Charity as a Holiday Present

As eyes turn towards the juggernaut coming at us called the Christmas spending orgy (I am thinking of trademarking that phrase), let me reflect on the idea of using Charity as a present.

Let me first point out that I feel that I do a fair amount of charitable work, and I do give to charities as well, so as a rule and as a concept I completely support charities and feel their good works are a wonderful thing. I strongly suggest to you, good reader, that you give at this time of the year (and all year round). Remember that giving is not just a monetary thing, many charities would love your skills and time as well, so please remember that as part of your charitable works.

What a Crock of Beans!

Now, for those of you who plan on sending me a card that says something like:

“We thought of you this holiday season and have made a donation to the Human Fund in your name”

let me be very succinct: BULLSHIT (note the Seinfeldian reference).

If you wish to give to Charity, wonderful, I applaud your giving, however, do not believe that your “giving” in any way, shape or form makes me feel more festive because of it. You giving to Charity is not a gift to me. If you don’t want to give me anything this year, that is cool, and you don’t even need a card, just drop me an e-mail something like:

“Dear Scrooge, we didn’t feel like sending you jack this year, enjoy the Holidays you unlikeable so and so”

No, I have not completely gone off my nut, but I am really kind of tired of Pious folks showing me how Good they are by “giving for me”, I give as much as I can, and that is as good as it can be.

If you want to give, please do, but don’t masquerade that it has anything to do with me, thanks. Oh and if you send out a card like that and DO NOT give, Karma and or the wrath of whichever God you worship will get you eventually (isn’t that a Happy Holiday thought as well).

Happy Thanksgiving my American Brother and Cousins

Enjoy your deep friend TurDuckEns and gorge yourself on this Happy Festival day.

{ 18 comments }

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Freddie @ Real Estate Investing October 8, 2010, 6:15 PM

    Hahahha, that is classic and perhaps one of the funniest Seinfeld moments ever. Although it is tough to select funniest Seinfeld moments. They are all classic.

    Seriously, donating to charity in one’s name is cool if it really, really means something to that person. Like if they lost someone to cancer recently and you make a donation in their name to the American Cancer Association, I am sure they will appreciate it.

    Reply
  • ThickenMyWallet November 28, 2009, 11:15 AM

    The compromise may be to buy the holiday card or the wrapping paper from UNICEF or some other charity and give you a gift. At least, they have indirectly contributed to a chartiable cause.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman November 28, 2009, 11:42 AM

      Good idea, just don’t tell me you did it :-)

      Reply
  • Jazmin November 26, 2009, 2:30 PM

    I’ve also given gifts of charitable donations in the past.. and received them as well. Not just as a footnote in a card, but done in their name and to a carefully chosen charity, one that I think they’d prefer the money go to rather than a random trinket, cause we all have far too many random trinkets already and don’t need any more crap in our houses. I’d rather that than an ill fitting funny coloured holiday sweater any day. :)

    Reply
    • bigcajunman November 26, 2009, 2:50 PM

      Maybe, but why not give you the money with a note saying, “Couldn’t think of what to give you so please donate this to whatever charity you wish”?

      Reply
  • Hank November 26, 2009, 1:06 PM

    Better yet, give me cash and I’ll decide which charity it goes to.;-)

    My employer matches charitable donations to particular charities and, of course, proclaims the aggregate as the team’s wonderful gift to the community.
    I may not have gotten raises the last few years but I am employed. I can’t bring myself to punish the charities for my lack of raises so I give a bit more and let the company double it and pretend I had a raise :-D

    Reply
  • Michael James November 26, 2009, 10:35 AM

    Excellent rant. The reminded me of a mildly related story. A former employer of mine used to pay for pizza Fridays. After a few years of this, one employee suggested (by email to the whole company) that we give up one pizza Friday per month and send the saved money to a particular charity (of her choice). The email droned on about the importance of doing this and the merits of the particular charity. Only a few people bothered to object publicly, but the best one came from a guy who said “Don’t be too quick to rule out mandatory retroactive payroll deductions.” A perfect response.

    Reply
    • bigcajunman November 26, 2009, 11:00 AM

      … and remember, “Employee beatings will continue until E-SAT improves!”.

      Reply
  • Beth November 26, 2009, 9:50 AM

    I think it’s a great idea to make a donation on someone’s behalf — IF that’s what they requested when you asked and if you feel comfortable with it. (And it’s a charity of their choice, and the donation is made in their name).

    I know a few older people who say don’t need or want anything, but would like to help others. I guess it’s like any other gift in that regard — if it’s wanted and considered thoughtful, why not?

    Reply
    • bigcajunman November 26, 2009, 10:14 AM

      That’s a good point, I’ll agree with that.

      Reply
  • Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog November 26, 2009, 8:50 AM

    You could give bagels to the homeless?
    KRAMER: “Oh, we try to fool them by putting a few fresh ones on top, but they dig… they, they test.”

    Couldn’t resist furthering the Festivus connection!

    Reply
    • bigcajunman November 26, 2009, 9:15 AM

      As long as it is not Muffin Stumps, you don’t want Rebecca Demornay on your case!

      Reply

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