Half Holiday, FULL JOY

20161207_143509I Love Christmas!

I was never one to give a sweater or a tie as a Christmas Gift.
I never could make much of Black Friday Sales.
Gift-Giving, to me, is a way to reach out to someone,
Take them in,
Touch their Heart,
Express to Friends and Loved ones that they are Known and Loved…
Gift-Giving to me is an Opportunity
To Elate
To Delight
To Bring Joy
To Say Out Loud, “I LOVE YOU!”
To acknowledge that we are all in this Together
To make you feel that you are not Alone!

How to accomplish that in this current climate?
Let’s just start where we are.
This year, my Heart is Heavy.
DONALD tRUMP said what he said and was elected President of the United States of America.
I fear for the sense of Community that is America to me!
I don’t like the swastikas being spraypainted over PlayGrounds and on the walls of college dorms, by the people who voted for him using his election as an excuse to unleash their hatred.
How to rise out of this and make the Christmas I wish to have…

I stumbled upon a Beautiful T-Shirt Design,
Courtesy of the FaceBook marketing algorithm.
“Water is Life,” it said, surrounded by three Colorful Native American Feathers.
It was advertised as a way to stand with the people of Standing Rock.
A bit of internet research revealed that 100% of the purchase price went into the pocket of the T-Shirt’s manufacturer.
A bit more research revealed that SHAILENE WOODLEY’s Organization offered a T-Shirt with an admittedly Less-Exciting Design that was intended to raise money which would somewhat indirectly go to support the people of Standing Rock,
via her organization, UP TO US http://www.uptous.net
But the campaign ended this week, and the T-Shirts would not be shipped until two weeks from now,
So it would be unlikely to have these in time to send out for Christmas, anyway.
And all of the Other Standing Rock T-Shirts seemed to be right off the wagon of BRECHT’s Mother Courage, selling her wares to profit from the war.
It is no longer a time for such things.
It is a time to be Real.
To be Honest.
To put our Dollars where they can do some Good.

The World is in Great Need.
We must rise up and meet the challenge with LOVE!
We Must Give what we can
and Do what we Can
to make a Better World.
To keep our World Safe.
A T-Shirt that only profits the manufacturer is not an OK Christmas Gift for this Year!
Does anyone you know actually Need another T-Shirt?

What to Do!img_2112

I began a bit of internet searching:
“Gifts that give back to Progressive Causes”
“Gifts that give to Charitable Causes.”
“Gifts that support Progressive Causes”
and such.

I found a host of Wonderful Possibilities
(and some very strange ones that didn’t feel a bit Christmassy to me!)
The first criteria is that it have some significance to the Recipient.
It is a Gift, therefore it is more important that you feel Good about it, than I do.
Of course, if it makes us Both feel really Full Of Wonder, that is Best of All!
I kept poking around and then I stumbled upon “Half Holiday”

They describe themselves on their Homepage as follows:
“We are choosing to reduce spending on holiday gifts this season in order to support progressive causes that are threatened by the Trump administration.  If you also want to change fear into action, please join us!
We are NOT soliciting funds here.  Simply donate to a progressive cause and complete the form below to share your action with others.”

This seemed Right!
This Felt Exactly how we Together could make a difference this Christmas!

I strongly recommend that before contributing to any organization, you look them up on a site like Charity Navigator to see how that organization spends their donations.

My Wonderful Partner — Did I mention his striking resemblance to WILL FARRELL’s depiction of Buddy the Elf in ELF? — came up with a Great Idea.
Write out a check for a given amount, and sign it.
Leave the “To” Line Blank.
Provide a List of well-researched Organizations to which you would recommend contributing, in light of pending changes in Government Leadership.
Also, give people the option of writing the check to themselves and using the amount for whatever they’d like, or, of course, supporting some other organization they might prefer.
I added, “We could provide an envelope for mailing, stamped, with their return-address, and Mailing Labels from which they can choose their organization.
In this way, we make it simple and somewhat effortless.
“It will take some time to do that,” he admonished.
“Yes,” I agreed. But “Long Walk, Part of Gift.”


And so, if you know me, and if we exchange gifts, this is likely what you’re getting for Christmas this year!
I am posting it here because I wanted to share the idea, and hopefully create a phenomenon.
(Sorry to spoil the surprise!)

Empowering Others to make a difference!
Doing what we can!
Doing Something!
Taking Action!
Processing the feelings of helplessness and doom…
Turning those into feelings of Hope and Change and Something we can Do…

What an Amazing Gift!img_2534-version-2
I know, for myself, this is the one thing I want Most for Christmas:
To be able to do something
To overcome the Hopelessness I feel about Trump’s Hate-Spewing
and its tacit sanction by the People who voted for him
To feel empowered
To effect Change!
To make a Positive Difference!

Good Stuff is Happening!
Reports are that Planned Parenthood and the ACLU received an increase in donations after tRUMP’s Election.

So lets’ keep that momentum going!
We the People!
We the People!

This Christmas, Let’s Give in the spirit of Empowering one another,
And Reawakening our Call to Action
For a Better America!
For Me, this is the way to a More Meaningful Christmas!

We Celebrate the Birth of Jesus Christ — that FreedomFighter for Social Justice!
So let us give in that Spirit of Change!
Sure, buy some ceramic plates and wine jelly and ornaments and theater tickets and whatever else you might give one another.
Buy Half!
And Give the Other Half toward Progressive Change!
Give the Other Half toward empowering recipients to take action like JESUS.
Well He wouldn’t carry a Gun
and He wouldn’t reject freedom of Religion
and He wouldn’t discriminate against dark-skinned Middle Eastern Folks, as HE WAS ONE!!!
He spent his Life Working Against the Hypocrisy of the Government Establishment.
So maybe there are some Organizations that JESUS might support if he were alive in human form walking the Earth today.
I have only begun my research, and I shall post a more finalized list of the Organizations I ultimately choose to include, but here are just some of the ones I am currently researching…

Stand with Standing Rock — Stories at Standing Rock

Many of these will certainly make my List!

Of course, we must Remember that this is a Gift!
It is intended to help the Soul Expansion of the Recipient, not to hinder or make them feel small in any way.
So if it is their preference to support an organization with which I might disagree, that is their prerogative, and I must be a Gracious Giver, and wish them well with it!
I must inhibit any desire to impose my views on anyone else,
and simply Give out of Love —
Support the Receiver’s Soul Expansion.
Remove Judgement!
Beginner’s Mindset!
Let Go
of any preconceived notions of how that Gift “ought to be” used.
So Much More Important than What we Give is How We Give!
In a Commercially Driven and Desperate Economy, this is all too easy to Forget.
A Gift must be Fully Given with the Whole Heart
At the moment it is Given, it is no Longer Mine — it is Theirs!
They can do whatever they want with it — ReGift it or Return it or Throw it Away or Never Use it or Give it to Good Will or Keep it Forever and Always Wear it or Use it
or Love and Enjoy it, as I, of course, Hope that they will.
But once Given, we relinquish all say in what happens to it.
This is true for any Gift!
Letting Go is an Essential Part of Thoughtful and Meaningful Giving!

Half Holiday!
I like this idea, not because it serves my own Agenda,
But because it is an Opportunity to Empower Others and to save them from some of what I feel in my darkest Moments Lately.

It is a Way to Give Hope and Share Love!
Please feel free to adapt my plan to suit your own Christmas List…
Give out of Love!
Merry Christmas Planning!
# # #

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1 Comment

  1. Can you hear me cheering, Arnold?


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