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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

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There is no hiding from Christmas.

Since Halloween, every shop I have been in has had Christmas items on display, one shop I went in even had them in September. It is good to know however that in this world of consumerism and capitalising on the religious holidays some companies are at least remembering what Christmas is all about.

Take Clinton Cards for example (a very large chain of card stores in the UK), they sell charity Christmas cards. Not just shabby, poorly made tokens that you find in some stores but actual Christmas cards that you would consider buying. With each sale 25% goes to a range of charities, one of which is GUCH.

I obviously support GUCH and all of the work they do and I would like to spread the word that these cards exist and if you were to buy any charity cards then please buy them from Clinton Cards.

There are many other stores selling Christmas cards to the masses that give something back but another of note is WH Smith who give 20% to various charities one of which is the British Heart Foundation.

The Scrooge of charity cards has to be up-market Harrods which only gives an average of 6.6% of its line of charity cards directly to charity. That to me seems a bit greedy to put a charity label on something and then take the vast majority of the profits.

Boo to Harrods, may their management be visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

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I have a computer!!!

This one is mine to use all day every day. This means the blog is back in action.

I will start on my renewed, rejuvenated blog adventure by picking up on a point I touched on some months ago. I was browsing the BBC archives when I found an article on the effect of 'wrapping children up in cotton wool'.

It is one of the most important messages that I want to get across to parents of children with congenital heart disease. Here is a snippet I have taken from the BBC website, you can see the whole article here.

Teenagers who had congenital heart problems as children feel they are wrapped in cotton wool by well-meaning adults.

Researchers found that they felt excluded from social activities, such as sport, because of adults' fears for their health.

The restrictions placed upon them can lead to them feeling isolated and "different" from their friends, and unable to join in particular school activities.

Most of the teenagers questioned, aged 11 to 18, said exclusion from PE classes affected them.

Others said they resented overprotective parents and teachers.

This has sparked some discussion in the past about just what the balance is between over-fussing and not paying any attention at all to the heart condition.

It is entirely understandable why parents over-fuss; of the above two concerns only one is life-threatening. If a balance can be struck then it may arise from just keeping the message that I'm trying to get across in the back of your mind. Kids need to learn about the big wide world, they need to learn that falling out of trees hurts and that they can take the odd small risk now and then, it teaches them not to take the big risks

I hope this time I have got the message a bit more clear, life is certainly not black and white and others may tell you something different from what I have but the important thing is that you have at least heard me now and can make your own decision on the subject.