We’re doing Christmas a bit differently this year. No, we haven’t gone Aztec, or decided to celebrate the Winter solstice with gory offerings to unusual deities (The Single-Malt God demands we offer a Welsh virgin! Insert your own joke here) – instead we decided to change it up a bit.
We swap Christmas dinner with another couple and a few other folks, taking it in turns to do all the work and of course swap presents. We’re all at that point in our lives where the things we want for Christmas are in the four-figure range, like a new kitchen, or six months in Costa Rica being hand-fed peeled grapes and rum-based drinks with paper umbrellas. The other potential gifts would be under the heading of cute, stuff, tchotchkes or clutter, depending on your point of view.
Instead, we took the money set aside for gifts and repurposed it for others. Plan Canada offers matched giving for charitable gifts for people who actually need our help in less developed areas of our little planet. We’ve bought a couple of goats, some chicks, peanuts, clean water and maternity supplies, which, with funds matching has increased the actual dollar amount a few times over. Gifts under the tree are limited by prior agreement to very few, silly and cheap.
Of course, in less than an hour, CBC will be running Alan Maitland reading The Shepherd. We will stop all our preparations and sit quietly listening, Frederic Forsythe’s words turning from the solid to the gaseous state without passing through the liquid state, becoming magic, as they fly through the air.
No matter how you celebrate your holiday season, please do it with generosity of spirit, kindness and warmth. Our very best wishes and a Merry Christmas to all.