Greed-Aid – a new way of guilt-free giving this Christmas?

Valdemar Alsop 20 December 2012

Gifts. Don’t you just love them? You only need to valiantly head into town and elbow your way through the high street, as poor Arnie did in ‘Jingle All the Way’, to see that gift hunting is in full, consuming swing. The yuletide ritual is one childhood memory that never gets old, and we’re happy to repeat it over and over, every year, like Christmas meth.

But what about charity? You can’t have missed those annual clarion calls for grinch-free giving. While you’re busy thinking about what gift you’re getting, or how to get more pigs-in-blankets than anyone else at dinner, they follow you around like a bad case of Bailey’s indigestion. And it sucks, because we all know charity is a good thing – it’s charity!

Ah. ‘Is this another tirade telling me about the true meaning of Christmas?’ you might snort in horror over your Gingerbread latte. Fret not dear festive frolicker, I too know, deep down, that there’s a small child in us all who just wants to be left alone to enjoy all that food and all those gifts, thank you very much. Unlike those charity adverts demanding ‘just £3 a month’ (I swear it used to be £2 barely a month ago) I’m not here to make feel guilty as you open your brightly wrapped package of joy on Christmas day.

So, my fellow festive fiddlers, what can be done to assuage this gnawing sense of guilt, without sacrificing those all-important gifts? Well this year my family is conducting an experiment. Instead of giving our gifts on Christmas day, we’re going to buy them all a week later. I’ve scribbled down the prices as they stand at the moment and I am certain that they’ll all be cheaper.

The trick is, instead of being shafted by the recommended Rip-off Price obligatory markup, we’ll take the difference and give it to charity. There we go. Charity wins, you win and Christmas wins.

If it works, no longer will you need to feel bad about enjoying those devilishly delightful gifts. If you can tolerate getting your baubles a few days later, you might be able to give as you receive. Can greed-aid work? I might end up with eggnog all over my face but we’re going to give it a go. I’ll let you know next year.

Valdemar Alsop