I woke up Monday morning and looked at my calendar, doing a double take. Seeing that Christmas was now just days away and not weeks or months away, my initial reaction was fear. I have so much to do! But alas, I don’t. My shopping is finished, I’m not traveling, my apartment is empty with no roommates for the holidays, and it’s my first holiday season I haven’t spent on the east coast with family. I’ve enjoyed taking in the holidays this year without feeling any pressure. That has included getting in on the holiday giving spirit here on my blog, such as participating in Passports with Purpose, which exceeded its goal of $80,000 to build two libraries in Zambia. With my new Twitter partnership with Expedia, I’m excited to continue the holiday spirit tomorrow and I’ll hope you consider joining.

A month ago I partnered with Expedia to start a new Twitter chat called #Expchat. Taking place every Thursday from 1:00 p.m. EST / 10:00 a.m. PST until 3:00 p.m. EST / 12:00 p.m. PST, topics for #Expchat have included technology in travel and travel gift giving, just to name a couple. Each week Expedia has been giving away prizes, such as an iPad 2 and travel vouchers to use on Expedia.com. Expedia continues in the holiday spirit this week by giving away another travel voucher worth $250 to use on Expedia.com. This week’s topic is how to keep the holiday spirit while you’re traveling and we’re even asking everyone to make a commitment for what they’ll do this holiday to make sure that happens. As part of this, I’m thrilled that in the spirit of the holidays, we’ve asked a few charities to get involved.

Join us tomorrow, Thursday December 22 at 10 a.m. PST, when several different charities will be spotlighted and involved in the chat. This includes Doctors without Borders, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Habitat for Humanity of East King County, and Make-A-Wish Foundation®. The winner of the $250 Expedia voucher will also receive a donation of $250 in their name to give to one of the above charities of their choosing. It’s a great opportunity to both give and receive the gift of travel as we head into the home stretch of the holiday season. I’ll be joined by Jeremy Branham of Budget Travel Aventures and Rachelle Lucas of The Travel Bite. I’ve included details about each of the charities below. You can view full sweepstakes rules here. Otherwise, I hope to see you around Twitter tomorrow morning!

Doctors without Borders

  • On any given day, more than 27,000 committed individuals representing dozens of nationalities can be found providing assistance to people caught in crises around the world with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). They are doctors, nurses, logistics experts, administrators, epidemiologists, laboratory technicians, mental health professionals, and others who are committed to bringing quality medical care to people in crisis regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation
  • Follow Doctors without Borders on Twitter at @MSF_USA and on Facebook.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

  • St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other deadly childhood diseases, and no family ever pays for care. St. Jude also covers the cost of travel, lodging and meals for each patient and a family member.
  • Follow St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Twitter at @StJude and on Facebook.

Make-A-Wish Foundation®

  • The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of America grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. A majority of the wishes that the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants involves travelling to exciting destinations, taking wish children and their families on the vacation of their dreams.
  • Follow the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of America on Twitter at @makeawish and on Facebook.

Habitat for Humanity of East King County

  • Habitat for Humanity of East King County builds affordable homes for hard-working, low-income families. Last year Habitat EKC volunteers built 10 houses locally, and 7 houses internationally through their Global Village trips to Puerto Rico, Cambodia, Guatemala, and Haiti.
  • Follow Habitat for Humanity of East King County on Twitter at @habitatekc and on Facebook.

For full disclosure: This post came under the influence of the Remember the Titans soundtrack, but with Christmas with the Kranks playing in the background to help maintain a sense of holiday spirit balance. I was NOT compensated for this post, nor was I asked to write it. My scope of work for Expedia relates only to Twitter. Tomorrow is a unique chat and I’m thrilled to be partnering with the above charities and wanted to give them the spotlight they deserve.