That Christmas items are out in stores before the pumpkins are even carved bugs the crap out of me. Partner in Crime is a great one for decorating and will take down Easter posters and fuzzy bunnies that very night, etc, in order to get ready for Cinco de Mayo or whatever. That's fine, I have never been one for overly enthusiastic decorating. When I was a school nurse I had no trouble getting the 5th Grade Asthmatic Society girls to pull something out for my bulletin board, pretty much a school joke. Teachers may live for that stuff but I hated to do it. I could come up with a theme, but had absolutely no clue as to how to accomplish my vision. The Girls hated to be outside on cold days, so it was a good deal for everyone. It got a little rowdy when once I had 15 girls and their friends cutting stuff out of poster board and colorful construction paper, but damn if that bulletin board didn't look the bomb when they were through.
Which, in a round about way, brings to the subject of today's rant. The Christmas Basket project.
You may recall that last December I went a little off the rails with the whole Christmas for Entitled Douchebags project. This time I have hijacked the entire community gift giving thing and established rules. My co-workers who are not terribly verbal have elected me spokesperson; my first order of business was to inform Beth that we were making some changes in the Christmas gift giving policy.
1. No families, no teenagers, no brand names, and no electronics (unless it is an alarm clock).
Last years families requested things like IPods and Lucky Jeans, Ugg Boots and IPads.
There will be no repeat of this fiasco; perhaps people will then be free to focus on NEEDS. Nobody needs Ugg boots. I will cheerfully buy snow boots and mittens for kids, but that kind of greedy crap just did not fly with me.
2. No makings for Christmas dinner; but gift certificates for the local market as well as for gasoline would be welcome.
Beth fought me on this one, but I prevailed
The ridiculous amount of "stuff" that was collected for the families to make one meal, their own Christmas dinner was just way, way overboard. Included were things like potatoes, stuffing mix, canned gravy, turkeys (free from the hospital) and other fixin's; pie fillings, boxes of brownie mix, bags of walnuts, bags of chocolate chips, butter, flour, sugar and baking powder, etc. There was just no way in hell any of these families needed any more sugar if we were buying xxxx and xx sizes for teenage boys and size 22 for a teenage girl and her mother. One of the recipients was a diabetic. Aren't we supposed to promote healthy eating? The turkey was probably the healthiest item in the box, and each of the 3 families got two boxes.
3. We are going to focus on two things: a couple of individuals in need, and the local food bank.
We will address any needs first; any leftover funds would be given, either by check or purchase of food, to the food bank in our town so people in our area could be better served.
4. Any staff member is free to elect an individual or couple (or, ok, a family with small children) for the gift giving project. We have charged Sherry with that task, which she has agreed to. She is in the best position to do this as she also does a lot of community stuff. In the event we receive more than a total of 4 people the final choice would be decided on as a group.
5. The doctors are always generous and not only give us donations for the Christmas Basket, but give all the ER employees a cash gift. This is such a wonderful gesture that is really appreciated by all. Some of the nurses actually take that gift and donate it. I would happily do that, but why not cut out the middleman? We in turn gave a donation to Wounded Warriors in the name of the physician group instead of giving them something silly like personalized coasters. This was very well received, and something I would like to repeat.
6. I proposed Christmas in October, but that didn't go over well. Maybe next year.