Several years ago, when my sisters and I were in our late 40’s-early 50’s, we decided that instead of giving each other presents for Christmas, the only time during the year that we exchanged gifts, we would pool the money that we would spend on gifts to give to a mutually agreed upon charitable project. On land -mark birthdays or anniversaries which we often celebrate with large dinner parties, we began asking our guests to bring food items for local pantries that distributed food to the needy. My sisters and I did not start a trend nor do any thing particularly altruistic, others have done and are doing much more for special projects by forfeiting holiday and special occasion gifts.
A few years ago, my neighbor’s daughter and son-in-law asked guests at their wedding to contribute to Saint Jude’s Hospital for Children with Cancer in lieu of giving the couple a wedding gift. Like many couples today, the couple had lived together for several years, accumulated great furniture, copious bathroom and kitchen items, loads of linens and made a significant down payment on a house.
The other day, I read an article in the paper that made me smile. It seems that couples are now putting charitable giving on their wedding gift register. This seems to be a latest trend. The only problem is, what charitable cause to choose. Some guests may not come if say, Planned Parenthood is the charitable cause. Some couples are putting in “a charity of your choice” to insure that the invited guest would indeed attend the wedding. I suppose the really cold -hearted guest might say that he/she had donated to a favorite cause, pocket the money and go to the wedding feast anyway! What a way to get a thank you card!