Sunday, December 05, 2004

Pros and Cons of Donating versus Buying Presents

I'm toying with the idea of donating to causes in people's names rather than buying them presents. Even in poor years, I've managed to do presents, often by making them. I have less time now and honestly, I think the levels of consumerism has at least tripled in the last 10 years. So here's some thoughts I'm having.

Pros:

1. Good causes get some money.
2. I don't have to go shopping or shop online.
3. I don't have to agonize over "the perfect gift" for everyone.
4. The process would be finished--probably today.

Cons:

1. No one gets presents.
2. Guilt when I do get a present from someone and I've not gotten them anything.
3. No one gets presents.

I'm having trouble thinking of cons from a completely selfish point of view. The worst thing that could happen is that someone gets pissed off at me for not getting them something. It will certainly cause more of that "wacky liberal pinko commie" talk among the relatives. If my relatives need stuff, I'd be more inclined to buy presents for them, but everyone has everything they could possibly want and/or can afford to get things that they want. And I have good ideas for appropriate causes too. Look:

Sil # 1 (optometrist specializing in low vision patients)--donation to Institute for the Blind or some vision impaired organization
Bil (sil #1's hubby who is diabetic)--donation to American Diabetes Association
Sil # 2 (hubby's sister and only other dem in the family)--NOW or some other women's rights organization
FIL & MIL (joint gift; mil was a reading assistant in the classroom for 25 years)--children's literacy program
My dad and stepmom (joint gift; stepmom is breast cancer survivor)--Breast Cancer Research Institute
My Mom (smoker and alcoholic)--I'm tempted to donate to Lung Cancer Research; she might need it
Stepfather--no clue here

While I was making sure I had the names right, I found yet another cool organization that makes giving to charity easy. Just Give. Their site is a bit slow, but seems like a nice idea. You can create gift baskets of charitable giving. So I have to get Mr. GM to agree to this idea and decide for myself. It seems logical and like a nice thing to do. I have another Christmas dilemma which I will blog about later. I'm just feeling so bloggy today. :)