Christmas Isn't Just For Kids

Calgary's Secret Santa Service

Christmas Isn't Just For Kids

You will be inundated with toy request from charities the next few weeks. There will be Toy Mountains to build, Toy Trains to fill and Toys for Tots to be wrapped. But Christmas isn't just for kids, it's for all of us to remember what it's like to be kids.

Santa's Secret Service is a fabulous Calgary charity that tries to bring the magic of childhood to seniors living in care facilities. Those who have managed to outlive their family, or don't have any nearby to celebrate the season.

Simply register at the site and you will be given the description of a senior and what they'd like for Christmas.

Donna Jones founded Santa's Secret Service after spending some time in a care facility visiting with the residents.

"I learned that many seniors living in care facilities have no family and few friends to provide them with much needed support. I also discovered that many of these isolated seniors do not receive gifts at Christmas time, other than the token gifts given to every resident in the facility."

Christmas isn't just for kids.

My grandmother died last year and I can't think of a better way to take the money I would have spent on a gift for her and pass it around to these seniors.

I've "adopted" a 62-year-old man and 85-year-old woman this year. He is just like a teenage boy. He loves watching hockey and playing cards and would like some T-shirts, gloves and a hockey magazine.

She is just like my grandmother wishing for body lotion, mixed nuts and an electric blanket.

I can't wait to go out this week and get their gifts. Christmas isn't just for kids, it's for the kid in all of us.

If you have yet to find a way for you to give back this holiday season, join me and my family by becoming a member of Santa's Secret Service.


Breastfeeding is Slavery

In Defense of Nicolas Sarkozy

Breastfeeding is Slavery

Before we dive into the deep end on this latest breastfeeding bombshell, you need to know my bias:

I'm pro-breastfeeding, but I can't stand the lactivists. My wife tried with both of our sons, but couldn't last longer than a few months. So, I agree that breastfeeding should be the first choice, but I will hardly parade, boycott, and hate on those who need to make another choice to suit their family's needs.

Here's the quote from Nicolas Sarkozy that has some nipples in a knot:

Mr. Sarkozy aired his views on breastfeeding while chatting to young mothers at a family benefits agency in south west France yesterday.
He said: 'Carla is feeding the baby. I think it's much better for protecting against allergies and illnesses. 'But the woman, it's both a joy and a kind of slavery.
'However it does free men of blame because we don't have the problem of bottle-feeding. You don't have to get up at night, although out of solidarity, I do open one eye.'  The president added: 'But you know, she is worried about not having enough milk.'

Read more

Sarkozy has spoken the truth. While some may call breastfeeding a labour of love, for others it is a labour. It's obvious Mme Bruni is not having the easiest go of it, so it feels like a chore. I'll also join him in the admission of pretending to be sound asleep when the kids are crying in the middle of the night.

Want one more lie dads tell? "I can't smell anything."

Listen, we all love our kids. We all want them to grow up and be healthy and happy, but it's not always easy. My wife, in her struggles, would spend the time feeding and then double the time pumping trying to get enough milk for our sons. She said she felt like a dairy cow (her words, not mine).

Sarkozy has called a spade, a spade. He's gone Simon Cowell on the notion of breastfeeding and said what we're all thinking.

Sure, slavery is a little bit of a strong image to link to this topic, but I can tell you my wife felt chained to that Medela pump for nearly a year. It is what it is.

Do you have a problem with what he said? dadcamp


Today Is World Diabetes Day

Join Me And Become A Diabetes Champion

Today Is World Diabetes Day


Last week, Erica posted about charities that she supports and asked the readers to share their charities of choice. It’s an inspiring list of places you can go to pay it forward, give it back and help out a neighbour.

I run marathons for Team Diabetes.

I’m not a diabetic. I don’t have a direct connection to anyone with diabetes in my immediate life, but this is the cause I have chosen to support for selfish reasons - it makes me healthy.

Type 2 Diabetes is reaching epidemic proportions in our country. More than 9 million people are living with an illness that is mostly preventable. 

Recent estimates show 90-95% of those with diabetes in Canada have Type 2. That’s 8 million people, almost a quarter of our population that are drawing on our health care system’s resources unnecessarily.

1 million Canadians don't even know they have diabetes, the 7th leading cause of death in Canada. 

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes is easy. Eat right. Get active. Care about your body.

That’s it. It’s that simple. So, by being a part of Team Diabetes, and setting annual goals of marathons, 10k races and half marathons around the world, I’m putting a finish line ahead of me and dangling a carrot to watch what I eat and keep active.

It’s that simple.

While doing that, I’m creating awareness about diabetes. I’m educating friends, colleagues, listeners and readers about how nasty this disease can be and how easy it is to prevent. Hopefully I inspire other people to get on board and join Team Diabetes to get their own health on track and keep themselves out of the system.

I’m also raising money as I train and prepare for Team Diabetes (more than $20 000 has been raised so far) to help researchers find an end to this illness. While Type 2 Diabetes is largely preventable, there are still those who are Type 1 Diabetics, those who were “born with it” and didn’t have a choice in how their pancreas controls their blood sugars. Pregnant women are also susceptible to gestational diabetes and the money I raise helps fight that side effect some face while going through the miracle of life.

It’s important we all give back in some way in our lives. Scan the comments on Erica’s post and see if there’s something that inspires you.

I’d love it if you joined me on Team Diabetes.

I’m currently recruiting people to come on board for a 10k, half marathon or marathon in Reykjavik, Iceland in August 2012. You have more than 9-months to do the training and get the fundraising done. As you get on board, you’ll be putting you and your family on a healthier path, you’ll be raising money to help others living with diabetes and the carrot at the end of it all is a trip to the land of fire and ice (flights, accommodations, transfers, training are all covered by your fundraising with Team Diabetes).

I can’t think of a better day to join - today is World Diabetes Day, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, the Canadian who discovered insulin 90 years ago.

Join me and become a Diabetes Champion.