My Giving Addiction.

I can hardly believe it’s almost June which means the year is half over and I have hardly started Christmas shopping. According to my calculations (which I just did) I need to buy 4 gifts each month to keep up with my list. Even on disability, this should not be to hard as I don’t pick the most expensive of gifts. So, yesterday, I had fun going through one of my many gift catalogs and finding things for my husbands’ and my family. I actually enjoy picking things that I think they might like.

My gift-giving list has gone down from the past because people pass away, friendships are lost and some relatives tell me not to give to them.

Here’s the thing. If you know someone like me who Loves to give where giving means the world to them,(for whatever reason) it is really an insult for you to tell them not to give to you anymore. Honestly, it feels like a slap in the face; almost as if you don’t want me to care.
It does not matter if you like the gifts received, I do not go to your house and ask what you have done with them or where you have put them or why you aren’t using them, or whatever.

It is simply that you are taking my joy of caring away from me toward one more person; thereby diminishing the joy I get in choosing and giving a gift.

Unlike most, I love giving…especially at holidays. I think it my obsession, compulsion, addiction. It does not cause problems for me financially and I don’t see why it causes problems for the receiver. You are welcome to donate the gift, sell it, give it away, whatever, if it is not something you desire. However, don’t tell me.

I have one friend that gives things that are used. The thing with that is, she will announce before-hand that they were used and she either didn’t want it or didn’t like it, etc. so she gives it to me. I do find that a bit tacky because when it comes to re-gifting; I do not believe you shod announce the fact a head of time. She will also ask later on, what I did with the gift received. This puts me in a tough position because I don’t keep a lot of what she gives me. I do not lie to her, however, I do feel a bit bad when I tell her I donated something she gave me.

I do believe before you give something; you should know something about the persons interests (unless it is a neighbor..in which case, that can be tough) and go on that. You usually cannot go wrong with a favorite animal, favorite color or gift card. Of course, gift cards are iffy because it’s good to know where they shop.

Anyway, this blog post started with Christmas Shopping and somehow diverted. I get hurt sometimes when a homeless person turns me down after I offer a bag filled with clothing, soap, food, etc. If you are really homeless; why wouldn’t you accept that?

I think I’ve concluded I definitely have a Giving Addiction which is not a bad addiction to have.

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To Regift or Not To Regift=The Question

I read an article not to long ago (not sure if it was true) where someone gave a gift to someone else and said, “I hope you like it.” and the recipient said, “Oh, I do, I gave it to you two years ago.”  Oops.

Which brings me to today’s topic of Re-gifting:  What do you think about it?  Have you got it mastered or do you think it tacky?

My mother taught me the art of re-gifting.  Actually, she had a closet of extra gifts that she had received and if I ever needed an emergency gift for a work gift exchange or whatever, I would go to her house and find something from that closet.  Now, I keep  a list of everything I give and get for/from everybody throughout the year.  I do this so I don’t get them the same thing the next year for their B-Day and Christmas and I also have the list for Thank-You notes.

As for re-gifting, I keep a post-it or sticky note with the name of who gave the  item attached, until I decide who it is going to next, and I make sure whoever it goes to is not in the same circle as the one it was received from.  Last year my neighbor gave me a candle in the shape of a Christmas present.  While nice, it just isn’t me, but my husbands’ Aunt loves candles, so I re-gifted it and gave it to her this year for Christmas.  Should my husbands’ Aunt ever visit, it is not like she is going to bring the candle here or mention it loudly in front of my neighbor, so I am safe.  Most other re-gifting usually goes to strangers in need; but some can work between friends and family or even friends and friends as long as they don’t come in contact with each other..

Resolutions, Giving & Faithful Followers

Happy New Year!  My Resolution is:  Not To Make One.  I gave up on that years ago.  I have ADD.  I can barely concentrate enough to keep up with housework.  I shocked myself by completing a novel in Nanowrimo, but I still haven’t finished editing it or done anything more.  Anyway, if you resolve something, I wish you luck.

I want to talk about giving for a minute and obligations or feeling obligated.  When it comes to the holidays do you really feel obligated to give when you have received something or how about obligated to give..peried?  I believe that is so wrong and takes out the entire meaning of the Holiday.  Shouldn’t the spirit of giving come from your heart and shouldn’t the reception just be thank-you?  Here’s an example:  I gave my neighbor a small Christmas gift.  I know she likes Nativities and I found a small Nativity statue thing.  I snuck it over there on the 23rd so she would not have time to run to the store and buy me something, because I know they are having financial issues.  She called me up after Christmas and left me a msg thanking me and saying she would bring something over later.  I called her in the morning and we had a long talk.  She told me she didn’t like receiving presents and not giving back so she was making cookies for people and would bring over fresh cookies.  Okay, that’s cool.  My husband loves fresh, baked, cookies.  My neighbor said someone from her church did the same thing.

But it really makes me think about people and giving and receiving.  I think this is one reason a few of my relatives cut me  off a while ago from giving them presents at Christmas.  They did not want to have to buy for me.  But you know what?  They don’t.  I don’t do this for a gift back.  I guess I don’t think about giving and receiving the same as other people do.

Before I end this one, I want to thank my Faithful Blog Followers!  What fun stats from the last entry!  I do hope I keep you interested.  I know my topics have gotten a bit more serious lately, but it’s my real life.  As things quiet down, perhaps more humor and memories will evolve again.

Change For Bus…Or Not

I had a Christmas post I’d written but it was in draft form and somehow had not been published so I just posted it.  Hopefully, you will not consider it to late as it  is still relevant.

Now onto today’s topic:

I do not like being lied to or taken advantage of, and I really do not like them both happening at the same time.  I consider myself to be a giving person and have been told I have a bit heart but I give too much or am to trusting and can get hurt someday.  True, one can also get hurt swimming, sky diving, driving your car, riding your bicycle or even crossing the street..but I digress.  If I should get hurt while giving to someone; it will be at least have been a blessing to have been partaking in what I believe God has called me to do.

Usually, I say a prayer over who God wants me to help before I help them although, sometimes there is not time.  Take today for instance:

As I exited the local store, a boy on a skateboard (maybe around age 16-18) approached me on a skateboard and asked if I could spare any change for the bus.  The bus stop is right across the street from the store and the bus was out at the stop.  I looked at him and said, “hmm, change for the bus?”  It seemed legit.  I dug out what I had coin-wise and gave him the change.  He skatebaorded to the bus and went behind it.  As I got in my car, he skateboarded back to the store parking lot, laughed with his friend and high-tailed it out of there..gast.  He NEVER took the bus.

Okay, it could have been the wrong bus, the bus may not have been running anymore.  Something may have happened but.. if so, why would you be laughing?.  I said a prayer of forgiveness for the boy but it is reaffirming my idea of not giving money away, and continuing on with my bags only.

 

Sharing The Giving Experience

Last night after watching half of the series of Roots which was on t.v. or my husband had taped it previously.. we went for a drive and looked at Christmas lights which we do every year.  This time we had our 13 year-old dog with us and I had also brought my  bag with me that was filled and ready to give to a Homeless Person.

It had been a long drive this time and my poor dog was tired and he kept laying on my arm and he would lay his nose and head in my shoulder instead of on the window ledge in the cold night air periodically.  Plus, I also, was starting to get tired but I would have been willing to check out one more area for lights.  Plus, with the cold. I didn’t have much hope of seeing a homeless person, which was actually a good thing because I really wanted to believe no one would be out on Christmas Eve and they would have shelter somewhere.  But alas, my husband and I saw someone at the same time.

8 p.m. may not seem late to most but when it is cold and you are sitting alone on a step next to a Liquor Store looking as  if you are asleep with your head on your hands and your hands on your legs, 8 p.m. is probably really late to you.  Although, we did not see the person as having a bag or a cart, they seemed to be homeless and did not look as  if they were waiting for a ride.  At first, my husband looked at me.  I know he wanted me to be the one  to take the bag to this person, but I had the dog, and I could not toss him aside this time.  My poor, tired, 13-year old dog.  So, my husband volunteered to take the bag to the person in question.  We were both surprised to discover said person is a Girl! I yelled Merry Christmas to her before we drove away and my husband was telling me how happy she seemed and that she was already starting to look through the bag.

It reminded me about God saying whenever you give to others, it is the same as giving to him.  I am so happy to have been able to make that Christmas Eve miracle plus, I think it was good for my husband to have had that experience.

I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas (or whatever Holiday you celebrate) so far.

 

 

Shrooms, Hair & Helping

I am winning!  I am conquering the Mushrooms!  The Baking Soda/Water mix is a miracle although I am using way more Baking Soda than called for and pouring it directly on the Mushrooms.  Even after the rain, they are not popping their heads back up as quickly.  Most are laying dead.  When I told my husband I killed them, he asked me if I “nagged them to death?”  Yeah, I guess maybe that was part of it too.

I also had my hair done today and I finally like it.  It is back to or a bit darker than the natural color.  It is really close to the root color which is a dark brown.  I have been trying different places and the stylists kept saying, “You dont want that, it to dark.  You want this color.”  Than, I would come home and not like it.  This happened over and over again.  I believe I finally found the place I like.  Plus the price is good and it’s close to home.

Okay, now get this:  So, I mentioned I helped a few people on Aidpage.com to have Christmas and I believed they were legit.  One lady thanked me and said she filled the stockings with everything I sent plus said the shirts could be worn for school; but then she had the nerve to ask if I thought it would be wrong of her to post on Aidpage again for a few more presents for under the tree.  My mind immediately flipped and I thought, this Witch isn’t in need.  How ungrateful is this woman!  I wrote her back and politely apologised that her gifts were small but said that was all I could afford. (she has 6 children!)  I also mentioned that people are saying that Aidpage is actually supposed to be a site for advice and not necessarily to ask for gifts and a lot of people who are asking for gifts have absolutely nothing and would be thankful for a card for their child for Christmas.  Anything, to call it a Christmas and now she has something.  At least she asked my opinion, but that took a lot of nerve.

Complaints on Free Help

So, yesterday I mentioned Aidpage.com which is a free way to help and get help from others.  I sent a box of things from Walmart directly to a family for Christmas and I feel good.  I don’t remember if the father lost his job or was on disability; but they have a 2 1/2-year-old daughter and the mother is working, yet, they are having trouble making ends meet this year and the bills are hard, so they may not be able to have Christmas for their daughter.  It feels good knowing it is going directly in the hands (or at least believing it is) of someone who really needs it.

Here’s the thing though:

So many people are down on their luck and there are so many stories and families to choose from to help.  Some want money for food or medicine, some want money for trips or just whatever.  Some want specific items and have linked a Walmart Wish List and some, like the family I chose to help, want just “Anything” to put under the tree for the child to make Christmas brighter!  The stories may or may not be true.  You have to believe, trust and have faith that they are.  The people who choose to help do so out of the kindness of their hearts.  Most of us are not rich (far from it) and begging does not necessarily mean your want/need will make it to the top of everyone’s or someone’s delivery.

I read a complaint from someone who has been posting on Aidpage complaining because their need/want has not been met and others have.  What?  I’m so sorry but aren’t we all adults here?  The site is for aged over 18 and it is free.  Is this not like a street person complaining because you gave to the guy at the corner and not to him?  Perhaps, you may want to re-think what you are asking for or the way you are asking for it.  Or perhaps, you are giving the wrong impression and may have to step up.

To conclude: In my opinion, you cannot rely on a website with strangers to solve your problems

Rejection of Giving

Here’s an idea.  If you don’t want help, Don’t be rude about it.  I just don’t understand people.

I drove by the park today and saw a homeless man sitting in the parking lot eating a Banana.  Yes, he was most definitely homeless with a bike and numerous bags and dirty clotes, etc.  Anyway, I drove in the lot and approached him with one of my Tote Bags filled with canned foods, soap, etc and offered it to him.  He actually said and I quote, “Take it away or I’ll throw it in the trash.”  When I asked him if he could tell me why he didn’t want it since it has food and I was only giving it to him because I care (I added lowly that God does too) he mumbled, then said again to “just take it”,  So, I said “Okay, but I tried.” and I took my bag  and drove away.

What weird feelings I have now.  First I thought, Fine..Let him starve, I don’t care.  Then, I thought.  Nooo, I can’t think like that.  Maybe I should pray for him.  But wait, he looks to be from another country..like an Arab.  Like a person who wanted to blow up the planes and buildings in 9/11.  Maybe he hates Americans.  Maybe he hates God.  Maybe he hates Charity or has Pride.  Maybe he hates Women.  I don’t think they think to highly of us in their country.

Whatever the case, I am not done helping those who are in need and are thankful to those of us who really care.

What I Do

I feel so bad when people lose their homes and possessions due to fires, floods, etc. through no fault of their own.   I can’ t imagine if that happened to me.

For those that have been following for a while, you may know that I drop boxes off to those in that situation when I can.  I do not do this through The Red Cross or The Salvation Army nor any other organization.  I do this because I care.  Also, because I am a Christian and believe God calls us to love and care for one another in time of need.  I remember the first thing I ever sent to someone was a dress or skirt and a flower-pot.  My mother thought I was nuts.  She actually said, “Who would want a Flower Pot?” but, I said “You never know. They may have enjoyed gardening at one time.”  I used to read about a disaster and send a box marked ‘Fire Victim’ with a street name.  I soon started adding a card to see where my boxes wound up.  I’ve received some interesting thank-you notes.  I used to go to the same Postal Store all the time to mail my boxes.  The 911 hit and boxes will no longer be received without an actual street address.

I am now focusing more locally except when I can get the name of a church or charity accepting donations.

A few days ago, there was a fire at some apartments not far from me.  Quite a few families lost everything.  Today, I took a box over to the school that is the temporary shelter for them.  I waited in the parking lot for a few but not seeing anyone, I left.  I went to the actual apartments where some Security Guards told me that they are not even allowing The Red Cross back in anymore as they have already been there once and people do not want them going through their stuff.  They also informed me some people had gone to a local motel.  So, I went to said motel and talked to the girl at the desk.  As luck would have it, there was one person still there who had been involved in the fire.  She said she would deliver my box to said person.  I left it with her.  The person may be an actual family of people, you never know.

I have waited in parking lots before for over an hour before giving a box to someone in need, I have actually handed a box to someone who has come home to re-build, I have mailed quite a few.  It is what I do.

I pray for those in those situations. and if it were me in that situation, I would hope someone would do the same.

He Told Me To Leave It There

After taking the excess garage sale stuff to the Goodwill today, I drive to my local Carl’s Jr/Green Burrito and as I’m going through the drive-thru I see a woman in black sitting beside the building.  Something tells me she is homeless and needs help.  She does not look like a bag lady but it may be her airport type suitcase that is a foot or so away as she sits and drinks her coke or it may be the look in her eyes as she watches the car go through the drive-thru and meet my gaze, or maybe it’s also the red, electric type chair with the basket that may or may not be hers.  Anyway, I bring my tote bag from the back seat and move it to the front and I buy an extra Beef, Bean & Cheese Burrito as part of my lunch to give to her.

After driving around I park but alas, she is gone.  The bag is still the but she has disappeared.

So I wait a minute and say, “Now what,  Lord?”  I get the strongest urge to just put the tote bag next to the large, airport one.  She should figure it out since they are so close together.  So, that’s what I do and I just pray she discovered her gift..

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