The holidays will be here in no time… I don’t mean the season of the holidays… I mean the holiday party! 
I mean Christmas Eve.  It will be HERE.  At my house.  In no time.   Oh. my word.

For me- this equates to a month of  furious cleaning- and touching up and wishing my kitchen floor would renew itself over night.  (That good old cheap vinyl flooring— so shiny nice until the dirt gets ground in and no manner of cleaning will improve it.  You have no idea how dirty a kitchen floor can get when 3 men in hunting boots repeatedly tromp through it- regardless of a Mother’s tormented screams! ) Is there a limit as to how many throw rugs one can have in any given room????  (Currently the solution to my worn flooring- is to cover spots with throw rugs;)

So- I’m cleaning.  And clearing.  And de-cluttering.  Too much yarn.   It must go.  Baby items?  Ummmm, I’m 39, my oldest is going to college in the fall, and the youngest will be entering first grade.  I don’t exactly have a need for baby items, cute as they may be.   In addition- my tubes are tied (TMI- but true) …I think it’s safe to give away the “baby stuff” ;) There are boxes from when we moved 8 years ago- that haven’t been opened…..I’m sure there are things in there that I no longer need.  (Or, have a clue what they could be;)

To be honest- I’ve also had a bag of clothes in my bedroom ready to be given away for months.  I also have a box of books, ready to go.  In my bedroom.  Now- as I daily focus on an area to clean… I’m finding all kinds of useful (for others- not so much for us) stuff.  Coats out-grown, shoes (who BUYS all these shoes, anyways?) too small, past season, stuff never opened- and no longer needed- or won’t be missed. 

Thus far- I’ve done pretty well at  getting things ready to give away—but actually doing it?  Well- that’s another story.  (See the box of books and the bag of clothes mentioned above. )  Until now. 

I’ve found Free-cycle signed up for a local group, and now, all I have to do is send an e-mail – see who can use what I have- set up a time for pick-up and put it on the porch.**  Voila.  What once was clutter- is now someone’s treasure.

I’ll admit- it’s much easier than loading up the truck- toting stuff all over trying to find a place to donate it, and ending up at an undisclosed shopping location with new stuff in bags to bring home…..(that’s a bit counter productive, wouldn’t you say?)

Free-cycle is a mom’s best friend- eliminates the waste of tossing usable items, meets the needs of those locally, and provides an easy OUT for the stuff that needs to go gracefully from our homes.

I’ll admit- however- that my first pick-up has been a little stressful.  I was flooded with requests for the offer, and hated to have to say it was already spoken for.  There are also some pretty serious needs posted- and I could see one being quickly overwhelmed or feeling like you have to help everyone…..which is just plain not possible.

The key will be remembering the legend of the starfish, and knowing that you make a difference to each one you help.

Are you cleaning like a maniac?  As you get ready for the holiday season- do you recognize how blessed you are- and want an avenue to help others?  Do you have the “mom-rule” of cleaning out – giving away old toys before new ones can come in?  I highly recommend Freecycle as a way to bless others with what you no longer need, or,  with whatever you can cheerfully and generously give
** if preferred- you can arrange other methods of delivery- I just like the ease of porch pick up.
For me- generosity and giving- is all about Jesus and loving His people.  Each one.

Dear Jesus- As we go through our holidays- and everyday- help us to find ways to make a difference one person at a time. I love you Lord- amen-

EDITED- To add- WordPress is being stubborn and weird today-(like not allowing spacing between paragraphs and putting EVEYRYTHING in italics)  I apologize about the formatting issues- Will try to fix later- I have meetings this afternoon;)