While I was reading this article titled “A curse on these smug types who buy you a goat in Africa for Christmas” by Virginia Ironside, I at first was a bit put off by her apparent ingratitude for the efforts made on her behalf by well meaning friends.
But I have to say that her points are well taken. Like her, I do not *need* a lot. I’m well established, already have a toaster and most everything else I could want for my day to day living. Why shouldn’t the money go to charity? The key here is the desire of the gift “recipient”.
A couple of years ago one of my relatives did the “Charity in lieu of gift” thing and it was, indeed, somewhat disappointing for me. A big part of that was the fact was that it was for a charity to which I would never have contributed myself. My inclinations are to support my local community first and foremost.
In the comments section of Virginia’s article I note folks (some with not a small amount of vitriol) took the position that it was “charity” so how could she poo-poo it? It’s like reading the position of an antagonist in an Ayn Rand novel.
One thing that seems to be lost in the mix is that, once given, the gift is the recipient’s to do with as they see fit. If it is most satisfying for them to give the item to a charity then why is this an issue. In fact, should the recipient return the gift and send the money to the charity of their choice wouldn’t that be OK?
The hypocrisy and selfishness of the commenters quickly becomes apparent as they take umbrage with the choices of the recipient. As if the recipient of a gift should even matter in the whole affair.