So 2012 was a bad year for you -- you lost your job or your home, or maybe you lost both your job and your home.
But here's your chance to end the year on a good note and do something great for everyone, yourself included. You can start by donating some new toys to San Francisco's neediest children. After you drop those gifts off, head over to Macy's and volunteer your time helping cats and dogs find a home for the holidays.
On Sunday, when the 49ers play the Miami Dolphins at Candlestick Park, San Francisco cops and community members will be at the stadium collecting toys for kids who live in the city's public housing complexes. So bring a new, unwrapped gift for these kiddos who might not otherwise have a Christmas (no toy guns or weapons, please).
If you are too lazy to make it to the toy store, there will be buckets at the stadium so you can kick in some cash, which will go toward purchasing new toys (they swear!).
If you're one of those San Franciscans who prefers dogs to kids, then here's your chance to help out the city's neediest animals. The SPCA desperately needs some volunteers to help out at the Macy's Holiday Windows featuring adorable cats and dogs. You will spend two hours collecting donations, introducing cats and dogs to prospective adopters, and generally spreading some holiday cheer.
Shifts are available throughout the holiday season, but the SPCA needs you the most at Christmas through New Year's Day.
Last year, 325 cats and dogs were adopted from the SF SPCA pop-up adoption center in Macy's, but this year's numbers are lagging badly, according to the SPCA. So if you can't donate a few hours of your time, then at least adopt an animal -- they make for outstanding Christmas gifts.