Honestly, December could have easily been a no brainer. There are lots of choices everywhere you look. And though I know absolutely nothing about charitable giving trends, I would guess that numbers inch up just a bit during the holiday season. If I’m wrong, someone feel free to set me straight and let me know how it works. I may need the information for a game of Trivial Pursuit or just to spout off a random bit of  information that comes seemingly out of nowhere. Not the point.

We toyed with lots of ideas for our December challenge. Lo & behold we were delivered from our quandary by cable television. (this is where I need a good emoticon for eye rolling) We saw a commercial (of all things!) for The Great Sprout Tuck-in. Sprout has formed a partnership with the Pajama Project to provide new books and pajamas for children in need. The Pajama Project operates nationwide and many of their pajamas & goodnight books go to children in foster care. For the first year of The Great Sprout Tuck-in, Sprout will match donations for up to 100,000 children in need. Not a bad deal. Again, since one of our goals of the $30 Challenge is that the donation be something the kids can relate to, this was our December no brainer. My kids are  big fans of the get-into-jammies-and-Mom-read-stories routine. We practically jumped in the car and left for Target immediately.

Now here is the part I have come to love about this little challenge, even in the short time we’ve been doing it. Inevitably, we get to work on other lessons while getting our donation taken care of. This go round: the kids got a big lesson in making your money go farther. Carol Anne first picked out a lovely pair of Nick & Nora jammies for $14.99. She was thrilled with her choice so off we wandered to the boys’ section for Patrick to make his selection. Easy-peasy: a two pack of dinosaur jammies for $14.99.  Instantly, Carol Anne’s brow furrows: Patrick’s getting two pairs. So we had a brief lesson on how we were spending 30 dollars, they each got 15 dollars to spend, Patrick’s pick was the same amount of dollars but more jammies.  I swear a little lightbulb appeared above her head: Can I pick again? So we ended up with 4 brand new pairs of jammies to send to The Great Sprout Tuck-in. The Christmas miracle: neither child asked for a pair of pajamas for themselves.  (This trip. Baby steps…)

All in all, everyone was very pleased with our December choice for the challenge. Now when we see the commercial on Sprout, we have to rewind it and talk about the jammies we sent in and lots of , look, look we did that. And sometimes the jammies conversation leads to a reminisence of the November challenge and then, when are we going to pick for January. This is all quickly followed by an announcement that Carol Anne gets to pick for February since it is her birthday month*.   Maybe not all commercials are evil.

 Jammies for The Great Sprout Tuck-in


*She’s right, one of the rules is that most months we pick the charity together, but in your birthday month, you’re in charge. In charge of picking the charity. Let’s clear that up not,  ‘In Charge’-in charge