Friday, December 17, 2010


My small family and I have decided to forego personal gifts this Christmas. Instead, the 8 of us who will eat Christmas dinner together will each chip in to send a check to a charitable organization. Yes, this decision grows partly out of being too busy or too disaffected to join again in the annual ritual of shopping for and wrapping gifts but also from the sense that our money can be better spent on helping the needy than on our comfortable selves. As we grow older, we need less and less, and luckily our young cousins join us in rejecting the gross materialism of our society. And yes, my wife and I will each exchange a small present on Xmas Eve, but there will be no gift-giving at Xmas dinner. Besides, each of us has a birthday, on which we can receive gifts if we like. Once a year to be gifted seems sufficient.

I write cognizant that some businesses need custom this recession year and, most of all, that Christmas was originally Christ's Mass, a holy celebration of the birth of The Messiah, to whom the Wise Men brought gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrrh. But that was long ago...

I share this message with no intention of sounding holier than thou, but if you like the idea of helping a charity for Christmas, maybe you can adapt/adopt it for your family. If you do exchange gifts on Christmans, may you love the ones you get as much as your gifts are loved by others.


  1. My post on giving of course applies to Hanukah, Kwanzaa, or other gifting Holidays.