Giving a little less this year

Like many others this time of year, I’ve been struggling with finding the perfect Christmas gift for some of the special people in my life.

I’ve spent hours searching online deals, googling “gifts for…” and asking friends what they are getting for their friends and family.

Gift boxes, TVs, iPads, laptops, movies, music, books…. The suggestions, and the sales, go on seemingly without end.

Many people seem to know exactly what is on their purchase list and others are like me, without a clue.

The more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve decided it is difficult because so many of my friends and family members don’t “need” anything. Some of them would disagree. After all, I just had to have that new pair of shoes a couple weeks ago so they must be yearning for something to appear in their stockings. But, most of them are fortunate to have a roof over their heads, food in their cupboards and clothes in their closets.

Yes, I know, gifts are not necessarily supposed to be about need. They are supposed to be fun, something the receiver would never buy for himself. But how do you shop for the person who seems to have everything.

You write a nice card. You buy a gift card to a frequently-visited coffee shop or restaurant.

Or, you can ask them about their favorite charity.

I’m not sure most people know how to answer that question, but Sheridan is a city full of volunteers and teeming with nonprofits who can always use a little extra help around the holidays.

Maybe, sometimes, the best gift is no gift at all. It is a donation in a loved one’s name. It is honoring their community with a gift.

I know, I know… so many are overwhelmed with requests for charitable contributions this time of year. Every store seems to have a bell ringer out front, a coat or food drive at the cash registers or school-aged children asking for help for the needy.

Yes, it can get annoying.

But, the bottom line is a lot of people need help and while the Christmas season isn’t all about the best new gadget, it is about good deeds. The holiday, in fact, celebrates one of the most famous good deeds, or gifts, in the world.

But maybe this year, for the family and friends who are not in need of anything in particular, I’ll give a little lighter and give more to those who want for life’s most basic necessities.

 

Kristen Czaban is managing editor at The Sheridan Press.


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