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Every year my family exchanges gifts Christmas morning, and every year I stress over what to get them within my budget. I'm sure I'm not alone in this yearly tradition. Nobody in my family really needs anything, so it's even harder buying things for spoiled kids with already too many toys, and adults who earn enough to have already bought themselves whatever they need.

This year I proposed we all pick a favorite charity and agree to donate to it instead of each other. All the adults agreed to do this, but those with kids still wanted them to be spoiled rotten, so at least the grownups in our group are now giving to charities instead of to each other. This idea accomplishes several things; it takes the stress off all involved in regard to gift shopping, and it gives to those truly in need. It also makes the givers (those who sacrificed getting a gift) feel good about not only giving, but also sacrificing getting for the truly needy. It emphasizes giving over getting, which is supposed to be the true 'message' of Christmas.

This isn't a new idea by any means, but I'm sharing this because our family finally decided on this option and we all seem happy with our choice. Perhaps it might be something to consider this year for yours?


There is no shortage of charity organizations out there, but sometimes giving hard earned money to a charity can be a highly personal decision. Often people choose a charity that serves to help some issue they themselves experienced suffering with, such as women giving to women's shelters or men with physical abuse backgrounds giving to victims of parental abuse organizations. Some argue that charity begins at home, and so they give to local charities. As the saying goes, "it's all good."

The adults in our family that wanted to participate each gave out the name of a charity we want others to give to instead of to us. When you donate online to a charity, you typically get some kind of acknowledgement you can print out, so some may want to print that out and then hand it out in a card on Christmas day (proof that you gave to their charity of choice). We're not going that far in our family, but the option is out there for those who like the idea of giving to a charity, but don't like not having anything to hand out to the person on Christmas day.

Here is a good link to a list of top rated charities to consider with their ratings provided by Charity Watch:

Quote:
Top Rated Charities

Groups included on the CharityWatch Top-Rated list generally spend 75% or more of their budgets on programs, spend $25 or less to raise $100 in public support, do not hold excessive assets in reserve, have met CharityWatch's governance benchmarks, and receive "open-book" status for disclosure of basic financial information and documents to CharityWatch.


Here is the link:

https://www.charitywatch.org/top-rated-charities
 

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Thanks for the message HOP. Well worth considering.


The true 'message' of Christmas is celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior.


Maybe a better way to celebrate it is to further enrichen our own souls by enrichening those who need it most. I think that can work for every religious perspective. It's never a bad time to do a good thing. What better time?
 

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This is one reason I won't give to The United WAY. Brian Gallagher’s (United Way CEO) total compensation in 2017 was $1,663,398. On top of that YMCA are and I remember when company's would shame and pressure you to give more and more.
 

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This is one reason I won't give to The United WAY. Brian Gallagher’s (United Way CEO) total compensation in 2017 was $1,663,398. On top of that YMCA are and I remember when company's would shame and pressure you to give more and more.

These days being cautious regarding which charity to give to is a warranted concern. This is why I provided the link to Top Rated Charities. Any of the charities listed on the site can be trusted so it takes the risk out of giving and provides a good selection of whatever charity one would feel best about giving too.

People often have this or that charity they give too, but my point in posting is that there are many people spending money at Christmas time on family members that sometimes don't need it at all and maybe wouldn't mind joining in a family agreement for the adults to give to each others chosen charities, in lieu of getting something for themselves. I love not having to stress over what gift to give this or that person when I'm on a tight budget. This takes a lot of pressure off the adults in the families who do this and serves a bigger need than giving Uncle Mo a scarf he doesn't' need.
 

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Very kind of you to mention this again, at this time of year HOP. May good things happen for you this Christmas.
 

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We've never been too wrapped up in Christmas, especially the shop-and-spend spirit of it.It was a time to look forward to spending a family day together and enjoying a peaceful day of thanks and remembrance. When our kids were little, we did buy a few things for them which always made them happy which made it worth it but it was always on a small scale and we never traded gifts with extended family. The Salvation Army is the only big charity that I have ever donated to and I don't know if they are still the same old charity they were 40 years ago, and I've had a particular distaste for the United Way since before the days of Arimony 30+ years ago. There is always some kind of local drive going on that I can donate to if I want and there are plenty of have-nots close.
 

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Salvation Army, Union Rescue Mission, and the local Humane Society are our primary charities.

I totally agree that United Way is basically a high level SCAM. Give directly to the end charity, not to a fund raiser.

Regards,
Joe T.
 
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