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Pauline Lerner

Alternate Giving

December 31, 2006 at 6:41 AM

I’ve never been happy with gift-giving for Christmas. I don’t like the idea that the only way to show that you care is to spend money, usually on something that the other person doesn’t need. Too many times, the recipient doesn’t even like the gift I’ve given and tells me so. There are so many people who are really in need. Now I give to charity instead. This year I went to an Alternate Giving Fair held in a local church. The event was very well organized. There were tables set up for different charities with signs telling what a certain amount of money would buy and knowledgeable staff to answer questions. The atmosphere was very soft sell. After making my choices, I bought cards with notes about my charitable contributions, and I had them inscribed by calligraphers. I was also the recipient of such a “gift” this year. One of my friends is going with a group from her church to rebuild some areas severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. She sent me a card about the work she will do. She is very excited about it, and I am, too. She has a handicap herself, and she has trouble getting around and doing some things that most of us take for granted. It’s a personal triumph for her find ways to do what she wants to do – in this case, helping others.

Happy holidays, everyone!

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