Christmas Giving With a Twist

Nov 17th, 2008 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Hurricane Ike victims, the latest “Armageddon” fires in California, rising unemployment rates, lowered expectations for an economic recovery, more foreclosures suggest a new twist on Christmas giving.

Perhaps the most desirable attitude toward giving is to go beyond our own circles of family and close friends. The homeless, those still living in FEMA trailers, through no fault of their own, those who have lost everything to fire and wind and water and storm are those who deserve our consideration this year.

Food banks and thrift stores are hard pressed. The iconic Salvation Army volunteer ringing the bell is a harbinger for us all. Help is a universal cry.

We have started sorting out our Christmas decorations. We don’t really need three trees, sufficient decorative items to festoon them all. For that matter, much of what we still have in the way of clothes and toys and mystery boxes, long ago packed, might well serve someone else.

Now, the task is to decide how to sort through them and to deliver them to persons who may benefit from them. I know its better to go to the store and buy up new items, but that may not be realistic this year. Both giver and receiver are stretched. This is a time for mutual gratitude. Find a conduit by which giving may be possible. Check out local churches, consult with the local Goodwill, and other thrift stores who are famous for identifying and assisting. Don’t be bashful. Ask around. And don’t be ashamed. If someone turns you down, ask them if they know of someone else who might benefit.

Don’t make it a circus or a big show. Pride is an emotion we all have and want to protect. If possible, take a box of food at the same time. And, if affordable, take a frozen turkey. By all means check out the persons whom you choose to help. Don’t descend upon them like the good fairy; have an agreement about the best time to show up.

Or, perhaps they will want to meet you somewhere and participate directly in choosing the items they most need and can best use. If a friendship, based upon your both being a part of the human family comes out of this, all the better. Be sure to have the children, if any, participate. Don’t forget the elderly on fixed incomes and limited mobility. Remember persons alone in nursing homes and other care facilities who may not have family around them this holiday season.

Look forward to something more than stuffing yourself, watching a game, and taking a nap. While these may feel like the best ways to celebrate, only give yourself permission to do so after you have considered others. Give Christmas a new twist this year!



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