I’ve been doing some hard thinking about Christmas this year. It’s likely the last that I won’t feel pressured by Grady (who will inevitably be pressured by the media/friends/family/everything) to have a traditional Christmas. It also comes at a time when, unlike last year, I’m feeling pretty secure.
Questions always come about what we want for Christmas – what toys, what books, what clothing. And what Grady and I need, much much more than toys or clothing or books, is a better world to live in.
So seriously, please don’t give us presents. Please, please do not. Instead, take what money (or time) you would spend on our gift, and donate it to a worthy cause – one of your choosing, or one of my most-loved causes:
The Pride Center is “a community-based organization that provides support, education, outreach and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer individuals and their allies, through programs, services and resources.” In working at two local newspapers, I deal with a lot of press releases, and the releases from the Utah Pride Center are the only ones I always look forward to reading. The majority of them make me cry, to be honest. I’ve never been there or attended a single event, but I have so much love for this organization, and would be thrilled if you donated to them. Donate here, or volunteer here.
There is a massive influx of food donations during the holidays, and that is great. But right now there are literally beds in Provo that our homeless community could sleep in during the upcoming cold nights if the Food and Care Coalition had more money. They need to prove to the board that their new building can remain open for a year before they can open the doors. Donate here, or volunteer here.
You don’t have to tell me if you donated, I just hope you will.
And I don’t intend to use this as an excuse to not give gifts this season, but I’m not going to stress out over making and buying gifts for everyone. I’ll work on what I can, and if you don’t get a gift it doesn’t mean that I don’t love you. And if you do get a gift, you are not at all expected to “reciprocate” or whatever. This year I’m freeing myself from the burden of giving and receiving presents.
The unexpected thing is that after writing this, this Christmas is honestly one of the first in years that I’m excited for. I know it sounds cheezy, but I’m thrilled to tears that after this season the Wasatch Front might be a slightly better place.