Even Christmas brings out the debate in some folks (eh hem... Mr. Green ...) but for a great many of us the end of the year holiday break is simply that, a welcome respite from the daily grind to just take a pause ... breathe in, breathe out ... and relax.




To each his or her own this holiday season, whether you give thanks to the god of your beliefs, or the breath that gives you life or the connection to another person. This is one we just don't have to argue about.




Anytime a general attitude of giving and altruism rises up we can be glad for that. Also, as the year ends, charitable giving does as well, so we want to offer a few quick reminders of positive things in the community that could benefit from your support:




A charitable contribution of $150 dollars could protect an acre of land from future development through the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy (info@landconserve.org)




A gift of $100 to the Ashland YMCA could give a scholarship, so an under-privileged child can attend a camp this summer (482-9622).




A gift of $14.51 will bring last-minute gifts for a child whose parents will be in prison this holiday through Angel Tree ().




A pint of blood could help the Red Cross care for one unfortunate person this holiday season (842-4707).




An adoption of a pet, or a gift of a few dollars can help the Friends of the Jackson County Animal Shelter find a cat or a dog a new home for the new year ().




Contact Habitat for Humanity to volunteer for a work day, or perhaps your end-of-the-year contribution will build a wall that will become someone's home next year (roguevalleyhabitat.org).




The Hispanic Outreach Center in Phoenix can put you to work as a tutor, giving the gift of education to the next generation of leaders (535-2460).




For the many things ScienceWorks adds to our community, we can take the time to ensure they continue for years to come. ().




A financial contribution coupled with a letter to each Oregon Senator, and Representative Greg Walden could help Soda Mountain Wilderness Council push through important legislation that would extend the protections of our unique natural environment here in Southern Oregon (482-0526).




Of course, there are any number of organizations that absolutely depend on the charitable kindness of others. If you can, do your part, and a blessed holiday season to you.