Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Next Year's Christmas Presents
I had a delightful lunch today with a member of my congregation, who is also becoming a friend (is that fair to say, N?). I've found it difficult to make friends here in Bozeman, as so much of my time is spent on/in/with activities of the congregation, and the folks who can be friends with a pastor (especially their own pastor) tend to be few and far between, in my experience. That's not all bad, it keeps roles well defined and clear. But as a 30something woman without children, it makes for a lonelier life than I would like. Funny how kids are the "in" for so many. But that's all fodder for a post at a later date. One of the most intriguing parts of our lunchtime conversation centered on Christmas gift giving patterns in our family circles. It's the pretty standard "go and buy stuff" regime in my family. We try to be as thoughtful about it as possible, but gifts are still expected all the way around. There are other ways to do things, of course. Last year we drew names on Grant's side of the family, for the brothers and wives, which was great, but didn't happen this year. And my new friend has another alternative: no gifts exchanged among the adults, and only modest gifts for the kids. Instead of buying another candle or something that no one really needs, they donate money to causes/groups/charities of their choosing, and then exchange cards telling all about the work they've supported. In addition to the congregational giving tree, her family has used an organization called Donors Choose to support educational and classroom projects in schools around the country. Sounds good to me - now I just have to convince my family!