Christmas is a complex time of year if you think about it.
In the Christian faith, it is celebrating the birth of Jesus who, by all accounts, was not born in December anyway. For non-Christians, it is a good opportunity to enjoy a holiday, but why are expressions of appreciation of friends and family emphasized so much at Christmas?
I am reminded of a piece I read a very long time ago, that challenged the ritual of flowers at funerals! The argument proposed that buying a bouquet of flowers out of respect for a departed loved one served little purpose other than a show of respect in front of other mourners. This is, of course, based on the premise that the “dearly departed” has no knowledge of what is now taking place. The author proposed that if a “loved one” deserves flowers, then one should buy the bouquets while they are alive and able to appreciate the gesture. Laying a beautiful bouquet across a coffin does little more than support the flower shops.
What do the two paragraphs have in common? A perspective which is debatable.
I see many similarities of debatable habits over the Christmas Holidays. The Salvation Army has their volunteers out on the streets and in the stores with their “buckets” for any loose change that you may have, and many of you will no doubt happily give. This only seems to happen at Christmas. Numerous organizations will be promoting various strategies designed to produce gifts for less fortunate children at Christmas. What happens when those same children have birthdays, or are presented with the idea that the Easter Bunny is imminent?
I am not going to pursue the obvious conclusion as that was already addressed in an earlier post (link below):
I had an interesting conversation recently with our Oakville & Milton Humane Society fund raising lady. Never having been involved in the administration aspects of a charitable organization, I asked a hypothetical question “If I gave you a choice of accepting a $30.00/month donation from me over a year, or one possible donation of $500.00 at some point during the year, which would you choose.” The answer, as many of you will probably know, was the $30.00/month. The rationale was quite simple, they can budget around monthly contributions but can do nothing with a possible lump sum other than really appreciate it, if and when it eventually arrives, and then apply it to the greatest need at that time.
I believe that both methods of helping out a charity are very valid however, where this becomes interesting is with the many people who feel that they cannot afford to give. They do not have $100.00, $200.00, or $500.00 to give and that must be respected. Those same people however, often enjoy a Tim Horton’s or a Starbuck’s coffee when out.
Please give consideration to donating the value of a couple of cups of coffee per month to a charity of your choice. $10.00 a month, multiplied by a few people, becomes a significant factor to include when the budget planning is done. Based on Starbuck’s pricing, that is probably 2 or 3 cups of coffee per month.
If you do not currently feel that you can help out a local charity, ask yourself whether foregoing a couple of cups of coffee a month is feasible for you. Take advantage of the spirit of Christmas, and perhaps you can help to spread good cheer throughout the next 12 months and possibly thereafter. What a gift that would be! Just thinking! 🙂