It’s True!! The Jar Is Empty! Christmas is Canceled.

by Christopher Paul on December 8, 2006

Homer had it right.

This holiday season, as I snuggle up to my wife in our new home which is being cleaned by our maid and furnished by stores like Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel, I can’t help but not be in the holiday spirit.  See, I’ve come to feel guilty about what I’ve accomplished in life knowing that there are so many others who don’t have what I have. My wife will say I’m becoming a Democrat; I say I’m nothing of the sort. But while I won’t vote for robbing/taxing someone to feed someone else, I will look back on myself and wonder if I really need everything that one may normally want or “need” and, instead, do what I can to help out a good few who have less than I.

I’m not talking about giving to charities. I admire charities and believe that, most of the time, they do good deeds but I’m not convinced they always have a great do-good-deeds-to-dollar ratio. Its not for lack of want. Large organizations – even non-profits – have overhead, bureaucracy, and read tape that often waste dollars and time. Yes, people benefit from other people’s generosity on a grand scale but sometimes help is lost on advertising and political maneuvering. If I were to give to charities, it would be with time and a direct contribution to a very local cause where the effect would be greater and immediate. But I’m still not really going to do that either.

What am I going to do?

Well, I’m not going to waste my time and money on gifts that don’t mean anything this year.  I’ll give gifts but not those that are going to be thrown away or unused. I’m not going to give ties, sweaters, or little menageries that sit or hang on things for (what is arguably a tacky) display. I’m not going to give DVDs, music, or toys. And I’m not going to get jewelry or something expensive. What I am going to give is much greater than all that.

I’m going to give small bursts of kindness to people – for free!

Ok, Ok… you can stop laughing now.  Seriously, it’s not that funny.

Now that you’ve wiped the tears of laughter from your face, I’ll explain.

See, if I do little acts of kindness all year, I’ll give more to the world of have-nots than I would if I gave money or time around the holidays. It may include giving money to local organizations and helping out from time to time but it will be more. It will be getting takeout food from a restaurant and giving it all to someone on the street – why give money when you can buy them the food they need? It will also be giving a coat or other clothing to someone who needs it too – right then and there.

Of course, you do have to be at the right place at the right time but I’m sure that in the large metro area of NYC, I won’t have to walk far to find someone in need of a little more. So, look out World! I’m going to give the greatest Christmas gift of all…


Ok… you can stop laughing again.

Wife December 10, 2006 at 9:27 AM

Just a few things from the wife…

Maid makes me think of hired 24/7 help. We really have a “cleaning woman.”

I didn’t say that you were becoming a democrat, I said you were becoming a liberal.

I also like your idea.

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