Clarissa Keil, a freelance writer who “shares her time between Switzerland and Australia”, piously explained it all in the Sydney Morning Herald last week: “The more contemporary practice is a charitable donation on behalf of a family member or friend instead of the purchase of a conventional Christmas gift.”
It works like this. You send your child, say, a note to warn you’ve become so high-minded that they’ll get no present this Christmas. You’ve instead sent the money for their present to one of the many charities now offering “ethical” Christmas gifts.
It’s not the tax deductions you’re after, of course, although you’re careful to keep the receipts. Waste not!
What really stirred you was the thought that your child’s present would do more good if sent to someone who might need it more, such as some herder in Africa or farmer in India.
So World Vision will send, for your children, a goat to Ethiopia or a beehive to the Gaza Strip. Oxfam will send condoms to Zimbabwe and even a $15 bag of manure to a Sri Lankan farmer—which hardly sounds in the Christmas spirit, frankly.
(Andrew Bolt, today)
Of course, knowing mum sent a sack of shit to someone else for Christmas might actually give some comfort to the teary, but such gift-giving strikes me as astonishingly self-centred.
If you really want to donate something to some poor African or manure-deprived Sri Lankan, do it with your own money. Donating my present or your child’s instead of your own cash is stealing, not giving.
Worse, it’s stealing not just my present but the moral credit for giving it away, so please don’t boast.
You think I’m being too tough?
(Andrew Bolt, a little bit later today)
No Andrew, I don’t think you’re being too tough – it’s good to see that underneath the wannabe he-man exterior, you’re just a little boy at heart. A spoiled, self-centred, self-righteous, whiney little sook of a boy.