By Bernie Bell
At the moment, we’re bombarded with adverts for…STUFF. On the telly, it’s mostly perfume, toys and gadgets – some of which, I don’t even know what they’re for! In the papers, and magazines, too. And…through the post, we get more and more of those catalogues which are, just …gifts. The kind of thing which no–one buys for themself, that most people don’t really want, and don’t know what to do with, when they get them. These ‘gifts’ go into a cupboard, or, better than that, to a charity shop – which, at least, means that they do serve a purpose. These catalogues feed on folks desperation about what get their “loved ones” for Christmas, so they present them with …hats with pretend antlers that you throw hoops at, an ‘upside down’ wine glass, a ‘COME IN IF YOU HAVE PROSECCO’ doormat ( what happens when Prosecco is no longer the flavour of the month?), an endless succession of mugs with jaunty messages on them, and…..more gadgets. I could list more, but I’m even getting bored just listing them!
I’m not agin’ giving presents – if we see something we think someone might like, we get it, and give it to them, not necessarily at birthday/Christmas time, otherwise, we go for practical presents. Here’s the idea, some charities, provide a method whereby you can ‘buy’ something for someone, but, instead of buying something for someone who probably has all they need, and would buy what they want, when they see it, you get them something, which is for someone who has nothing. A toilet for a village, a goat for a village, or an individual, a fish cage, some seeds, some bales of hay for livestock. The list goes on and on. The people who need things are helped in their lives, you still give folk presents, and they receive presents for Christmas/birthdays, but….no silly gadgets, no plastic crap, no non-sense.
It’s all very easy, too – you look at the catalogue, or go on-line, and either post your order, or place it there and then, on-line. You then get sent a card, showing and telling of what you have ‘bought’, which you can then give to the recipient, as their ‘present’.
Some might huff about this, but, if they do, well – if they have what they need, and the people getting the toilet/chickens/seeds etc., doesn’t, and the comfortably-off ones complain that they haven’t been given yet more STUFF ……where has the true Christmas spirit gone?
My favourite Practical Presents charity, is Practical Action https://practicalaction.org/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIz-Gu4Jvq3gIV0-R3Ch0KPwu9EAAYASAAEgI6UPD_BwE
And there’s Hillside Animal Sanctuary, who are very short of hay after the drought this summer http://www.hillside.org.uk/
In fact if you like the idea, here’s a whole list of places, to get practical presents.
Just an idea – solves a dilemma for some, about what to get folk, and solves a problem for others, about how to make a living. Everyone’s a winner.