October 17, 2007

Merry Christmas

I'm aware we haven't even got trick-or-treating out of the way, but this article in the G&M today slapped me all the way ahead to Christmas. It seems our retailers have no intention of handing over any bargains any time ahead of Christmas - so be prepared to overpay at the checkout, regardless of how strong our dollar is against the rest of the world.

Or, here's an idea. And it can only be floated now, well in advance of the jolly hysteria that will beseige some of you soon enough. Opt out. Before you run around a mall buying something, anything, for a list as long as your arm, quit now. Do something useful with your money. Check out this site. My son has been sponsoring a little guy from Rwanda for nearly three years now. I may not be a huge proponent of the religious angle, but the company has an admirable record of channelling your money to those you intend it for.

World Vision is doing my Xmas shopping for me this year. I would love to be able to afford to dig a well, but I can't. But for 600 bucks, I could buy a cow. I can buy a piglet for $40. I can help kids in Canada too.

I can buy my sons more of the same, and cave into demands for more computer crap that causes more fights than anything. Or, I can make a few selective purchases for Christmas morning, and let them know more kids like Vianney need us, and we can do something that will have an enduring effect.

Start easy: Tell the adults you buy for this is your decision. Show them what you've done, and they are now a part of something pretty decent. If anyone sulks, tell them to call me. They need a shot upside the head for being so selfish. Hand everyone a glass of eggnog and fire up the computer and show them the website.

Sponsor a kid, and your kids can write letters, and receive them, all year. I'll tell you how to sneak more stuff into the envelope you're allowed to send.

Beat the retailers at their own game. Refuse to play, opt out of the overindulgence, and teach your children the power of money and the meaning of generosity. We live in a big world - and it doesn't end at the mall.

Think about it - no more hockey pajama pants for your brother-in-law, no more cheesy soap gift baskets for your aunt, no more teeth-gnashing as your sister opens what you knew all along she'd hate anyway. Your parents have enough crap - they're probably trying to offload stuff on you anyway - and your children want your time, even if they don't know it.

Think about it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd elect you Santa Claus, Lorraine, if that were possible. He's not really real anyway ... is he?

We gave up buying for the adults in my family years ago 'cause everybody got sick of having to run a yard sale the following May long weekend to off load the hockey PJs and cutesy porcelain wabbits. Now we draw ONE name and buy ONE gift. I always buy a book. Then we all sit around and stuff our faces with turkey and share bizarre life stories. Lots of fun and nobody goes broke or has to tote a bunch of junk home.

Christmas is a time to reflect and a time to share. Happy World Vision shopping! Great way to do it.

October 17, 2007 9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Rainey: We also sponsor two boys through World Vision and I would love to know what else you add to the envelopes! I think our boys are getting a little tired of stickers! Love n' stuff - Mel

October 18, 2007 3:46 PM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Mel! You never call, you never write...it's like we're married.

I buy padded envelopes - instead of flat ones - that are the requisite 5x7, then we stuff notepads, crayons (take out of the box), pencil crayons (we even sent a little sharpener once), magic markers, erasers, little calculators, anything that'll fit in the envelope. We're sending some low-profile hot wheels cars this time - the kid loves cars. The padding protects it, we write Vianney's number on the back of the pads etc, but he writes back that he got it all. They probably hate us, but tough. If my kid had his way, he'd stuff in soccer balls and clothing and a bed.

And thank you so much for sponsoring. Every letter we get makes me cry. Kids are kids all over.

October 18, 2007 4:54 PM  

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