06 January 2013

Today is Epiphany or, for many of us, the last day we can keep up our Christmas decorations without risking ridicule. I hate taking down my Christmas tree. The year my mom died on Christmas Eve,  I kept my tree up until March. I figured I was entitled to anything that gave me pleasure. Christmas tree lights turned on with all the other lights in the room turned off still give me great pleasure. I probably can’t get away with that this year, though I can’t quite bring myself to pack the tree away just yet.

For Christians, it’s the day when the Magi visited the baby Jesus. I’ve been trying to figure out an organization that tied in with all that, but there’s doesn’t seem to be a gold, frankincense and myrrh charity. I guess if you've got all that hardware, you don't need much help from anywhere else.

So instead, I thought about other gifts for babies and little children around Christmas time and came up with Toys for Tots, the Marine-run charity that distributes gifts to kids at Christmas. I figured it’s never too early to start to refill their coffers. When I donated, I could choose if I wanted my gift to go a specific geographic area or where it’s needed most. I picked the latter. Since it's the 12th day of Christmas, I'm wondering if I should have given $12...

I’ve been trying to tie in my daily giving with something topical or something that resonates with me. Sometimes that feels easy. Other times, it takes time and research. I’m not sure it’s a reasonable way to go forward, but I want my choices to have meaning and to give me some sense of connectedness to the rest of the world. That’s not realistic for all 365 days, I’m sure, but it’s part of what goes into the decision-making. Some folks have asked me what the guidelines are for choosing and I’ll get into that more later.

And for any of you who may have noticed the blog's looking a little spiffier: I taught myself how to do a calendar date, a drop letter and added some Facebook/Twitter buttons. Yes, I know this is computer coding that an 8-year old can probably do without thinking twice, but I'd be remiss if I didn't say how much fun I'm having learning a new skill.

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