last night we partook of my favorite christmas tradition. it's something LHJ and i started doing 5 or 6 years ago, and it's become more and more fun to me each year: we pick a night in december, head over to k-mart, fill a cart with toys, and leave 'em there......in the toys for tots bin.
take it from me, this is the most fun you can have with a credit card!!!
the first year we noticed the collection station at k-mart (i believe all their stores have one, but plenty of other places do as well) was while toy shopping for jeff's nephews and niece. "let's get an extra present," we said. then i think the following year we decided we each wanted to pick something out. one year we happened to hit k-mart on their super-pre-xmas toy sale night...and we started setting a dollar limit...which has crept a little higher as we've gone along. some years, depending on what the kids in our lives wanted for christmas, we've wound up at k-mart shopping only for the charity. i can tell ya, you get some funny looks as you leave the store, grinning, with a long receipt and an empty cart...but in a good way!
if you're interested, a complete list of collection sites, by state, can be found here. toys for tots, a non-profit organization run by the u.s. marines and marine corps reserves, accepts new-in-the-package unwrapped toys for children of all ages. you can also donate your time or money, in person or online. for details consult their official website.