With only a few days left until December, I figured it's time for me to mention Operation Santa Claus since, as I said last year, when I write about it later, people always say "Why didn't you tell me about this in advance?!"
I've covered this pretty well in the past so I'll try not to repeat too much here. The short version is: Kids address letters to "Santa Claus" or to the North Pole every year. Those letters are re-directed to post offices participating in Operation Santa Claus, and volunteers answer them and fulfill gift requests.
I'm doing things a little backwards this year. I already have some gifts, so I'll take inventory before I go and try to find letters that fit my current "haul." Probably letters written by moms who say "We can't afford Christmas this year. I would appreciate anything you can send for my child." - There are lots of those. There are also lots of kids asking for Wiis, iphones, and the latest Madden games. Last year there were also several requests for LaLaLoopsies, which I'd never heard of before. (Resulting in my later shrieking "LA LA LOOPSIE!!!" upon seeing one at a local Kmart. - It's a doll? Who knew it was a doll?!)
I tried finding letters to fit gifts I had last year too, and still ended up buying things. This year will probably be the same!
See my previous posts on Operation Santa Claus for more information, and if you'd like to get involved, call your local post offices to see if they participate. Most seem to start Operation Santa Claus (aka Operation Letters to Santa) the day after Thanksgiving or near the first of December.