The benevolence committee was collecting for Christmas and approached the richest man in town. “Can we count on you for a contribution for this year’s Christmas campaign?”
He headed them off, “You probably don’t know my mother is in a nursing home, totally penniless, dependent on handouts for all except necessities, do you? My brother and his wife both have catastrophic illnesses and neither has worked in over a year. That’s not all, my sister’s husband ran off and left her with six kids. Her house burned and she has no where to go. If someone doesn’t do something for them, they will be on the street. Now if I’m not going to help any of them, what makes you think I’m going to help you?”
For our extended family Christmas this year, we have agreed not to buy gifts. We will each bring a handmade gift from materials found at home or pass on an item we love, no white elephant items! When we get together, each item will be numbered. We will pull a number and take the gift bearing that number. No purchases allowed. My husband and I have both spent considerable time making gifts. I am looking forward to the exchange. There will be no wasted money and thought goes into our choices.
We’d put away all the Christmas decorations weeks before. We’d finally gotten our eighteen month old, John, to bed after several unsuccessful attempts and had collapsed, totally whipped. Meanwhile, he’d been entertaining himself rummaging quietly through a dresser drawer we’d thought inaccessible. After a few minutes, he toddled into the living room victorious dragging garland, an ornament in each hand, announcing, “Santa Claus is coming to town. I’ll be damned!”