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Baby It’s Cold Outside

Nederlands: Sinterklaas tijdens het Het Feest ...
Nederlands: Sinterklaas tijdens het Het Feest van Sinterklaas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I live in the Midwest, which means Holiday Time is cold  COLD.  Many places collect “gently used” or new coats for the less fortunate.  This is a great way to help out, and easy too. Just drop the coat in a collection box.

Another way to keep people warm is help with electrical or heating bills.  This year I discovered that I can give utility gift certificates.   I like this idea because it ear-marks the money for a specific purpose.

Years ago, I received an anonymous gift of cash to help me through the holidays.  As welcomed as the help was, it came with its own stressers.  Did the gifter intend that I use it for essentials?  Did they want me to buy gifts for the kids?  Should I use the cash for  something frivolous, like toys, or clothes?  I worried that I might spend the money in a way that made the gifter regret their generosity.

I volunteered to interview needy families for my church’s giving tree.  Invariably, the process embarrasses the gift recipients.  Even the children were reluctant to dream for more than a coloring book and a box of crayons.

Here’s one way I play St. Nicholas to a needy family.  All I need is a telephone number to pay a friend-in-need’s utility bill.  I call the utility pay-by-phone number and pay the bill with my credit card.  I set up a reminder on my calendar, and repeat.

I like being a very Secret Santa.  No one needs to feel beholden or embarrassed or even say thank-you.

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