8 Bloggers Tell Us How They Give Back This Holiday Season

With only a few short days left before the holidays, things can get seriously frantic. Squeezing in time for shopping, gift wrapping and holiday parties can be a huge burden on our already hectic lives. Have you caught yourself saying, “I can’t wait for the holidays to be over,” or “Sweetie, why does your mother have to stay the whole week?” Have you dreamed about fast forwarding to summer and skipping the holiday hubbub altogether? It’s only natural to want to avoid stressful situations, but have you turned into the Grinch?

Sometimes we have to stop and smell the poinsettias, hum to the caroler’s tune and remind ourselves that so many people don’t have the luxury of those very things that can sometimes annoy us – like money or family or even a decent winter coat. In order to inspire you with some fun and meaningful ways to give back this holiday season, we asked eight beauty and fashion bloggers to tell us what they do to make  the holidays less of a burden and more of a blessing for those less fortunate. Hopefully their ideas have you saying Hallelujah instead of Bah Humbug this holiday season.

“How are you giving back this holiday season?”

Laura from 24/7 Style says:

This season, I’ve opted to donate to Heifer International and World Vision. Heifer International uses donations to give struggling families obtain a sustainable source of food and income by giving them livestock like cows, goats, chickens, and honeybees. Each recipient family also agrees to pass offspring of gift animals onto other families in need. World Vision is similar in that you can donate animals but also clean water, emergency aid, etc. Currently, a gift of just $25 will deliver $150 worth of basics (clothing, shoes, etc.) to U.S. children thanks to corporate product donations.

Patrice from Afrobella says:

I like to participate in charitable efforts as often as I can in general, but I definitely step it up during the holidays! I use the end of the year change of wardrobe to clean out my closet and my beauty cupboards of slightly used samples, and I donate all of that to a women’s shelter in Chicago. I donate brand new, covetable items to BeautyBloggers.org, which raises money for Doctors Without Borders. And on December 30 in Chicago, I’ll be co-hosting a coat drive cocktail party! It’s called  Cocktails, Convos and Coats and together with The Red Pump ProjectBlogging While Brown Conference, and Swish Dreams, we’re inviting people to come out and donate gently worn sweaters and coats, and to bring a little cash to donate because I’ll be hosting a makeup giveaway table of my 2011 samples I’ve received throughout the year!

Natalia from Fashionably Late says:

I’m very passionate about animal rights and environmental causes, so during this super busy holiday season – when I can’t give any extra time – I try to help by incorporating little ways to give back onto my holiday to-do list. When I go shopping, I buy a gift card and send it to the no-kill animal shelter (where I adopted my two lovely kittens one year ago). This is a quick and easy way to say thank you to the staff. To wrap all of my holiday gifts, I use recyclable paper bags and as an embellishment, I include an ornament that can be reused year after year. On my blog, I put together a Gifts that Give guide because a lot of people don’t realize there are so many great gifts you can buy that donate part (or even all) of the profits to a good cause.

Misha from The Fab Chick says:

This holiday season I’ve been in the spirit of purging my overflowing closet by letting go and giving to those less fortunate than myself. I think having 50 pairs of designer jeans is not necessary when there are people without proper clothing to wear. This year I’ll be giving my old clothes to Vietnam Veterans of America and New York Cares’ Annual Coat Drive. Plus, I give toys for children to The Apostle House in Newark, NJ

Yvonne from Socially Superlative says:

Every year around this time, I go through my closet to find things to donate, and tell my hoarder roommate to do the same.  New York Cares has a big drive for coats, jackets, hats, gloves, and any winter gear with tons of donation stations, including many office buildings that have a box set up in the lobby.  They also have a great volunteering community working on various different types of projects.  For other clothing, my go-to donation spot is Housing Works, a healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.  You can shop in their thrift stores where they sell their quality donated merchandise.  For all else, I donate to the Salvation Army, which accepts clothing as well as furniture and household items.

Channing from Channing in the City says:

For me, charity just doesn’t start during the holidays. I like to donate clothing year-round, I actually like to take one item out of my closet and put it in a box designated for Good Will every time I bring something new home. It makes me feel good to constantly give to those in need. I also have a little bit more of an incentive to donate towards the end of the year, because of the tax write-offs, which doesn’t hurt!

Jena from ChiCityFashion says:

Every year I get a bunch of gift cards to food places like Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, etc. and give them out to the homeless people I encounter on my walks to work and around the city (Chicago). I also like to participate in some kind of toy drive every year because every kid deserves a Christmas present. This year I’m helping out kids from local church, too.

Cherise from Makeup Not Down says:

I’m very passionate about giving back during the holidays, as well as throughout the year.  Instead of getting so caught up in buying presents for family and friends, I keep the spirit of giving alive by donating wrapped gifts to Toys for Tots.  Their goal is to deliver and distribute toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community. I enjoy taking the time to make someone else’s day a bit happier, so this has become part of my holiday tradition.  Most people I know are blessed with all the “things” they need, but gifts of generosity strengthen the spirit.

Linklove: Donut Loving Edition

Did you get your free Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kremes today? We purposely didn’t want to tell you about where to get all the diet-crushing freebies today, National Donut Day, which occurs the first Friday in June each year, succeeding the Donut Day event created by the Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I.

And here, our cream-filled, frosted and rainbow sprinkled link love:

First, get all your donut facts and stats from the Huffington Post.

If you’re preggers, you are excused from all diet rules! Eat all the donuts you can, then save money and have some fun by renting your wardrobe from Mine For Nine, the “Rent the Runway” for maternity wear, featured on Daily Candy.

After you’re finished with your free donuts in celebration of National Donut Day, pick up the slack tomorrow with Truly.Raw.Gourmet. Sorbet featured on Your Daily Thread.

And in case you’re still craving sweetness, The Luxury Spot has a recipe for Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes. Repeat it once more: Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes. Is that ever really necessary?

Or this. If you can stomach it.