Hope everyone’s had an enjoyable Christmas and that Santa brought them what they wanted.
Interesting thought from my aged ma, following last year’s debacle when several people, stuck for what to give a lady in her 90s (a decent Pouilly Fumé is, she tells me, always acceptable, as is a good brandy), made the mistake of giving her vouchers to say they’d made charitable donations on her behalf. Thus she found herself the recipient of a year’s training for a teacher somewhere in Africa, a goat for a poor family somewhere or other and a kalashnikov rifle.
This last was courtesy of some bizarre scheme whereby — as far as I could make out — a well-meaning charity bought up guns from militias somewhere or other and gave them ploughshares, or their equivalent, in return. Quite what was to stop the recipients from trading their farming equipment for newer and better kalashnikovs she couldn’t work out either.
It did, however, give her the opportunity to affect her dotty old lady act — one of the few pleasures, she tells me, that life affords someone of her age — and purport to be under the impression that the charity concerned distributed guns to teachers the better to protect their goats, which left the bemused donor earnestly trying to explain that she’d got hold of the wrong end of the stick while everyone else tried to keep a straight face as she wondered whether a decent shot-gun wouldn’t be more practical since you could also use it shoot game birds for the pot, always assuming they had pheasants there and that they weren’t endangered species. As I say, no one made that mistake this year.
Anyway, mum’s thought on this was that these charitable givers had got it the wrong way round. Rather, she reasoned, than accepting from her presents she’d gone to quite some trouble to select because she thought they’d like them — and she is pretty good at that — if they were feeling in a charitable mood, they should have told her they’d rather she sponsored the teachers, goats and kalashnikovs on their behalf rather than giving them books, jewellery or whatever. As she says, she’s going to accommodate people’s charitable inclinations by asking them to give donations to the charities of their choice instead of sending flowers to her funeral, so they bloody well wait for that.
Technorati: Christmas Presents, Charity