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All I want for Christmas

This past week, I’ve written two posts that featured dollar bills. I’m really lucky that I have dollar bills at my disposal (the real ones, not Henry Dollars!). Plus, I have a loving family, two cute puppies, a big, warm house, all sorts of newfangled electronic gadgets, and way too much vegan food stockpiled in my fridge, freezer, and cabinets. (Grocery-Shoppers Anonymous, anyone?)

But many people aren’t so fortunate. It seems one can’t pick up a newspaper or flip on the tv these days without hearing about immense suffering somewhere. Hurricanes, earthquakes, robberies, illness… it can get overwhelming, because, if you’re like me, you want to help them ALL! The problem with this is that, too often, people will get so overwhelmed at the vastness of the suffering that they’ll choose to do nothing because they can’t help with everything. (I’ve been guilty of this too.) Please don’t fall into this trap. Sure, you’re just one person, and you can’t do everything; but anything is better than nothing. I challenge you, this Christmas season, to pick one or two causes that are close to your heart and try to do something to help them— remember that help need not be in the form of a monetary donation. Serving food at a soup kitchen, volunteering to walk local shelter dogs, offering to help stock a food pantry, driving an elderly neighbor to the grocery store… all of these are great ways to help “save the world.” Another thing you can do is, when someone asks you what you want for Christmas, tell him/her to make a donation to charity in your name. This year, I told my grandma I wanted her to take the money she would’ve spent on me and make a donation to the Catskill Animal Sanctuary (near her home). Well, my sister and cousins are all getting Uggs from Grandma, so you can bet those lucky animals have a big, fat check comin’ their way! And I can’t say I didn’t get a present out of the donation—it feels great to know I’ve helped out the animals. As Phoebe says on Friends, “There’s no such thing as a completely selfless act.”

Published on December 24, 2008

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Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

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165 Comments

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  1. vegannurse says

    What a great post, Katie! And what a great idea, too!

    You are such an amazing person that you want to help others in need…

    you’ve inspired me to do something, too!

    Wishin’ you and your loved ones a happy holiday!

  2. Meg says

    What a great cause! Thanks for the invite to the vegan potluck this past Saturday. I would have loved to make it, but I had a family event to attend. Are we still on for after the holidays?

  3. loveofoats.com says

    katie – you are simply too sweet and so thoughtful – not to be cliche (because it is completely true) but if everyone thought the way you did – can you imagine how great the world would be?

  4. Whitney says

    CCV…you rock! I am so touched by the amount of people who are using their blogs to do a lot of good in the world this holiday season. It’s truly inspirational! Happy Holidays!

  5. Megan says

    its SUCH a good feeling making things good for other people; bravo for you!

    and grocery shoppers anonymous? I think I happen to be the founder/CEO/President/most intense addict of the entire group! i loove grocery stores (and the things in them, of course).

  6. Juliet says

    Thank you for the post. Very inspiring. I think you hit the nail on the head when you say that we often are frozen in inaction because we can’t help everyone…

  7. Ricki says

    What a fabulous idea, Katie. Good luck with this drive–of course I hope you get tons of comments, but NOT that they make you poor!

    Have a wonderful holiday! 🙂

  8. Fitnessista says

    what an amazing and beautiful post. so true- i’m also guilty of not helping because i get overwhelmed and frustrated that i can’t help with everything. that’s for reminding me that a little can go a long way.
    have a wonderful night!

  9. Amira says

    wow that was such a great post and i am feeling particularly charitable now, what a great Christmas idea!
    P.S i love that Friends episode (lol when she let the bee sting her)

  10. Erin of Care to Eat says

    I am 100% with you. More support for the fact that we are indeed soul sistahs. This was our first year giving donations instead of presents and it was amazing!!
    What a thoughtful and wonderful post. You know we’ll link you. THanks for the reminder that all the good things add up!

  11. *Andrea* says

    1. i love that episode of friends!!! especially when phoebe let a bee sting her on purpose, thinking it was a selfless act, until joey told her that it probably died after 🙁

    2. you should read the book ‘The 7 Faces of Philanthropy’ its really easy read but talks about the different reasons people give to charities help others. very interesting! but i agree with you giving is very rewarding and regardless of the motive is greatly needed in today’s world.

    3. you are amazing! thanks for the great post 🙂

  12. CC says

    great post and so, so true! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the suffering in the world, but each of us have our own purpose and can make a difference! The small things add up.. Same idea as behind vegetarianism, no? happy holidays!

  13. Josiane says

    I started reading your blog a couple of days ago, and I must say you’ve found a wonderful way to make me comment for the first time here!
    Happy holidays!

  14. Brooke says

    katie, you are such a loving and generous girl! thank you for the reminder in this wonderful post. reaching out to others is what the holidays are all about!

    i am volunteering over break and i can’t help but feel great afterwards 🙂 any little bit helps, just remember to pay it forward!

  15. Emma says

    A brilliant and thoughful post. It is easy to forget about those less fortunate at this time of year as we are often not reminded enough of how lucky most of us really are.

    You are so sweet to donate money to such good causes and it must be nice knowing that your money is really going to be spent where it is needed.

  16. CeciLiA says

    Wohooooo … lets make CCV broke!!! 😀

    Nah, kidding!! Just wanted to let you know that you are an AMAZING girl … your heart must indeed be CHOCOLATE covered!!!! Yummmm …. I mean *shakes head* NOTHING!!! HAHAHA!!

    Nehoos, I prob won't be back from my trip till mid Jan … so have A GREAT CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR MY FRIEND <33333333 ya so so so so so much!!!

  17. Aimee says

    You are a great person Katie.

    I really love this time of year, where I can give to others (not only friends and family, but charities that can really use the help).

    Stay wonderful:)

  18. Vegan_Noodle says

    What a great way to celebrate the holiday season! I think you are awesome for remembering others during this time of year… something everyone should do more of.

  19. shellyfish says

    Right on CCV! As Garfield says so well, “It’s not the giving or the getting, it’s the loving.”
    This is the first time I’ve quoted the cat since I was in the 4th grade when I used to say “big, fat, hairy deal” much of the time.
    Happy Holidays Special K!

  20. Paulina says

    I’m the type of person that feels so overwhelmed by all the problems facing our world. It’s nice to know that I can choose one or two things to focus on.

  21. Jen says

    woah, i had some serious catching up to do. what a great idea for the holiday season. if christmas doesn’t fall on shabbat, our congregation helps out at a homeless shelter every year and puts on their annual christmas brunch buffet. all the food looks great. how did you make kale chips? i signed on to foodbuzz-(thanks for the suggestion).

  22. Little Girl's Mom says

    I’ll “de-lurk” to help out. It’s so great of you to do this.

    We’re so tight this year that some of our usual giving has been cut short. This is an easy way that I can still help out. We also served at a church Thanksgiving dinner–a way to help that didn’t cost money.

    Take care.

  23. Halie says

    Good for you, you are very sweet. I hope your efforts are successful!

    (You made me smile when you mentioned Phoebe from Friends! I remember that episode! She let a bee sting her so the bee would look good in front of his bee friends! And she pledged money to PBS even though she hated it!)

  24. Vegetation says

    You are so right, sometimes it can get very overwhelming. Good on you for donating with every comment you get 🙂 And just in case I don’t “see” you again before tomorrow, Happy Christmas 😀

  25. ハリー says

    Lurker delurking, here. I love your blog, and you’ve definitely been an inspiration for me to start inching from vegetarian to vegan. This is such a sweet idea, too.

    Happy holidays, CCV~!

  26. savvy wife says

    Great post! I work in nonprofit and I wish more people were both 1)doing something to get involved with the fantastic nonprofits out there who are using your invenstments effectively and 2)motivating everyone else in a positive way (nothing like a “shame on you” to lose people’s attention!). Atta girl!

  27. Krista says

    Your so thoughtful! I agree, Christmas isn’t all about money and gifts – it’s about family, giving, and the joy of Christ. I always ask for donations for my Christmas list, too, whether it be hunger causes, animal welfare, or environmental, etc. I wish you the best in your charity work and pray you have a great Christmas!

  28. Bethany says

    Awesome and very generous. May there be comments a plenty.

    Once I am no longer snowbound, I will go to the foodbank and donate some canned goods.

  29. Michael says

    I know I haven’t left a comment lately, I’ve been so incredibly busy. Finally have some free time. Nothing has warmed my heart like this post has. I really didn’t know women in Dallas like you existed. It feels like we live in a mini california. I have to cats , both rescued , they’re brothers. I hope this isn’t out of the question but like I said I don’t know all to many vegans in dallas. And lately I just feel so out of place.

    Is there anyway we could keep in touch via email? Or even texting lol, yes I know lame but it’s so awesome.

    [email protected] … I’ll understand if you don’t email me. But I’ll be looking forward to it.

    ~Misha

  30. Kiersten says

    You are such a kind and selfless person Katie. It’s so nice to know that there are people like you out in this world.

    Merry Christmas!

  31. Joanna says

    katie, this is so nice of you!! we raised money for this genocide at my school. it’s really unfortunate and just sickening.

    i hope you raise a lot of money for this!!

  32. Cookiemouse says

    CCV, you are a kind and inspiring spirit. You are also right that small acts of kindness all help. Love on ya! Have a lovely Christmas!

  33. The Veggie Guy says

    Excellent post! Thank you for posting the links.

    Great blog, BTW… I’ve added you to my blogroll.

    Happy holidays!

    Lee, The Veggie Guy

  34. Jemima says

    Aah Katie I thought I had commented on this last night but clearly my Gran’s tempermental internet connection didn’t publish it. I think that’s a fantastic idea and like others have said, you’ve inspired me to think of a similar way I can help out – I think I’ll organise something in the New Year – a bake sale? XD xxxx

  35. herbstsonne says

    Katie that is just too nice of you, you amaze me every day! 😀 Happy happy holidays to you and your family from me and the sis!

  36. Chris says

    Officially de-lurking! I love your blog, and what a great idea to give back like you are!

    Have a very healthy, happy Christmas and New Years!

  37. Janet says

    What a wonderful idea! And you’re almost at your goal of 100 comments. I’m sure you’ll get more than that though.

    I’ve never heard of the ENOUGH project, so thank you for spreading the word about it. There are so many causes and this one is definitely worthy of some attention.

    I’m looking forward to hearing about the AfriCard charity too.

  38. Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) says

    Thanks for doing this. Very giving of you.

    P.S. Where do Grocery Shoppers Anonymous meetings take place? I need to attend 🙂

  39. Erin says

    What a great post! Here’s my comment for ya! Soon as I’m a bit more financially stable I’m definitely going to start donating again myself.

  40. Karla says

    What a great idea! I found you through the eating bender blog and wanted to help out. I visited Tanzania last year and it was quite an enlightening experience. Life in Africa is quite different from America! Thanks for your generous idea and inspiration 🙂

  41. Allison says

    Katie, you are such an inspiration to me…and such a sweetheart. You make me want to reach out to those in need and do anything I can, even if it's just hosting a bakesale!, to help. I have definitely been guilty of not doing anything because there was just SO much that needed to be done to help others. But not anymore…I'm getting my little booty off my chair and taking action 🙂 LOVE you girl. I hope you had a very Merry Christmas<3

  42. ariel says

    I meant to leave a comment here last week, but it looks like I forgot to. What a wonderful idea. Please do write about your AfriCard charity soon– I’m very interested to learn about it!

    I hope that you and your family are having a very happy holiday!

  43. laci says

    Katie-
    This was fabulous! I donated about thirt almost new books to my health food store which had a childrens charity basket for people to leave goods in fresh condition to donate for the less fortunate. I also adopted a chicken from PETA for christmas, but my mum still consumes them =( Thank you for the lovely opportunity! Here’s 20 more cents to donate! =)

  44. Anonymous says

    You have such a kind heart! Thank you for doing this. I hope you can reach your goal of 150 comments by New Years! Good Luck.

  45. Jasmine says

    wow, youve got me thinking about how much I took for granted this past year..makes me think about making another new years resolution! anyhow, kudos to you on such a sweet idea!

  46. Lisa says

    Wow, can’t believe I didn’t post earlier. Thought I did, but not.

    And now you have to shell out 40 cents. Bahaha!

    Nice job, Katie! You rock!

  47. Susan says

    What a fabulous and generous idea. I hope this is in time – it is New Year’s afternoon here in Brisbane, so hopefully it just makes the cut off time.

    What a beautiful thought to give something back!

  48. my5cents says

    This is a wonderful idea…looks like you will be successful. This year we donated to a food pantry and soup kitchen, a pet refuge and another food pantry for the homeless. It felt so good to give to others.

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