wishes grow on trees

My greatest argument in favor of the Christmas wish-list comes from my allegiance to Angel Trees.  Instead of ornaments, Angel Trees are usually decorated with little angels that contain a name of a community member in need, their age, and a short list of what they want for the holidays.  I’d bet $5 that you could find one of these trees at your local church, Salvation Army, or city hall.

I worked for a community action agency that used Angel Trees to collect gifts for families living in homeless shelters, and, let me tell you, the gifts collected from the simple holiday drive truly bring joy to the people who need it the most.

If you’ve never participated in an Angel drive, it can be a little daunting adding another Christmas Wish List to your already packed shopping trips.   The reality, however, is that you probably haven’t seen a holiday list so sweet and humbling in quite some time.

Last year, Jon and I shopped for a single mom with two children, and the mom requested bath products, the son requested socks and art supplies, and the daughter requested warm pajamas.  Simple, right?  We picked up all the items at Target, and felt warm fuzzies knowing that the family would have fun opening the gifts on Christmas morning.

Do you shop for families with Angel Trees? Or do you have a different tradition for giving back during the holidays?

buckets of presents

the best time is always the presents.  if presents come in the afternoon, you get to wait all day for them, and if they come in the morning, well, your day is off to a pretty good start.  jon left at 3am for a work trip, and he placed phantom of the opera tickets on his pillow — as in, we’re going to the broadway show in december.  this event is significant for a couple reasons 1) jon is the sweetest (he was on the advanced ticket waiting-list to get the seats) and 2) seeing phantom has been on my bucket list for a couple of years now.  i made a bucket list for minneapolis when we moved here, and since i had zero plans today, i decided to get started by taking kinzie to the stone arch bridge, a pedestrian and bike trail famous for the panoramic views of st. anthony falls:

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here is the rest of my minneapolis bucket list:

catch a fish at one of the lakes
see northern lights
go whitewater rafting
ride in a hot air balloon
invite neighbors to dinner
visit renaissance fair
go dog sledding
take the polar bear plunge
attend a murder mystery dinner
go to the canterburry camel races
attend artist-inspired mini golf at the walker
ride the minneapolis rail
see a show at the brave new theater comedy club
go on a minnetonka boat cruise
hike copper falls
attend open mic night at acme comedy
rent a paddle boat on lake calhoun
tour the mill museum
spend the day at como zoo
see a show at the guthrie theater

whenever i mention the minneapolis bucket list, someone recommends another 2 or 3 things, and so my list is continually growing.  luckily for me, i love exploring, and so i can only hope that the list grows faster than i can check the items off.