Confluence Chronicles – Where City & County Meet
Over the holidays many people feel hassled, confused and disgusted. Yes, it’s the season of give, give, give – and much of that giving is ho-hum on the part of the giver and even the receiver. It is the “have-to” part of the season. I’d like to mention ways to make these potentially stressful days turn into blessings.
A really fun thing to do is to give anonymously in places where the gift is honestly appreciated. One time when I was out running errands on a cold day, I saw a man who obviously needed some warm gloves. I bought him a pair and after I left the store, handed them to the man. In return I received a big smile of thanks. We both got something nice out of it.
Today with the season’s first skiff of snow falling along with the temperature, I went into the propane dealer and wrote a small check to the propane company. I asked them to apply it to the bill of someone who really needs the help to keep the heat on. The propane company is to use it as needed at their discretion as to the recipients. It’s up to the company if they split it between two or more accounts or if it will all go to one. We have done this before and had it applied to a specific account. This time I didn’t have anyone particular in mind and asked the company to handle it. Doing something like this in a large town may not be possible, but it’s perfect for here. I like the thought that no one will know who donated and I don’t know who will receive it. The company gets a few such donations every year.
Various churches in our area used to work with the South Dakota Department of Social Services to supply gifts for the less fortunate. DSS would give out information on a descriptive slip with the gender of the intended recipient, the age, clothing size and specific items desired, generally clothing and practical things. Each item was wrapped and the descriptive slip attached, then presents were taken to DSS for distribution. Last year as we prepared for the project, DSS told us that it could no longer participate due to “discrimination.” We don’t know what happened. In our view it was impossible to know to whom the gifts were going so we couldn’t understand how discrimination would have been possible. This year we are trying to figure out how we can come up with recipients.
Practical gifts are most welcome and this is my favorite story concerning such presents. When my aunt and uncle were married, over 50 years ago, my dad and mom had no money for a gift. Dad scrounged up some lumber and built an outhouse for a wedding present. In a house with no running water the gift was more than practical, it was a necessity.
Ponder these ideas and thoughtfully consider making this a special time of gift giving, from the heart, not necessarily the wallet.
Peggy’s internet latchstring is out at Peggy@PeggySanders.com.
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