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Put other people’s money where your mouth is.
Once a year my friends, fans and family gather to celebrate my birth, paying tribute in the form of gifts, gift vouchers, cards and cake. It’s a trifling affair for a man of my stature but I allow it, believing if you flatter the whims of the lower types they’re less rowdy, less likely to rise up. This celebration of birth is not just for the likes of me or Jesus. Chances are if you were born to reasonably attentive parents they’d have made a note of the day it happened so they could keep track of how many candles to light should a cake be made or purchased, and when you’re legally able to collect their hooch from the offy.
Being the self-righteous type I sometimes direct those beneath me to celebratory do-goodery in the vein of Oxfam Unwrapped. There, people can buy gifts more useful than your average book token. We’re talking tools and seeds for farmers already getting a kicking from climate breakdown, safe water for a family of four, access to education for girls and women and such and such. The person you’re buying for gets a card and a puffed-out, pride-filled chest, and the people you’re helping get helped. Greedy first-world over-consumption gets one in the eye, and everyone involved sees what a little money can do when it’s not being spent on flim-flam, gimmickery or crack.
On one of my special days friends and family gathered, kneeled at my feet, helpless in their shame, and offered unto me a toilet, tools for farming, two dozen laying hens, two text books for a school, and irrigation for a farmer’s field. I’d be more noble if I hadn’t got a shitload of other presents, obviously. But still, this is a good thing done. And Oxfam isn’t the only chazza with the idea. Unicef, WaterAid and WWF among others have got in on it, and Charity Gifts and Global Giving list a ton of others.
Let’s add this stuff to our birthday lists along with the usual bits, pieces and cack. Then let’s have a word with Santa. He’ll get this stuff sorted for the big J’s big day on the 25th and we can chow down on a Christmas feast of justice, self-satisfaction and wrong-rightening. And then a Chocolate Orange, some Lego, a few Twiglets and a bit of Morecambe and Wise. It’s Christmas, after all, not fucking Lent.
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Photo credit: John Leech, A Christmas Carol
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