Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Yearly Scrooge Moment

The holidays are upon us and its that time again for me to rail against these holiday drives/Christmas/Angel trees.

I am very opposed to these toy drives and now, you are saying, why are you being such a Scrooge?! First of all, let us be clear the Christmas holiday is in no way, in the religious sense, related to the giving of toys or getting of gifts. How is giving a child a toy helping in the Christian spirit? How about instead feeding a hungry person, providing clean drinking water, heck spending time with the child instead of throwing a toy at them? If a child is in a lower soci-economic status, what he/she needs is probably more basic needs: food, shelter, clothes. Toys are a luxury. I'd rather spend my money to improve the child's education so that they can have a better life. Where does it say that everyone needs a toy for Christmas? If you don't get a toy for Christmas, is the holiday not worth it? Is that not reason to celebrate?

You know I don't agree with my very strict Catholic friends on many things, but in this instance I concur with them, this whole materialistic focus, starting with Santa, seems to be taking away from the whole purpose of the holiday and who should be the real star (Jesus, peace be upon Him).

Perhaps I am being even meaner this year than previously because I too feel the economic crunch, and I've had to give up luxuries (manicures, coloring my hair, new shoes as examples). There are millions of children around the world who will never have a toy in their entire childhood, I would like to know, is that the case with those children participating in these toy drives? Do they have no toys? Or is the toy drive adding to their collection?

If I'm not seeing both sides of the pictures, please feel free to enlighten me.


Blogger secret agent woman said...

Another side: Christmas may not be about playing, but childhood is. And you have to look at the context. In this country, children are surrounded by the friends and classmates getting toys for Christmas. Of course it isn't a necessity the way food and shelter are, but is it such a bad thing for people to want to see the poorer children in their communities get something fun to play with? Of course, if you rank order things the world truly "needs" lots of charities ought to be abolished. Take any of the ones that help animals - wouldn't any person's need for food or medical care rank above the need to protect an animal? And don't even get me started on charities that support the arts. But the point is, people are allowed to choose who or what they choose to help and it really isn't an either/or thing anyway. Myself, I prefer charities that protect the environment. But that's my choice.

8:10 PM  
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11:41 AM  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Some of them have no toys, some are homeless, lots of posible directions. As SAW says, we all get to choose.
I go more for the homeless shelters that help instead of just house or Safe Nest for abused women.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Merci said...

There are many forms of deprivation. Toys can enrich learning, and play is very healthy. I know it's possible to play and be imaginative without store-bought toys, but it doesn't hurt to help things along. I still see it as a kindness to give joy (possibly in the form of a toy) to a child.

Most Christians recognize that Christmas is really 2 holidays - the secular holiday with trees, Santa, eggnog and fruitcake, and the religious holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus. Many Christians embrace both. Besides, the 3 wise men brought gifts to a very young Jesus.

I prefer to donate to the local food bank, and I like the Clinton Foundation, too. I will probably throw a toy into the box at work this year, as well.

10:16 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Secret Agent - good points. Thank you for illuminating the other side.

Joe - yes you are right we all get to chose.

Merci - another good point that I had not thought of, thank you.

10:34 PM  

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