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  • Writer's pictureAlanna Grayce

EXTRA EXTRA: giving is better than receiving, swear

Don't get me wrong y'all, I love getting a gift. It's so sweet to know what someone saw that made them think of you! Especially when you know it wasn't an obligatory gift, and was instead a really genuine "wow, she would LOVE that".

Gift giving is my love language, though- like picking things out for people, finding things I know they would enjoy. But in the same vein, I love giving to those who need it more than me. I always am riddled with sadness around the holiday season especially, because what is such a joyous and plentiful time for me is a time of want and scarcity for so many others.

SO today I am writing to encourage you to prioritize giving this holiday season, as much as possible. I know this has been a difficult year for all of us- but that's exactly why we should give. Here's a few of my favorite ideas:


I think this is something I'm going to institute for Adam and my self as an every-December tradition, and then when we have kids as well. A week or so ago, I mean I spring cleaned this place. We had already purged tons of stuff when we moved in together, taking literally a trunk full to a local shelter. But I was able to do it AGAIN y'all. I'm talking going through and pulling out sheets we don't use, I found more and more tshirts and pajamas that we don't wear, all that. My family always buys me clothes for Christmas, plus those black friday sales really get me sometimes, so I think it is an awesome idea to clean out your situation before the holidays so that 1) somebody who is in need gets something nice! and 2) you don't have an over abundance of things that you don't need. I'm working towards the philosophy of for every new thing I bring in, I get rid of at least one thing. And, if you operate on the Marie Kondo method of "does this spark joy?" it honestly does get easier. Cause I get it, you want to keep that cardigan just because you got it in England- but sis, you got it at Primark. It ain't Welsh wool. Toss it in the donate bin.


This one is a favorite of mine, because honestly it kills two birds with one suuuuuuper well aimed stone. Do you have a friend or family member who just has everything, maybe one who isn't very grateful, OR maybe one who is super sentimental? This works for all of them! Donate to a charity in their name, print out the little "thank you" that the charity gives you, and include that in the card you give them. I swear, in my experience people really like it!!! The environmentally conscious cousin? Donate to ocean cleanup or something, plus you're not contributing to mass production of goods!!! The uncle that loves to hunt? Donate to a fish and wildlife charity, or maybe one that preserves woodlands! The crazy cat lady neighbor that always buys you a gift so you feel obligated to buy her one??? DONATE TO THE ANIMAL SHELTER!!! Y'all I don't know if you get it- this is a win win!!! You're donating to an organization that actually NEEDS help, and it gets to count as a gift to someone else. Wow.


Ordering pickup from a local restaurant? Give those staff a HEFTY tip. They're still working hard during this pandemic to get you your food, and they're getting paid significantly less bc no tips. Donate to a disaster relief fund because of that movie about the tsunami you watched on Netflix. Make your neighbor who got laid off some dinners he can freeze, or invite him over to grab a meal with you every so often. Take all those extra blankets you don't use anymore to the homeless shelter. Buy the woman and her dog that sit on the corner of the highway everyday a few dollar breakfast sandwiches instead of buying yourself a damn eight dollar coffee.

Ultimately, I don't care how you rationalize it. Just fcking give to those who need it.

Some ideas for where to give:

-local homeless shelters, especially the smaller ones- they're less likely to be getting tons of donations

-local youth shelters, or counseling centers for at-risk youth

-local animal shelters- they love toy, food, and sometimes even newspaper donations!

-Sierra Club if you care about the environment :)

-addiction recovery programs near you

-veteran's programs, especially suicide prevention programs

If you want to make sure that your donations to a larger charity are actually going somewhere useful, check out to see their rating of the organization you've chosen. You might be shocked about some of the big ones, honestly.

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