09 December 2007

Generous Journal: Seasonal Generosity

Well, Christmas is approaching and there a whole category on the Generous website given over to seasonal actions. I thought I'd go through them here and see which ones I think I should/could do:

  • Make your own greetings cards - now, I would do this, but we still have two bumper bargain boxes of cards to finish (does that make us sound cheap?!) I'm not really a card-giving type, and do think it's a waste of paper, but I know not everyone does so give cards anyway. I think next year I might have a stab at making them though.
  • Give a 'Just' gift at Christmas - I do try to find fairtrade goods for gifts, and have my eye on some Oxfam Unwrapped pressies, so I'll sign up for this one. It does feel cheeky giving money to charity then saying 'here's your present!' but my workmates did a similar thing for my birthday this year and it's the best birthday present I've had, so I'm going to do the same.
  • Christmas boxes for children - aargh, something I always mean to do but am never organised enough and now it's too late, the collection's been done at my church. The idea is to fill a shoebox full of gifts for a child in a Third World country. Really wish I'd got my act together and done it this year, maybe next year.
  • Resist over-consumption this Christmas - most of the suggestions in this action revolve around buying fewer presents, e.g. only buy for kids, Secret Santa and the like. Sorry, but isn't the idea of buying less for loved ones a little ungenerous??
  • Sort your Christmas gifts and see what you can pass on to someone else - again, seems a bit mean. Someone has been kind enough to give me a present and I just get rid? Although have to admit that sometimes, after a few months, I do decide to put unwanted gifts in the charity bag. But doing it in such a calculated way just seems ungrateful!!
  • Have a fair trade, ethical celerbation dinner - well, this one's out because we're having dinner at hubby's parents. But I will look into this in a few years time when we can't get away with scrounging off the folks any more!!
  • Pick n Mix ... Generous Christmas! - this involves doing four seasonal actions. Hmm, doesn't look like I'm going to get close, does it?
  • 'Buy a 'Crisis' Christmas pud and feed the homeless - again, I'm not the one buying the pud, or even cooking it, so this is out.
  • Give up something this Christmas - this involves giving up a treat for a month and giving the money saved to charity. Good idea, but my only real treats are chocolate and biscuits, which we'd buy anyway because of hubby's inordinately sweet tooth, and the thought of Christmas without chocolate or biscuits is rather depressing. So I'm going to have to wimp out on this count.
  • Give a life-changing book this Christmas - this action suggests giving someone the book '100 ways to make poverty history' by John Madeley. Hmm. Not only am I a little uncomfortable with being preachy with my nearest and dearest, I don't feel like I should give this book until I've read it myself, and I've only just heard of it!!
Sigh, I'm such a Scrooge, all those actions and I only sign up for one!! Maybe I'll do more next year.  In my defence, though, I will be saving as much paper as possible for re-use and may also use this year's received cards to make card to give next year.

Any other suggestions for how to make my Christmas more generous are very welcome!

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