My mom wrote to us the other day to say that, instead of buying Christmas gifts this year, she wants to donate to the Red Cross International Relief Fund, specifically for aid to earthquake victims in Pakistan. "I feel that a donation like this might help combat terrorism," she wrote, "as well as provide immediate assistance to people who have lost their homes and are now facing the onset of winter in the Himalayas. . . .It just seems to me that the real spirit of christmas is lost if we spend money on each other when we all have so much compared to these devastated residents of remote mountain villages."
I could write about idealism this, martyrdom that, white liberal guilt the other thing. Whatever; we all know that when you give to charity, you're helping yourself out at least as much as you're helping the other person. Forgiveness, same deal. All the more reason to do it, right?
I'm going to do the same thing Mom's doing, and I think that not giving presents to ourselves is going to be great for our family. I mean, I don't know about you guys, but even after moving, I just have too much stuff. It's taking the edge off my game. I have three boxes worth of stuff that I haven't even unpacked yet.
Maybe, for Christmas this year, I won't unpack them.