gifts, knitting, sewing, etc. for my husband and daughter.
    I just want to extend my appreciation on behalf of all you have helped so far and in the future. You are truly an inspiration for us all. Thank you!

  279. I don’t have kids (we were trying, but put it on hold – at ages 34 and 39 – hoping for a better year next year), but I do have a wonderful husband whose birthday is today, 9 days before Christmas. We’re behind on everything, the only reason the phone hasn’t been shut off is because I work for the phone company, and the only reason the heat is still on is because they can’t shut it off over the winter. We have had a terrible year. Unemployment, severe depression and anxiety plagued our household this year. We almost divorced because of it. But we’re back, better than ever in our relationship, but still struggling financially. I broke down, said “eff it,” and took a good portion of next month’s rent money to make sure my wonderful husband has a great birthday and Christmas. It won’t do a *whole* lot to offset the worst year we’ve ever had, I just wanted there to be some happiness and hope for the future. I’ll probably have to do a payday advance loan to pay January’s rent, and heaven knows how or when we’ll get caught up on the rest. I’m trying to remain positive about the upcoming year, we just need to get out of this damn hole. You are doing a wonderful thing. Amazing how little it takes to inspire and give hope. Peace and good things to you and yours. <3

  280. Let me know what you need and how I can help. I am able to help with $30 but if you need more, please let me know. This truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Thank you for doing this.

  281. Jenny, it only takes one tiny pebble thrown into the waters to create a ripple that will carry on and outward. I hope your pebble makes a very, very, very big ripple…

    You’ve made some happiness in the world, lady. Congratulations. Much love and a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and your family!

    Now, I am going to go grab a cup of hot cocoa, wrap a soft scarf around my neck, and read all 300 and something comments of all the people that you have affected with your blog and your generosity.

  282. I never thought we would be here. Two young boys (15 months & 3) and broker than broke. Last Saturday, our family car got repossesed, Yesterday our gas shut off, this morning my cell phone.. We are in such a hole. I am so worried and I know my boys don’t understand. Anyway, I know I am way late but if there is anything you can do for my boys… Thank you.

  283. Crying at work is embarrassing! I saw that someone in the UK needed one, I’m in the EU and can help – can you send me the deets please?

  284. For those who offered to donate but haven’t sent a gift card through amazon before:
    1. Go to Amazon’s website and click on “Gift Cards” at the top of the page, or put this link in your browser: http://www.amazon.com/gp/gc/ref=topnav_giftcert
    2. Go to the bottom of the page, where there is a chart showing various delivery options for gift cards. Under the “Email Gift Cards” column there is a “Buy Now” button–click here.
    3. It will take you to a screen where you can fill out the amount you wish the gift card to be for and input the recipient’s email address (which has been sent to you by Jenny); fill out the form and click “add to order.” Amazon will walk you through inputting your payment information.

  285. You inspire me, and that’s the best gift anyone can give another human being!

    Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!

  286. Oh Jenny, this just makes me love you even more. Not *that* way, like a friend.
    I always try, especially this time of year, to help out others. I am not able to give much but I will give because it’s necessary. Helping others opens our eyes to see the world outside of our own. For me, I am able to see how blessed I truly am, whether it be a little more money in the bank or just a healthy family and a roof over our heads, and that the blessings I receive are not for me to keep to myself. Thanks for the reminder, it’s one we should get each day.
    A very merry Christmas to you, Victor, Haily, James Garfield and all of your readers. I get a kick out of reading their comments as much as your blog!

  287. Jeez. I never realized how hard it was to ask for help. But, here I am. Asking.
    Well, here’s my story: Daughter of a single mother. We’ve never really had that much money, but times have never been this tough. A little over a year ago we had to move away from the only place that ever really felt like home to me, and to my grandmother’s house, because we couldn’t afford to live on our own. I am grateful for that. Grateful to my grandmother for taking us in. But sometimes it’s hard for me to be grateful to the woman who physically and verbally abused my mother, and still puts her down everyday.
    Anyways, my mom works seven days a week, and we barely make enough money to cover the bills. I know that we wouldn’t be able to eat if it wasn’t for food stamps. This year I decided to save all of the gift cards I received from friends for my birthday, and buy something nice for my mom, who by the way is the absolute strongest person I know. But, we didn’t have any money to send a care packet to my brother (who we all miss like crazy, and is currently serving overseas), so we had to use up the gift cards.
    I really wanted to get something nice for the family, my mom in particular. She’s always working so hard, and never takes any time off. I know she feels bad that I won’t really be getting anything this Christmas, but I’m okay. I have my health, and a roof over my head, and hope that maybe the world will turn out okay if there are more people like you, Jenny, and like everyone else who is donating. : )

  288. This has been one of the hardest years we have had in such a long time! Mentally and financially it has been a bitch let’s just say. I love life, really I do. And try to be happy and love others and my family but it just seems that life keeps on hitting me where it hurts. I have 4 kids and they have been awesome through all the struggles. I think what your doing and all the help people have been giving is so great and amazing! Keep up the great work and keep us laughing!

  289. Jenny dear, you are an amazing person. As a new mom, you have given me a beautiful tradition that I hope to share with our daughter as she grows. Please email me with the info of one of the families that need help, and I will supply a gift card. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  290. Wow — your generosity (and your readers) is so humbling. Totally fills my heart reading all of this – your post & the comments.

    I am not asking for myself or my children – but I am asking on behalf of my daughter’s half-sister. She aged out of the foster care system a few months ago. She is 18 and has the sweetest 5 year old boy. She barely makes it, and while we do what we can to help, we’re a family of 4 on a single modest income. I would love for her to be able to get a Santa present for her son. I would be so grateful to make this happen for them. Thank you so much!

  291. i just read through the comments and fucking cried in my coffee.

    changing our plans today to do something nice for someone today instead of being so self-involved.

    you rock the house, girl.

  292. Hi Jenny
    As a few others have mentioned, I’m usually just a browser of your blogs and never a commenter but this is something I feel strongly about, paying it forward. Such a wonderful thing to do, especially at Xmas, and I love that you have been doing it for 10 years. By sharing it I hope you inspire others to be just as charitable. So many people think about doing something like this but often for whatever reason, don’t get around to it.

    My family live in New Zealand and we went a trip to Sri lanka about a year after the 2004 tsunami, even then the rawness of the devastation was overwhelming. My Dad knew a Sri Laken family who were building an orphanage for children who’d lost their families in the tsunami and he decided when he returned to NZ he’d collect and send toys to this orphanage. I’m so proud of him because he said it and then he did it. But it was the generosity of donators that made us even more proud. We’re not from a very big town in NZ (like 25,000 people) but it was incredible how many people donated new and used toys, books and clothing for the children. And then there were the people who gave money for all the hundreds of boxes to be shipped.

    That same year, my parents gave my brother and I goat for Xmas. But it wasn’t a real goat, it was a picture of the goat that our present money had bought for a family in Africa. And my mum knew I couldn’t complain about wishing for hair straighteners after what I’d seen in Sri Lanka. Now I’m suspicious of all flat, cardlike gifts.
    But I hope your flat cardlike gifts bring lots of joy to those who need them. Thank you for your blog and for reminding us that Christmas is about giving. Kia Kaha x

  293. I wish I could help. I’ve been out of work for almost two years. I =don’t= need anything, I don’t have young children or grandchildren, everyone on my list is a grown-up who gets it. And I have a roof over my head and food.

    I just wanted to say thank you to you for doing this. And to say that there are people out there who care, but who can’t do anything at the moment.

  294. My friend, a teacher, overheard her student tell of how her family would be having no Christmas as her dad just got a job after 6 months of unemployment. She has three younger siblings as well. We are adopting them for Christmas this year and would be grateful for any extra donations. Jana

  295. We usually do more giving this time of year, but it’s a bit tight. However I have a gift card for $25 at one of four restaurants: Chilis, Macaroni Grill, On the Border or Maggianos. If someone can use this giftcard I’m happy to send along. What you are doing here is so wonderful. Thank you!