brrrgers make a nice gift!Make your dollars go further with @themotherco @stjude and @cnnliving

The holiday season is upon us and if you’re like me, you still have a few more presents to buy! It’s not that I try to be a last minute shopper, but I find that my list grows each day as I remember one more person / one more gift. This year I got creative in the kitchen by making Brrrr-gers for some friends and business associates. We had so much fun!

Looks cute and tastes great on a cracker.I also made a cute cheese ball penguin for our friends at the National Dairy Association. (The recipe comes from Michelle Buffardi’s “Great Balls of Cheese”)

We also engaged in a really wonderful “Secret Santa” program that gave JRB and I the opportunity to experience the joy of making someone else happy for a change. You can read about it in Kelly Wallace’s article for CNN.

But when it comes to buying stuff, tangible stuff I go to my 2 favorite sources, where I can make my money do double duty! First there is The Mother Company. Their motto is “helping parents raise good people,” and they do so by putting out high quality books and video programs that promote social emotional development.

feelingsI’ve written in the past about my love for  The Safety Show, which teaches kids how to be safe in an effective yet gentle way.  Their Feelings Books and DVD Bundle has also been a big hit in our home as it has been a great springboard for JRB and I to talk about coping with different feelings about divorce, the holidays and not always being with mom. I also highly recommend their “friendship” books as they help kids learn to navigate the world of making (and keeping) friends.

But here’s where things get EVEN better: From now until the end of the year, “The Mother Company” will match whatever you buy with a donation of the same items to Head Start or a preschool of your choice. Simply use the code GIVE1 at checkout. So check out the products here and remember to add the code GIVE1!

Cute tee for your favorite Disney fan.Now the other place I love to shop is the “Thanks and Giving” page for St Jude Children’s Medical Research Hospital. Here, you will see a variety of specialty products that are  earmarked for St Jude with some retailers donating up to 100% of their proceeds to St Jude Children’s Medical Research Hospital.  Simply choose a specialty gift from one of these retailers and sit back while your dollars go to work.

So this season, use your head and heart when buying last minute gifts by supporting retail programs that are earmarked for doing good, it makes “cents” and will save you  dollars  in the long run!


ps: I am working with the Mother Company to spread the word via social media but all opinions are my own!