But her post made me wonder ... how do you all feel about the charity contribution gift?
In some ways, I like it ... especially if it is a thoughtful one. For instance, if I know my friend is very involved in a particular non-profit organization, I think it's a very nice gift to support said non-profit in their honor.
I also love how many brides and grooms these days are registering for charity donations in lieu of yet another crystal vase.
That being said, I still very very rarely get people charitable contributions as gifts.
It's not that I don't love supporting charity. I do. And it's not that I feel the need to get people THINGS, because I totally don't. But I guess when I'm getting a gift, I want it to register longer than the millisecond it takes someone to read that I paid X dollars to a charity in honor of them and think, "Oh, that's nice."
Which is why I sort of think the charity gift card or a gift certificate to an organization like Donor's Choose is preferable ... at least in those situations the recipient gets to be an active participant in the charity process.
Still, there's something that sits wrong there for me. Maybe it's because in my mind a gift is a gift and charity is charity and I'm not sure there's a need to conflate the two. Give a gift to someone because you love them, give to charity because you support the organization, but a gift of charity feels ... I dunno, a little 'moralistic' maybe. As much as I believe that we as a society are over materialistic, it breaks my heart just a teeny tiny bit when I read about parents who request no gifts for kids birthday parties or ask for charitable donations instead. As a kid, I *loved* picking out gifts for my friends. I guess I still love picking out gifts, when I'm not super pressed for time and stressed out, that is.
But maybe I'm being a charity curmudgeon. Maybe so much of gift giving has turned out into an obligatory hassle that, frankly, a charity gift is just as good as the Starbucks gift card, and is probably more helpful to the world to boot.
What do you all think?