Thursday, December 4, 2014

Changing up Christmas

No more slow dancing for a while, right? Now through the end of the year it's fast-dance time. Everyone is madly racing about shopping, writing on Christmas cards or composing their family Christmas letter, preparing menus, attending dinners and parties—and that's on top of regular schedules.

As I did some of my gift shopping yesterday, I wondered whether it might be time to make some changes in how my family does things. Several years ago one of my close friends and I decided to stop giving each other Christmas gifts and instead, give to a charity in honor of each other and our friendship. I liked that idea. I've begun doing that with a few other friends as well.

I am just about to the point of suggesting it to my three sons and their wives. I'll still give to my nine grandchildren, of course. But we adults really don't need much that we can't get for ourselves. It's the time together that's precious and important, not the gifts. And I love the idea of selecting a charity or two—perhaps some organization that feeds the hungry or shelters the homeless. So many people have little to nothing, and our money will be so much more helpful assisting them than buying yet one more item for our homes or closets. I'm so grateful for what we have, but I'd like to share, too. I'd like to focus on giving to people who really do need.

Does that make me a Grinch? I certainly hope not. That isn't my intention. I enjoy selecting gifts for my family. It's just that I'm increasingly aware of people who are sleeping outside while I'm in my house with a furnace that keeps me warm and a refrigerator that's full of food.

Do you have any ideas that have worked for you or your family and friends?

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