Tall Drink of Nerd: Give It!
A blogumn by Amy Robinson
The consumerist push of BUY! BUY! BUY! at Christmas has always cheesed me a little. Every year, some dufus is interviewed, camping out in front of Best Buy on Thanksgiving night saying he “doesn’t know what he wants, he just wants to SHOP tomorrow morning.” Ah, the true meaning of Christmas “Spend Mindlessly!” That mentality has brought us Wal-Mart stampedes for at least the past 3 years. People are getting KILLED for a $10 DVD player. Ick. I try to avoid that nonsense and aside from a few presents for my husband, I usually donate to charities for my family members.
In years past we’ve donated to Heifer.org, which sends livestock or trees to needy people around the world. Even for a very good cause, the responsibility of sending adorable bunnies or goats to their ultimate doom makes me a little squidgy, so I usually send the bees or the trees. Last year, the Humane Society received a gift in my parents name to help kittens and puppies. Maybe this year we’ll donate to the Clean Water Project, which was posted on FaN over Thanksgiving. These are just a few of the places I know of. There are a TON of charities, most are hurting in our crappy economy. Feel free to add the charity that is closest to your heart in comments! A charity donation may not be the most firework-inducing, breath-stopping, jig-dancing present to open on Christmas Day, but it’s hella better than a stuffed, singing, ninja hamster that was made overseas. (okay, not as funny, but the universe will be happier with you.)
Still, there are times when presents are necessary and I’m not saying that all presents are a hum-bug.
My family does a name draw for the tykes under 12, so every kiddie has a present at Grandma’s on Christmas Day. Since I don’t have my own babies to buy for, I love playing in the toy aisle in December. I am also lucky, in times like these to still have a cubicle to hold me to a paying gig. That means co-worker presents. This year I’ll be buying presents for; the family-in-need that our office adopted, two Yankee Swaps (one will be a cheaper “re-gifting” Yankee Swap) and one Secret Santa. As usual, there is a nerdy way to do up the office holiday fun. We’re using Elfster.com for our Secret Santa exchange and it’s so awesome I want to slap it. Gone is the confusion and ultimately un-used gift carding of Secret Santa. All participants can ask questions, create wish-lists and cause chaos. Elfster also has charities you can choose from for donations in your name, which wraps these holidays up in a nice karma ribbon for me.