As the kids of a previous century liked to say: You know what time it is. There may only be six shopping days left until X-Mas, but you've got thirteen days left in '08 to give back and get involved in your community. Since 1976, the Los Angeles Fire Department has run a yearly toy drive. It has since grown into Spark of Love, serving all of Southern California and involving fire departments across the region. As their site explains: "Families experiencing a sudden catastrophic loss are also aided by Spark of Love. When possible, the local Fire Station crew (occasionally accompanied by Santa Claus) makes a discreet and dignified special delivery to these deserving children."
Drop a new unwrapped toy or sporting good off at your nearest fire station and make a kid's day. You can find your nearest station here.
If you can't give a gift, give your voice... and burn a few holiday calories. The Eastside Bike Club is having a Christmas Caroling Bike Ride December 20th. "Come decorate your bikes at 3pm. Ride leaves at 5pm from: CHARO BLDG (East Driveway), 4301 Valley Blvd, El Sereno, CA 90032." If you can't make that ride, the Midnight Ridazz site maintains a calendar of local rides.
The Los Angeles Mission needs volunteers for both Saturday gift wrapping and its December 24th Christmas Street Meal. "We need almost 400 volunteers to help make this event happen," says the Mission's site. Click here to be one of that number.
Perhaps all this seasonal commodity fetishism has got you down? The Public School at Telic has a weekly reading/study group on Marx's Capital, which is having its first meeting this week. If reading Marx is against your religion, you can also get your Scrooge on (for 2 acts, at least) ata free screening of the1970 film version of Christmas Carol starring of at the Egyptian Theater.