Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Finding the real meaning of Christmas

This ended up in my email box a day or so ago and I didn't open it until now. As I have no way of knowing how to contact the original author, I can only hope that he does not mind me sharing this with all of you. It touched me today just when I was thinking I was not going to find much 'Spirit' this year. Then an email reminded me what it was about..................


Fellow Simplifiers,I have been struggling with gifts for my grandchildren and came upwith the following. It might come in handy if you are five days awayfrom some final gift. Happy holidays.

A Christmas Gift for Timmy(To, Gulp, Share With Someone Else)

Dear Timothy,

For a long time now, thinking and caring people have believed and felt (two distinctly different ways of dealing with an issue) that we have allowed popular culture and corporatism to define us as human beings. This is particularly the case for gifting. Christmas is one of those times of the year in Christian culture that we have allowed to become more of a Consumer feeding frenzy than a time of reflection and celebration. It's not your fault. But it is partly our fault and I cannot go along with popular culture much further or much longer. (That is part of the reason I set you up last Christmas to gift an operation of a cleft pallet operation for some poor kid somewhere else in the world.

When a grandparent gets older and wiser and less concerned about what people think of him or her as a generous person it can be an understandable disappointment for grandchildren. But you and Annie are old enough and wise enough to understand my motivations and to forgive me for being so crotchety. Your Mom and Dad "raised you right" so you will have a head start in understanding this unusual Christmas gift.

I was pondering how to express my love to you this Christmas season without contributing too much to the destruction and dissolution of our little spaceship Earth. I had an original idea, one of two or three in my lifetime. It goes like this:

Enclosed is $100 in TWO fifty dollar bills, one is for you to spend on something you would like to have, the other fifty dollar bill is to burn a hole in your pocket to beeither given to or spent on someone outside your family and immediate circle of friends who needs (not wants) the money or what it can buy. When you make the decision as to who or what organization is to receive the other $50 you are to write me a letter (not an email) telling me how you made the decision. That will be your gift to me. As in other "Reality Shows" there is always a timeline. You have until June to make the decision and make the gift. You can hand me the letter when I see you in [home location].

You may find it more difficult than you would think to find someonewho really needs that money or what it can buy. That really is the gift I am giving to you -- an exercise along the path to the knowledge of how to sort out what a person wants, and what a person really needs. Perhaps you can share that knowledge someday with your grandchild.

Your Loving Grandfather


Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

WOW... That says it all... what a wise Grand-pa...
Merry Christmas Mich.

Jennifer Cameron said...

I love that letter! I had been thinking of similar ideas for my nephews and nieces that are old enough to "get it". Thanks for sharing the letter so that maybe when I implement something like this I will have a better grasp of how to word it.