Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thinking about the holidays

I had planned to introduce you to our feral colony this morning, but something happened to change my mind.

Yesterday, I was talking to my Baby Sister. Baby Sister, mind you, is 42 years old. She works for a wonderful organization called Save the Chimps. She works at the Alamogordo, New Mexico branch of this wonderful organization. She is in the process of moving to the Florida sanctuary to live and work. I'm happy for her since this has been her goal for several years now. 

In our conversation, she mentioned how the price of her blood glucose testing strips have jumped and she has trouble affording them. She needs them, but can't always swing the extra cost. I found out what she used and looked on eBay for her. We--I found several auctions that were going at a decent price and bought a box of 100 strips for her. My sister is a proud woman. I started picking up on the fact she was embarrassed by my act, so I told her that it was her holiday gift this year from D and I. 

Well it had me thinking. For the past two years, I've been on a "handmade origin" for gifts. I grew tired of the commercialization traps around holiday gift-giving and have fought back by making our gifts for friends and family. I try to make the gifts fun yet practical. For instance, last year, I crocheted dish towels, dishcloths, and potholder sets for every one. Of course I started in August because I was determined. This year, I had planned to make coaster sets for everyone out of either plastic canvas or crochet.

I hit a snag in the time department. I'm teaching 5 college level classes and that has used up a lot of my so-called free time. It seems like I'm never going to get all these papers graded, and the semester's end is coming up way too quickly for me! So I decided this year, I was going to send baked goodies, because I can whip up a set of baked goods in a night or two that will be enough for several families. 

But after talking to my sister and realizing that the economic crisis has hit every body in some form or fashion, I'm wondering if it would be better to give NEEDS for this holiday season. I think I'll see what our friends and family members need this season and see what I can do to giving them that need. 

Our elderly neighbor has a hard time every winter paying her heating bills. Our town is notorious for charging extremely high prices for gas heat. Our neighbor is on a very fixed income--her retirement pension was enough to let her live and afford a few luxury items 10 years ago, but the increased costs of living are hurting her. She's 80 years old and reasonably healthy. We have been helping her out by running errands for her, taking her shopping, bringing meals for her to eat. May be we can pay a month's heat for her instead of giving her another fru-fru she really doesn't want or need. 

Got any ideas? 

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