Unfortuately, the migraine I have is not very warm and fuzzy - it's more stabby and mean - so I'm not feeling up to writing much today.
...Except to note the huge increase in Starving-Children-in-Hellholes charity ads; it's one of the charms of the season. I like to think of them going through whichever picturesquely impoverished bit of town they've staked out, sifting through the available urchins and only picking the prettiest ones: "no... no... did you see the ears on that one?! ...no, cleft palate - save that one for the doctor charities... oh, this one's perfect! She looks like a cross between a furby and Sailor Moon! Quick, muss up her hair, and daub a few artful smudges of indigenous dirt on her!"
(This kind of book always seems to be available on the clearance table at Borders, along with twenty other large expensive looking books for $5.95 each! Glossy, hard-cover values! Perfect for people you're not really sure you want to buy a gift for in the first place!, that no-one ever sees for sale anywhere else in the store, and no-one can tell you where they get them from. I think they spend their entire life on the clearance tables, and winter is their spawning season. )
You will never see a really unattractive child in these ads. Sure, one or two might be a little too dirty, but there aren't any dweebs, feebs, or skeeves in this photogenically poor world that doesn't have people picking through human waste for usable garbage, no-one has open sores or unfixable medical conditions, and you'll never smell the indescribable odour that is comprised of equal parts burning tires, open sewer, rotting vegetable matter, and stagnant water.
(Though if you sniff the paper you "get a letter from your sponsored child" on really hard, you might get a faint echo of it.)
Personally, I like my money to go to people who don't have an overweening religious agenda (everyone has an agenda; it's just a question of deciding which one you can live with). I'm a big fan of Medecins sans Frontieres - they are the doctors that will go into almost any war zone to treat people. They'll go where the Red Cross and the U.N. fear to tread - and they'll only pull out in cases of immediate danger to their life (which happens rarely, though they get beaten up and robbed a lot). I also like the people that go out and fix cleft palates in for kids whose parents cannot afford the (simple and cheap) operation. Yes, cleft palates may not be photogenic, but they are one of the most common birth defects, and fixing them changes a child's life. So, good on them - and they will also travel all over the world, regardless of risk, to help children in need.
And, you know, I'm evil, and enjoy the idea of saying "no, little Billy, you have enough stuff. You don't need any more toys. I'm sending your Christmas money to a child with a mouth they can't close." And I'll steal his Wii while he's distracted with that tantrum.
Aah, Christmas. My head hurts.