Monday, November 28, 2016

Greater Gifts

It’s getting to be that time of the year when the winter holidays begin infesting every corner of your waking thought.  Every store is plastered with trees and twinkle lights, menorahs and mistletoe, snowflakes and Santas ad nausuem.  Every diner and lobby and lounge is cranking out the clich├ęd catalogue of carols.  Every coworker and colleague is yammering on about presents and plans and puddings.  There is no escape.  

And if it all seems like fun and brings heartwarming joy to you, I say “Great! Be of good cheer and share it with the world!”  But if I could give a suggestion for something greater to share...

Now, if there are small, indoctrinated children involved in your immediate world, I don’t necessarily recommend this.  But if your world is centered around adults, or--for the adults centered around your world--I’d say let’s start acting and treating each other like adults. Don’t get all swept up in the manic “must buy” of baubles and tchotchkes that nobody needs; escalating gift exchanges of charming junk that gets sloughed off in a year or so. 
 
Instead, for everyone on your list, give a donation to a charity in their name.  A shelter, a hospice, a cancer center, a refugee camp an animal shelter.  There are so many in need...and shouldn’t our gifts help those in need?  What better way to honor the true spirit of the season than to touch your friends and family with your heart...and bless others with your money where it is truly needed. 
 
I cannot think of a more beautiful, warmer holiday than to know everyone gave where it truly mattered.  Saving lives, filling bellies, giving hope and, in return, filling our hearts with the greatest gift of all:  love shared. 

Let’s make our holidays full of love shared.  

Some places to make your holiday meaningful:

The American Cancer Society, fighting all cancer forms at all stages: http://www.cancer.org/ 

The ALCU, fighting for the civil liberties of all: https://www.aclu.org/ 

The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention hotline and more for bullied, abused and scared LGTB kids: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/ 

The NAACP, fighting for black equality on all fronts:  http://www.naacp.org/ 

Entirely Pets, a site with dozens of charitable organization for dogs and cats: http://www.entirelypets.com/top-pet-charities.html 

And also see my earlier holiday blog comments at: http://gregoryblair.blogspot.com/2015/11/for-holidays.html
 
Finally, if you absolutely have to buy something, buy something that will last.  Something from a local small business.  An artist.  A friend.  Spend your dollars where they will be a gift, not a sales goal.
 
May your holidays be merry and bright.  In your heart.
 
Cheers!