12 Gifts That Keep On Giving

12 Gifts That Keep On Giving

These are the most perfect, meaningful, possibly last minute gifts you can give.
Cat D
Cat D

It's the holiday season! Finally. This is also the season of giving. For some, this is easy. Get all your shopping done on black Friday (or cyber Monday) and you're set to go. For others getting the perfect gift is extremely hard to figure out. So, if you're still looking to give a gift, give a little more with the gifts below.

1. Hippopotamus for Christmas - I'll take two.

Through the World Wildlife Fund you can actually donate to fund worldwide conservation efforts. You can choose what species you want to "adopt" so you can give your s/o a freaking lion if you wanted to... or you could be trendy and go with a llama. Yes. That is an option.


2. Jumping on the FTK Bandwagon.

I know everyone is always sharing their funds pages... but now you have an even better reason to donate. It's a twofer (two for one) deal. Not to mention the Childrens Miracle Network makes the day so much brighter for so many children and families every day! Let's make the holidays even brighter.


3. I'll Be Home for Christmas.

What a catchy WW2 song, but it's so valid even for today's soldiers! Help some soldiers who have already made their journey home and are in transition back to their American lifestyles. The Wounded Warrior Project has a dollar for dollar donation match for the season. How could you say no to that?


4. Truly and A+ Gift.

You can actually adopt a classroom! Adopt a Classroom aims to help offset costs of classroom materials so kids can have a better education.I'll be the first to raise my hand for this one!


5. Pass the Plate Around Please.

Through Feeding America, you can help out those families who may be in need this holiday season. This is an amazing way to help share the love and the food!


6. Support.

Mental health is a wonderful gift that can often be overlooked. CAMH is a great resource to help support those who are progressing towards a brighter tomorrow. Be thoughtful.


7. Santa is Getting Old.

According to the Salvation Army, 1 in 7 elderly are affected by dementia. They have created a means to which we can provide resources for all those getting old with Santa. Make sure you're on the nice list.


8. Great Idea Einstein.

The US International Rescue Committee reaches out a helping hand for those who are in crisis. Fun fact about this charity is that it was madeby request of Einstein. That's when you know it's a good idea.


9. All About the Kids.

The holidays are great for everyone, but there's something extra magical about them for children. There are so many amazing groups out there set on making this season a happy time for all kids. This link actually lists quite a few, the more the merrier!


10. Rudolph the ~read~ Nose Reindeer.

I purposely wrote read instead of red. We do have editors you know. What you might not know though is that 1 in 4 children grow up without learning to read. How can you help? Read the link (select literacy)


11. Santa Paws.

If you can't give me a puppy for Christmas, making sure one is healthy, warm, and fed will do too! Donations to the Humane Society provide love, compassion, and care for all those little animals out there who may not have a home!


12. Park it Here.

The National Parks Service works to provide the best experience for park goers while sustaining these incredible sites. Get away from the city sidewalks, busy sidewalks, and dress yourself in some outdoorsy holiday cheer.


Cover Image Credit: Willow Oaks

Popular Right Now

Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.

You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Meditation Is Not A Perfect Practice, But It's Still Worth Your Time

You'll thank me later.


I began doing yoga a few years ago, and I instantly loved it. The combination of stretching, mental relaxation, and emotional release is amazing. It creates a sense of zen and peace in my life that I can use during the stress that comes from school, work, and everyday life. But the one part of yoga that I am not in love with is the meditation aspect.

I absolutely dread meditation. I do not know what it is, but I can never quite seem to get my mind to quiet down. No matter how hard I try, there is always a million thoughts running through my brain. "Did I finish that homework assignment?" "Am I breathing too loud? Can other people hear me?" I become so focused on other things happening around me that I just can't seem to calm down and relax.

But meditation is not about just clearing your mind and going completely blank. It is about focusing on a single thought, object, or intention and just allowing those emotions and feelings to overcome you. Focusing on one intention in your life allows you to become focused and re-centered. Meditation is not a set in stone practice, it is adaptable based on each person's needs.

There are seven general types of meditation: loving-kindness meditation, body scanning meditation, mindfulness meditation, breath awareness meditation, kundalini yoga, Zen meditation, and transcendentalism meditation. Each of these general types can be adapted to fit ones specific needs in that time. All seven of these meditations offer stress release options to help with daily stressors and inconveniences.

There is no perfect way to meditate. Meditation can also be as simple as just closing your eyes and simply breathing for a few seconds while focusing on one important thing in your life to help you remain grounded. There is no one set meditation type that works for all people. Some people enjoy all of the forms or even several of them, while others such as myself strictly enjoy the body scanning meditation.

The body scanning meditation focuses on scanning the body for areas of tension and to encourage the release of tension in that part of the body. Once the release occurs, the whole body can begin to relax even more. It usually starts by focusing on the toes and relaxing then moving up the legs, the torso the arms to the fingertips, and all the way through to the tip of the head.

My ideal meditation type is not for everyone. Playing around with the different types of meditations is the best way to find an ideal type of meditation that fits what the body needs. Unlike with most things, practice doesn't make perfect. Practicing the art of meditation just helps to refine the overall calm and zen that is felt.


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