Sunday, November 7, 2010

Week Link


As November progresses along at its typical breakneck speed, it’s time to think about the upcoming holidays.

Gifts are not a big deal at Hearth Cricket. K is not big into Christmas, and I’m enough of a contrarian to resist the corporate push to buy, buy, buy. The kids on our list get a lot of books, and over the past year I’ve made or collected other items to give. There will be blue-to-green-to-blue LEDS on the spruce in the front yard, narcissus blooming inside, real eggnog, marzipan cookies, holiday music, and more time with friends. But not a lot of hoopla.

Silly geegaws and The Big, New Thing everyone thinks they have to have aside, it’s the perfect time of year to donate in someone else’s name as their gift. One of my favorite places to do this is Heifer International. This organization adheres to the old adage, “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.” It ain’t original, but it makes sense.

You can buy heifers and goats, rabbits and bees, sheep, pigs and chickens. Or just a share of one of these critters. These animals improve the lives of people, families, and whole communities all over the world by providing milk, wool, honey, eggs, meat and baby animals to increase and perpetuate the cycle. Sometimes businesses grow out of the food – and wool – production.

It costs as little as $10 to buy a share of a trio of rabbits, or $20 for a flock of chicks. Bees are $30, or you can go big and gift a World Holiday Cheese Basket for $990! That would provide a family with a heifer, a goat, a sheep and a water buffalo which would produce enough milk to start a cheese making business.

So consider passing up the sweater for Uncle Thaddeus, and give a truly useful gift to someone who needs it in Thaddeus’ name instead.

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