I was asked today what I wanted for Christmas. It is rare that I exchange gifts for Christmas. What do you buy someone who has everything they want or who gets what they want throughout the year? As a child the prospect of waking up and finding that special toy you’ve been looking forward to under the Christmas tree is very exciting; you’re full of anticipation. As an adult, the gift exchange seems to lose its luster. I’ve advocated with friends and family to give to the charity of one another’s choice in lieu of a gift exchange. Christmas is the season for giving and showing goodwill. What better way to accomplish that than by giving to charitable causes, particularly charities dedicated to helping those in need?
For me the joy now is making a difference in the life of one in need rather than receiving a gift. I believe that if the money is going to be spent over the holidays (and people love to spend over the holidays) it is put to better use for charitable causes. My preference is to find charitable causes and provide them with supplies that can be used as opposed to strictly cash contributions which may or may not directly benefit those in need. I would encourage you this Christmas season to seize the opportunity to donate to charity and to make a difference in the life of one in need. And this helps to make the world a better place.
Since the question was posed to me, I thought I would take an opportunity to consider some of the things I want for Christmas.
- I want loving homes and warm beds for all the orphaned animals in shelters who are just waiting to find their furever homes and their family. They are lost, scared, and abandoned, living in cold cages. These animals can offer you much love and affection and can make such a difference in your life. Give one of them a chance this Christmas.
- I want an end to animal cruelty. Those willing to harm innocent, helpless animals are vile individuals who are no better than those willing to harm innocent children. Animals are not here to be abused or harmed simply because they’re animals. They deserve to be loved and respected. Those engaged in animal cruelty should be prosecuted in the same manner as child abusers and molesters.
- I want an end of to the senseless euthanizing of stray and orphaned animals. Why should these animals be put down simply because they haven’t found a furever home in a certain amount of time? We need to put an end to the death row in animal shelters. We’ll keep violent murderers and rapists serving life sentences in prison alive at a tremendous cost to the taxpayers (upwards of $50,000 per year) along with lifers for other non-violent crimes. Yet, we’re unable to keep orphaned and abandoned animals alive. We’re quick to give them a death sentence but we won’t execute the violent prisoners serving life sentences. Who can contribute more and make a difference in others’ lives—the shelter pet or the murderer? LET’S END THE DEATH ROW IN ANIMAL SHELTERS!
- I want more respect for indie authors. There is no doubt that indie authors are looked down upon by the mainstream publishing houses and critics. We’re seen as inferior. We’re seen as unworthy. We’re seen as amateurs. We’re not taken seriously. As a result, the opportunity for our works to be published by mainstream publishing houses is limited. To be sure, there are a lot of indie authors who aren’t really serious about writing. They throw together an e-book hastily and without true dedication to the art of writing; they give all indie authors a bad name. But, there are many indie authors who take the art of writing very seriously. We are the ones who are dedicated to our work. These indie authors produce a wide variety of works—some of which are marginal, some of which are good, some of which are very good, and some of which are excellent (the diamonds in the rough). Being an indie author is difficult; most of us write because we love the art. We dedicate ourselves to our work and spend countless hours writing a book. We deserve to be taken seriously and shown respect.
- I want more patience. I want the manuscript I’m working on done and done now, but a good manuscript isn’t written overnight or with haste. It takes time. I want things done in a timely manner, and I often get frustrated when tasks aren’t accomplished in a timely manner for whatever reason. Patience is a virtue. I need more patience.
- I want Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss from WWE NXT to be the next divas on Monday Night RAW. I’m quite tired of the Bella twins and all the girls who want to be superstars on Total Divas. AJ Lee has carried the divas division for the last nearly two years. She’s a GREAT diva, but she needs some competition. The divas division needs some new personalities to spice it up. Sasha Banks and Alex Bliss are talented wrestlers and have great presence. WWE, bring them to RAW (and SmackDown) and spice up the divas division!
- I want to see more people giving to charities. Christmas is the season for giving and showing goodwill. What better way to accomplish that than by giving to charitable causes, particularly charities dedicated to helping those in need? Why not let the charities benefit rather than the retailers? My favorite charitable organizations are no-kill animal shelters. For me the joy is making a difference in the life of a homeless animal in need. If the money is going to be spent over the holidays (and it will be), let’s put it to better use for charitable causes. Rather than send a check to the shelter and not know how the money will be used or if it will be used to directly benefit the animals, I like to send or deliver supplies and care packages. The bags of food and the litter, the toys, the bleach, the paper towels, and all the other supplies are going to be put to good use feeding and caring for homeless animals.
- I want the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl. What can I say? The Ravens didn’t do well this year, and I’ve long been a fan of America’s Team. The Cowboys are playing well and have the potential to go all the way to the Super Bowl. I hope they can do it. They’re long overdue for a championship.
- I want more focus on the meaning of Christmas and the Christmas spirit. Society has gotten too materialistic and has moved away from celebrating Christmas to celebrating materialism and consumption. In the process, they are hoping to fill a void in life left by the absence of any religious foundation. There are those who are trying to phase Christmas out and replace it with a more abstract, “Happy Holiday.” Let’s get back to some basics. Keep Christ in Christmas. Keep the spirit of kindness, giving (charitably) and goodwill alive and well. Let’s keep in mind that Christmas isn’t about gifts and the individuals. It’s about something bigger than any one of us individually. Take the Christmas message and Christmas spirit to heart and use it to make the world around you a better place.
- I want all the elderly in nursing homes and their own homes who have been forgotten by friends and family or who may not have either to be remembered and to feel the spirit of Christmas. They may be in need of the basic necessities in life—food, clothing, company, etc. Remember, sometimes we take for granted the basic necessities that we have. For the old and the infirm in nursing homes, some time with others to talk and socialize may be all that it takes to make a difference. And the simple act of caring and giving can do wonders in the lives of those who feel lost, abandoned, and forgotten. Keep these people in mind this Christmas.
This year I gave back to the local Humane Society. They introduced me to one of my girls!
Digger enjoys purchasing artwork from zoos painted by the residents. He currently has one by penguins, two by river otters, and several by turtles.