Monday, 19 December 2016

Christmas pudding

is not consumed in our household. In the height of summer - and the temperature is supposed to reach 37'C on Christmas Day - sitting down to turkey with all the trimmings and Christmas pudding - seems ridiculous. We are going to Middle Cat's Greek family which means there will be plenty of salad.
But, there are people who like Christmas pudding. It's traditional. It's what you have on Christmas Day whatever the temperature.  In the state's newspaper today there is a piece by a regular columnist about a local man who supplied Christmas puddings to charity each year. The local man died a couple of months back and, says the columnist, there won't be any puddings this year. I suspect there will be. He will have written the column in the expectation and hope there will be someone who will step in and do it.
There is another piece in this morning's paper about the "harassment" by charities who use for-profit companies to solicit telephone donations. I know charity collecting has changed. There is almost an expectation that you will do it by credit card - and make the donation on a regular basis. The excuse is "we like to know how much money we can expect each month". There is no suggestion that this might be a one off or even an irregular donation or that other charities might also need money. Only the charity someone is collecting for is the important one - unless of course you are the individuals who spend their day sitting in the shopping centre in their wheelchairs holding the charity tin on their trays. They of course are "employed" and being "paid" to collect - often for charities which are of no benefit to them and their many needs.
I collect for a charity once a year. It only collects once a year. Those who collect must be volunteers. They must not actively solicit. There is no set up for a monthly or annual or some other regular donation. There can be no bequests. Each year the proceeds go to a different cause designed to help people help themselves. I can handle that - just. I am not good at asking people to part with money but I enjoy meeting the teenagers who actively decide against buying hot dogs or ice cream and give the money to this charity instead. That's giving and thinking. 
Regular donations on a credit card basis are not like that. I don't see those as "charity". It doesn't require continued thought.
The man who donated the Christmas puddings collected them slowly throughout the year and then always passed them over to the columnist and refused to go with him when he delivered them. He said people "didn't need to know where they came from". No, they didn't need to know. Thinking about giving them and then actively doing something about it was sufficient. 

No comments: