You may think that the fall is an odd time to discuss Christmas. We haven’t celebrated Halloween yet, much less Thanksgiving, but now is the time to plan ahead for one part of your holiday plans.
If your church or organization sponsors a giving tree, or gifts for charity program, start thinking about your donation now. You have the money to do it now, and if you shop the fall clearance sales, you’ll be able to do more for less.
Some charities have a clause written into their application for assistance that the applicant cannot apply to more than one program. Imagine one person going to every charity in town, and getting a box of gifts from each one, and you can see why they have this limitation.
That means that whatever you give to your church’s charity program is ALL that person is going to get this year. The box you give will have to fulfill every want, every need, for an entire year.
If you sew, you can make shorts, tank tops and sun dresses for toddlers with the left-over material from your other projects. If you use one pattern, and cut the pieces from several fabrics, you can make a wardrobe in an assembly line fashion in about the same amount of time it would take to make yourself a dress.
If you believe that education is the solution to poverty, and that the best help you can give is to teach others how to provide for themselves, then now is the perfect time to shop for a teen. School supplies go on clearance a few weeks after school starts. Teens, especially, feel peer pressure to have “cool” school supplies; the fancy markers and op-art pens and folders. A supply of notebooks, pens, rulers, paper, and markers, in addition to your other gifts, will send your person the message that school is important, and that you support their educational efforts. If you buy it now, you can get them twice as much.
Summer clothes are also on clearance at this time. Instead of getting one outfit, you can buy several outfits for the same amount of money. Just buy all the outfits in the same size.
The secret to making this work is to believe that there is a reason for everything. Picture a person in your head, and believe that your thoughts have been guided to think of someone who is actually going to apply for assistance three months from now. Shop for the person you thought of just like they are someone you know. Then, when Christmas rolls around, instead of blindly grabbing any name from the list, look for the person you thought of. I do it every year, and I have always found someone on the list who is asking for the gifts I already have.