Like we did in 2008, we have decided to forgo gifts for friends, family, and co-workers and instead donate to charity. This year, we'll be giving to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. In '08, we had a lot of fun shopping for Toys for Tots, and it's something I'd love to do with my future hypothetical children. But this year I felt really strongly that our money should go to a more practical fund. Second Harvest actually provides food to other nonprofits - everything from homeless shelters to breakfast programs for school kids - and I would rather make sure that there's no one hungry on Christmas morning (and for the rest of the year) than give away toys.
But before anyone accuses me of Scrooge-ing underprivileged kids, please read on...
In 2008, we had plenty of gifts under the tree for ourselves, and this year we're buying nothing but stocking stuffers. That's because we decided to make an unexpected donation to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida. "Unexpected? How can that be?" Well you see...
As Disney Cruise Line prepares to bring its newest ship – Disney Dream – online, a special two-night and invitation only preview cruise will take place [...] in support of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida. As part of this one-of-a-kind sailing, 100 percent of the cruise fare will be donated directly to the organization, while select Boys & Girls Clubs children and their families from Brevard, Osceola, Orange and Seminole counties will have a unique opportunity to sail onboard.(from the Disney Parks Blog)
Merry Christmas to us!
The money we spent on the cruise really wasn't that much more than we would have spent on actual gifts, and we justified the extra expenditure by telling eachother that the money was going to charity. I'm not even pretending that we booked the cruise strictly as a charitable donation. Scott and I have been gobbling up every story about this ship since they started hinting about the awesomeness aboard, and dreaming about the day - more than likely over a year from now - when we'd be able to get a booking cheap enough for us to afford. This also gives my inner journalist the chance to "scoop" ALL of our friends. And did I mention that the inaugural cruise is after our cruise? We're going on before all those Disney nuts who booked 2 years ago!
Plus, we'll be able to give all of you the "gift" of another vicarious vacation. Sure, I've been remiss in blogging at all about our last cruise, but aside from the ports of call (and Cozumel doesn't even count because we never even got off the ship. don't judge - it was raining AND Mexico!), it really was quite similar to the Disney Magic cruise we took in 2007. I'll put something up this weekend, I promise. But this will be a NEW ship with NEW restaurants and NEW shows!
...and I hope you have some money in your budget to donate to your favorite charity. All kidding (and cruising) aside, I'm grateful that we're in a position to do so. And I know that our gift to the food bank will go to better use than a gift card or knick knack would, and that the memories we make on our mini vacation - and the ones the kids make at the local B&GC's - will last longer than a video game or jewelery would have.