Tag Archive for 'Holiday Message'

In defense of scrooges everywhere

Some say I’m a scrooge; they might be right. But here are three exhibits in my defense:

1. The early part of my career was spent in retail, which is tough on the holiday spirit. There’s a syndrome for everything else; why not one for retail survivors? Let’s call it PTHSS: Post-Traumatic Holiday Shock Syndrome.

2. Since I don’t wait until the holidays to give someone a gift, I just don’t get all worked up about holiday giving. Not that the ladies mind getting stuff all year (let’s not lose our heads!) — it’s just that they want me to be giddy about giving at Christmas-time. Giddy? Bah! Humbug!

3. As an avowed contrarian, it would be antithetical for me to feel obligated to do what everyone else is doing. And one thing that is part and parcel of the holiday season is obligation. For example:

a) If someone gives my significant other and me a last-minute gift before Christmas, “Other” feels obligated to reciprocate. I don’t. I’ll do something nice for them in March.

b) After the holiday cards have been sent, if a card comes in from someone not on your list do you rush to reciprocate? Not me – maybe next year. In fact, to a scrooge, not reciprocating is endearing.

It’s not that I don’t like the holidays. As a Christian, this is an important time in my faith life. As a capitalist, the importance of holiday spending to the economy is not lost on me. But I just don’t care for what we self-absorbed humans hath wrought on the holiday season; and if that makes me a scrooge, guilty as charged.

On behalf of my misunderstood brethren and sisteren (I heard of a female scrooge once), let me clear up a few things.

1. Scrooges can be lovable – even cute.

2. Some are actually generous, but without the giddiness.

3. Scrooges can be compassionate without saying, “Bless their hearts,” over and over.

To influence my acquittal, I offer two challenges into evidence; one for me and one for us:

1. I challenge myself to be more receptive to, and tolerant of the silly parts of the holiday season. But please, be patient; the mill of a scrooge grinds slowly.

2. I challenge us to be more generous, loving, thankful and spiritual all year long, not just during the holidays.

Imagine what would happen if we all practiced peace on earth and goodwill toward everyone, every day. It might sound something like this: “Let’s help those people right now, in the middle of July!”

Peace to you and yours. Shalom. Salaam. Que la paz este con ustedes.

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A Holiday Message from Jim

Several years ago, we added up all of the money we paid for fruit, nuts and candy holiday gift packages we sent to our customers - it was a lot. We decided that the world will be better served if, instead of sending holiday gifts, we made donations to those who have less in life and greater needs in honor of our customers.

After a while, we extended this practice to include at least some of the money we spent on adults during the holidays.

Last week, in our poll question, we asked you how you felt about this, with this question: “Would you go along with taking all the money spent on adult Christmas gifts, and some of what’s spent on the children, and donate it to a worthy charity?” It was very interesting that over 70% of our respondents thought this was a “great idea, while the rest disagreed.

With all of this in mind, we’re pleased to tell you that we have chosen these three outstanding organizations to receive our contributions. This is the first year for the third organization, but we’ve contributed to the first two for several years.

Arnold Palmer Medical Center Foundation
www.OrlandoHealth.com
World-class medical care for women and children from all over the globe, including trauma, heart and cancer treatments and, if necessary, without cost. Mr. Palmer has insisted that no one is ever turned away because they can’t afford treatment.

Homes for Our Troops
www.HomesForOurTroops.org
Builds and remodels specially adapted homes for our most severely wounded veterans.

Special Operations Warrior Foundation
www.SpecialOps.org
Provides a full college education to the surviving children of special ops personnel who lost their lives while serving in the U.S. military, and immediate financial assistance and support to ensure severely wounded special ops personnel are able to have their loved ones at their bedside during recovery.

If you’re looking for a worthy organization to contribute to at year-end, consider one or all of these three. You can donate right on their websites with a credit card, or send a check.

Thanks for all you do for so many all year long. From me and my team, we wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season.

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