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A reason for the season is found

by Tom Chillemi

What type of Christmas would there be if it were left to men.

I don’t know many men who get into the Christmas spirit as much as women. Why is that?

Gift giving has overtaken most other aspects of the holidays. And for us non-shoppers, this is stress inducing.

I can barely shop for myself. How am I supposed to find something for other people? The solution for my wife and me is to shop for myself and wrap it up so I’ll have something to open on Christmas morning with the grandchildren.

“I have everything I need,” a lot of people say. I’m one of them. Which is to say I’ll do without before I put too much effort into finding what I might need. Many people enjoy shopping. I’m not one of them.

I don’t shop in stores much. Online shopping is preferable.

So this season, I ventured into a “big box.” A bouncy Beach Boys tune filled the store.

I had a lot of decisions to make. I looked for stuff I will use; no luxury items were on my list.

It was fun at first to finally pick up those items that I’ve put off buying. I’m the kind of guy that will consider all the options before buying a $10 kitchen trash can.

And so began my annual adventure in retail. I didn’t have a cart so into the plastic trash can I dropped a tube of Krazy Glue and an oil filter and headed to the battle of the batteries. There is a tremendous difference in battery prices. They cost less in bulk. How long would it take to use 60 AA batteries? Their cost makes a good case for rechargables.

It wasn’t long before I was in the canyons of men’s wear, searching for what I wasn’t sure. Kenny G serenaded with “Greensleeves.” 

Buying and selling are what drives the economy. There is excitement in searching and finding. Mortgage your future with weekly payments for what you want now. Humans are hunters and gatherers. Not unlike the Native Americans who, legend says, accepted $24 in beads and shiny things in a trade for Manhattan Island.

Is this it? I ask myself. I guess it is. A lot of people all over the world would trade places with us. Still, I’m left with the feeling there should be more. 

A reason found
What many want can’t be bought. It must be earned. One has to give to get it. 

The Middlesex County community, for 33 years, has embraced Christmas Friends. This partnership between the Southside Sentinel, Middlesex Department of Social Services and the community helps hundreds of needy children and adults.

There is never a lack of volunteers to shop, wrap and deliver thousands of gifts. Likewise, thousands of dollars are donated each year to this grassroots charity that charges no administrative fees.

The work is done, the gifts are delivered. Again, Christmas has a deeper meaning for those who give their time and money to help others . . . there is something more. 

posted 12.19.2018

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