Hello and welcome to year 11 (ELEVEN?!) of the James Garfield Miracle!
What is the James Garfield Miracle, you ask? You must be new here. Welcome! It’s basically a day celebrating the time I bought a jolly taxidermied boar which morphed into a day where parents who are really struggling can get a present for their child this holiday season. It’s a very strange community project of strangers helping strangers anonymously and it’s pretty great.
I thought last year would be the end of the James Garfield Miracle because it’s gotten large and unwieldy and the one or two scammers who pop up often ruin it for the thousands of wonderful people who help or are helped, but I need a little holiday pick-me-up so this weekend I am Santa on a very small scale. We’ve tried lots of iterations of this with all levels of success but this year things are a little tighter in my household and I suspect I’m not alone so this year we’re going to keep it very simple and go back to the basics and hopefully it will still bring smiles to a lot of people and also make it something so simple that no scammer would care about.
So this year I am sending out 100+ teddy bears to kids.
That’s it. Just sweet, snuggly teddy bears. Well, not just teddy bears because the teddy bears have eyes that babies can swallow (stop swallowing eyes, weird babies) so I’m also adding a few other stuffed animals you can choose from if you have an eye-devouring baby or your child has a bear phobia or Amazon sells out of teddy bears.
But that’s it. Simple. Easy. Not perfect because in a perfect world everyone would get everything they need but I’d like to imagine that even people who may be disappointed that we’re just doing stuffed animals will at least be happy imagining all the kids finding unexpected fluffy new stuffed animals in their arms this holiday. It makes me smile, at least.
So, if you are struggling this year and you need help getting your child a present for Hannukau/Christmas/whateveryoucelebrate then I am ready to Santa Claus it up and drop one lovely plushie at your doorstep.
Here are the links for the plushes:
Jellycat 12 inch bunny (If you’d prefer the cheaper 7″ one instead that’s totally cool.)
Currently these are all between $15-$23 each but Amazon can be wonky about changing up the prices daily or running out of stock so if I see that happening I’ll come back here to add other choices to choose from to replace any that sell out this weekend or suddenly skyrocket in price from $20 to $180. (Wtf, Amazon?) If I haven’t bought you a stuffy it’s probably because they sold out, jacked up the price or you forgot your address.
(Also, I always use the profits I make on affiliate links to buy toys for kids so that means that if you’ve clicked on one this year then you are the reason why I’m going to be able to buy toys for at least 100 kids this year. That is amazing and I’m so grateful. Thank you!)
The wishlists will be posted in the comments so (as always) if you want to buy a present for a stranger you totally can. Or you can donate to Project Night Night, an amazing organization that provides a tote bag, book, stuffed animal and security blanket to homeless or displaced kids throughout the year. They are AMAZING and the have more requests than they can fill so I cannot recommend them enough.
(Also, I know a lot of you are asking why I don’t just do this through my bookshop instead of Amazon and I’d love to but 1) our wonderful employees would be swamped with extra work since we only have three right now 2) we don’t have a way to make a registry work online yet. But maybe one day we’ll figure it out and have enough employees to do it and be able to use all the profits to help more people. Just not this year.)
SO…if you want in on this you have to read all the directions and stick to the rules or otherwise you will be set on fire and pushed out a moving plane. Or maybe I’ll just delete your comment and look at you with that disappointed look your mom gives you when she knows you’re trying but are still fucking up. One of those. Here are the rules:
IF YOU WANT TO GIVE:
Okay, how do I do this?
You are my special angel. Just look in the comments and find someone who has an unfilled Wishlist. I’m going to buy at least 100 but there are always more than I can handle. (If there’s nothing on their list it means their toy was already bought- yay!) Buy their present and make sure when you check out that you select their shipping address. (It won’t give you their full address but it’ll tell you the town you’re shipping it to.) If you try to fill a wishlist but it doesn’t give you a shipping address to choose that means the person didn’t assign a shipping address to the list so delete their present out of your cart and go to the next wishlist. If it says “these are duplicates. Someone else may have already bought this” when you try to check out then someone else already bought the stuff so delete it and try another one.
But what if I don’t live in America?
Check the comments because we often have Canadians and others outside the US who need help and I can’t fill those lists because shipping kills me so if you want to adopt a family, this is a great way to do it.
IF YOU NEED HELP:
You are my special angel. Here are the things you have to know: You have to make a BRAND NEW wishlist, you can only choose one stuffed animal per child to put on your wishlist, and it has to be one of the ones above. In your comment you need to say the city and State you’re in (it has to match what you have on your wishlist), how many kids you have, and a link to your wishlist. (Add your country to the comment you’re outside of the US so people in your area can find you.) Do not make multiple wish lists. Just make one. One of the most important things (people do this wrong every year so PLEASE do this part right) is that you have to assign a shipping address for this specific wishlist. I’ll give you the details on setting up the wishlist below.
What if I want to make wish lists to surprise other people who I think need help?
Nope. But you can totally tell them to come here and make their own.
I’ve never done this before. How do I make a wishlist?
It’s pretty easy if you follow the formula. I’ll walk you through:
On Amazon, click on Accounts & Lists and then “Create a list”.
Name it “James Garfield plushies” then choose “create list”.
On the right you’ll see something that says “…More“. Click on that and choose “Manage list.” Change “private” to “PUBLIC” so I can see it. In the description part box just put how many kids your list is for. YOU MUST ADD YOUR ADDRESS FOR THIS SPECIFIC LIST so click on the drop-down for the shipping address and change it from “none” to your address. PLEASE DON’T SKIP THIS PART. Make sure that the checkboxes for “keep purchased items on your list” and “don’t spoil my surprises” are NOT selected. Save changes.
Now just go pick one of the stuffed lovies for your child. When you have the one you want click on the “Add to list” drop down arrow on the right (under where the price is) and then select your “James Garfield 2020” list. Click “view your list” to make sure it’s there. If everything is right you should have your stuffed animal(s) on the page and it should say it’s public and your address should show up in the “…more” box.
If you have another kid just go back to the list and pick a present for them and add it to the same list.
Copy the link to your wishlist. Now you go to the comments below and leave a comment saying how many kids you have, what city and state you are in, and a paste in the link to your wishlist. That’s it!
So for example, I would say, “Hi. I live in San Antonio Texas, and I have one child. Here’s my list: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3KPV5V1B0HGAY/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_2?_encoding=UTF8&type=wishlist
Now…to go shopping. Happy James Garfield Day!
PS. Please please please double check before you hit the submit button that you have assigned a shipping address to your wishlist, that your comment has a link to your wishlist, the city and state you live it and the number of kids you have. Love!