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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Discover the Art of Giving.

It is that time of year. Time for giving gifts, shelling out some coin to shower loved ones with all the affection afforded by the budget. Exchanging gifts is a timeless tradition, a pact of mutual respect and admiration. It clearly takes two people to make a successful gift transaction. While it does not take any special talent to receive a gift, almost anyone can do it, giving the proper gift can be difficult, laborious and time consuming. Why is it so hard? The answer to that question requires a look into the dark, distant past.

Ancient texts, long forgotten, dusty remnants of humanity’s early years provide evidence of the first true gift giving occasion. While helping a customer shop for raiment (the earliest version of casual clothing) an ingenious shop keeper, in Sumer, with excess inventory, and a flair for marketing said, “hey, you know what would be a good idea? If you showed everyone you know how much you love them by buying them a gift for the coming Solstice.”e

Even in those days it was hard to pass up a good marketing ploy backed by a percentage off sale, and the chance to prove your love monetarily. The gift exchange was born. Of course the first couple of seasons were a little uncomfortable.

“I bought you a present, to prove my deepest, undying love.”

“Wow, thanks. I didn’t get you anything, though.”
Santa takes his image very seriously

“Oh, that’s ok. I guess.”

However, it did not take long for the “love and affection” arms race to heat up. Everybody was ee
rushing around, desperately seeking the perfect show of caring warmth. It was also the birth of revolving credit.

Obviously, in all that time most of the good gifts have been given, making it almost impossible to find the right gift, a gift that hasn’t been “given to death.” Moreover, with today’s technology it is almost dangerous to give the wrong gift.

There is a smart phone app that will scan the bar code of a gift and translate the love and concern of the giver in a sliding scale of dollars and cents, and will chart in a three dimensional hologram, the amount of affection each giver feels toward the recipient. Plus, it has an in app purchase that automatically adjusts your last will and testament based on the love (in quantifiable, concrete numeric values) of each gift.eee

There is solution. Take all of the people on your gift list, and circle the ones that are hard to shop for, it will probably be most of them, people are funny that way. Go ahead, it won’t take long.
Now, pick a reputable charity and donate in that person’s name. 

Everybody has something that brings a tear to their eye, puts a lump in their throat. It might be a loved one lost to disease, perhaps the plight of the homeless, an animal shelter. Something meaningful, something personal. Make a donation in the name of that hard to shop for person. In one act you have done something heroic, profound and wonderful. Moreover you have given a gift that gives to so many, and you can do it in your pajamas, from your easy chair. How is that for the spirit of the season?

Just as an aside, the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless could use a little help. They are dedicated people working hard to fight an enormous problem. You can lighten the burden with a little gift. The contact information is;🎅

Columbus Coalition for the Homeless
1015 East Main Street
Columbus, OH 43125

Or, if you prefer to do it online; Street Speech Go Fund Me!

It is a great way to make a lot of people feel a little better, including you.

eNot really, I just made that up.
ee I made that up, too.
eee I made that up, also, but if I can learn to write in code it will be available before the next holiday season.
🎅 In the interest of full disclosure, "Street Speech is kind enough to let me write for them, It is part of the affirmative action program, 'Diary of the mediocre.'" If you love my writing, vote with a huge donation, if you hate my stuff, tell them so when you send in your money. This is your chance to have a say. How often does that happen?