Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Goodwill etc

I received my first charity Christmas present today. I missed out on the year of the goat, and my patron this year stretched as far as 100 school dinners for some African kids, courtesy of Oxfam. Although my initial reaction was disappointment at missing out on a book token, I was quick to bathe in the clear waters of self-righteousness. Only later did it dawn on me that effectively was has happened is that someone gave some money to charity and then told me about it. Far from the ingenious plan I’d been led to believe, for the recipient a charity gift seems like a bit of a double-loser. Not only do I not get a present, I don’t even get to feel good about giving my present away. Its hard to know exactly how to phrase a thank-you letter. “Dear Aunty, thanks very much for giving ten pounds to the poor.” Although, in fact, it has provided me with that most valuable gift at Christmas – an idea for what to get everyone else.

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