Making Donations as Christmas Presents

Santa Laughs When You Don't Get a Present
Santa Laughs At You - LOSER!

So I get an email from a friend that says something like “instead of sending Christmas presents this year I am going to make a donation to a charity in your name”. That really sucks. I want a present.

How about sending the same letter to the charity? Make a donation to ME and send the charity an email: “I sent money to some guy I know in your name.” I’m sure the charity would be happy about it, maybe even print the email and post it up on their bulletin board. That is if they have a bulletin board or ink in their printer – they might not be able to afford those things now that they don’t have the donation.

The reason it bugs me is that I don’t really get the “bonus points” on this – my friend does. I didn’t do anything nice, my friend did. I didn’t inconvenience myself, my friend did. They get the bonus points and all I’m left with is the knowledge that I DEFINETELY WON’T GET A PRESENT THIS YEAR.

And I didn’t EXPECT a present. This was a friend who lives on a different continent from me; not a Mom or a Sister where you might expect a present. And on top of that I now have the guilt because I know I’m such a schlub that doesn’t fully grasp the wonderful Christmas spirit of this donation.

Many moons ago, probably 20 years or so ago, I had a Christmas where I gave presents to everyone. I mean dozens and dozens of gifts with full wrapping. For me at the time it was very expensive and I spent several months paying off credit cards. The next year I stopped giving out Christmas presents, not to anyone. Call me Scrooge, but it was a wonderful feeling. I was now lost in the “spirit of Christmas” and the time of the season, and not feeling all the guilt of who got what.

When you start giving presents outside your immediate family it’s a slippery slope. The list starts expanding exponentially – and then you’re faced with “Oh no, I forgot so-and-so”, and their name is added. It never ends.

And then there’s always the one name you forgot; and again you are left with the empty guilt for snubbing that one person.

But I’ve been denied the ultimate experience with this donation. Christmas presents usually aren’t that good anyway as an adult. But the best part is seeing the package and wondering what it is. I have an overactive imagination so I imagine the wrapped present is some rare archeological find from Egypt or a lost manuscript of music by Mozart. THAT’S the fun part of it. Looking at the presents and knowing someone took the time out to wrap something for you, and wondering with wide eyes “what could this be?”.  There was a point in time where the gift-giver thought “Hey, this person should get a present.” It doesn’t matter what it is, they thought of you. THAT’S so awesome. But not for me this year. Somehow the donation doesn’t make it into the “oh wow, they thought of me” category.

So this year’s Christmas for me will be something like this:

  • Print up all the emails of donations made in my name
  • Run to the store to get more ink because my printer ran out
  • Print up all the emails of donations made in my name
  • Run back to the store because I’ve ran out of paper
  • Print up all the emails of donations made in my name
  • Collate them – should it be alphabetically by sender, name of charity or by date sent? That’s a tough one.
  • Get a little plastic paper holder to hold my donation email treasures.
  • Stare at them.
  • Feel Christmasy.
  • Have a mental breakdown running down the street naked with foamy froth coming out of my mouth like a dog with rabies because I didn’t get any Christmas presents.
  • Meanwhile the people that work for the charity are having a big Christmas honey glazed ham with their families with the perfect Better Home and Gardens Christmas tree glowing in the background. And they are laughing at me, probably even toasting my demise.

How do you fix this situation? You can’t. Here’s fixes I can think of and all the horrible outcomes:

  1. Gift giver sees this blog post and says “I tried to do something nice, you’re a loser”. I lose.
  2. Gift giver says “Fine, I’ll take your name off the donation and not send you anything until you grow up and understand the Spirit of Christmas.” I lose.
  3. Gift giver says “Fine, I’ll take your name off the donation and send you a present.” Now I have the guilt of knowing the charity won’t get the money, and I’m denied any possibility of future maturity in accepting my “bonus points” for the donation. I lose.
  4. Blog readers from all over the world read my blog and feel sorry for me; each sending me ten dollars. I accumulate over 20 million dollars. I give 10 million to charity and keep the rest. Well ok, I guess I DO win in that scenario…

I want my Christmas present. I didn’t say I deserve it. I don’t. Thank you for turning my Christmas into a bottomless chasm of hopeless hell. And it’s not even Thanksgiving yet…..

14 thoughts on “Making Donations as Christmas Presents

  1. I love your post. That’s exactly how I felt last year when my SIL, who we’ve been buying presents for, along w/ her now 5 kids and a husband for over 5 yrs did the same thing to us. What did we get for Xmas last year? The first xmas with our new baby? Just an envelope, written in Norwegian saying that they donated to a charity for us. On top of it I go to and check out the conversion to dollars and it turns out it was for like $10 American. What a joke. It cost us at least $10 per gift just for postage. So this year, instead of not having an Xmas between my husband and I (like we usually do since we can’t afford it), I’m going to let them know what a wonderful idea it was and do the same thing for them this year.. and then we’ll celebrate at home, instead of worrying about little Johnny who we’ve never even met and who’s never even sent a Thank-you card.

    Thanks for posting something I couldn’t lol. Hope you get your 10 mill by Xmas.

  2. Yeah, I’m just gonna say that no matter what happens from here, you’ve already lost. Sorry, it’s cool that you’re sharing your honest feelings and all, but way to crap all over the real Spirit of Christmas.
    Ironically, I actually found this blog post by Googling donation sites. This year, I’m planning on giving two chickens and a goat to a family in a third world country in my sister’s family’s name, as opposed to the stuffed Mickey dolls I’d originally planned on wrapping for my nieces. Instead of sending you ten bucks, I add another duck the overseas gift. 😉

  3. Donate the money to me, and send a card to the family in the third world country. It will make them happy, and it will make me happy. It’s a win-win.

  4. Why don’t you send a dog to each person who “donates” in your name? Go to the local shelter, pick out an ugly mutt, send it to your friend with a card that says “Merry Christmas, and thank you for saving an animal.”

  5. Someone contacted me and asked why I don’t donate to charities. I DO, my blog wasn’t bagging on people who donate to charities, because that’s a great thing. My blog post was bagging on people that donate it to charities and then say to other people “there’s your gift”.

  6. Going to tell you a little secret – I am the person who made the donation in Conrad’s name, and I laughed like a hyena when I read
    his “Christmas Donations” post. Why? Because Conrad loves to
    initiate conversation between people, and he enjoys it even more
    if there’s an opportunity to inject a little humor in the process.

    Conrad will probably send me a crate of mouldy fortune cookies for revealing this, but,(whispering) he out-donates us all.
    Mr. Grinch is a façade!

  7. I’m kind of enjoying having a blog post that people hate me for. I don’t get much hate mail on my blog, it’s kind of exciting. I feel so controversial and timely….

    AND, to boot, I’ve got a big package sitting here that I get to open Christmas Day – from the same person who sent the donation in my name last year. They sent it to me all the way here in China. How cool is that? So for the kids reading who want the morale of the story, here it is: I WIN!

  8. Dear Sir,
    i am member of a Shaloom Church in Pakitan. i am founding a Christmas Tree But i have no meet a Christamas Tree. Sir Plz Send me a Christmas Tree. Before a 25 December . My Pastor is a very upset. For a Christmass Tree. My all Planing is panding. i am waiting your’s to gift.

    My Name is : Shahbaz Tabassum
    Address: Shaloom Church, New Shoukat Town, Ghazi Road, Lahore-Pakistan.
    Pastore Name: *Edited*
    Contact No. *Edited*

    God Bless You and your family and i wish you good luck in his future life.

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