Tuesday, November 28, 2006

If We Took A Holiday ...

I'm going to reveal something that most people don't know about me, or at least might not suspect. I am, by nature, a little bit of a Scrooge when it comes to the holidays. But only when it comes to buying gifts and, to a degree, decorating.

Don't get me wrong, I love the festive holiday season and the feelings of peace and goodwill it brings about. And God knows I love a holiday party, and food - Bigfoot love food - but the "Have you started your shopping? Have you put up your tree?" questions make me get a little fetal.

It very much feels like an obligation and more often than not it is very uninspired. I abhor asking family members for "their list" almost as much as I hate being asked for mine. I think that's because I don't have a lot of time to think about Christmas-type gifts that I could use. As a single man living alone, I tend to fulfill those sundry needs as they present themselves.

And I don't feel right going to the next step of need fulfillment and asking for things like "A year of therapy co-pay," or "Liposuction for Permabelly v.2.0."

In truth, I would rather donate money to a charity on behalf of those for whom I buy gifts. I love Heifer Project International for this reason, but there are thousands of other charities that are worthwhile.

This year I am thinking of donating to a Katrina charity as the bulk of my family continues to reside on the Gulf Coast. In the aftermath of the storm, I didn't donate to the charities because the truth was I had two teenaged cousins who canoed out of their New Orleans home with the clothes on their back and they needed my help.

However, there is much to do down there, still, and every little bit helps. So, this year I will fulfill gift obligations at the baseline level but will send the majority of my budget to causes I deem worthwhile.

And I ain't decorating. There is something REALLY liberating about that!

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