Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Back in the Land of the Living

After several days of a really rotten cold I feel almost human today. I took advantage of a dry spell between the showers to deliver a round of Focus leaflets. Although I don't always look forward to that job, especially in wet weather, I do find it useful to walk round streets which I wouldn't go along otherwise. Checking up on the state of the pavements and generally keeping an eye on the ward is one part of the job which is important but easily lost in the rush of other activities. Today's weather seemed to have driven everyone indoors and I didn't meet anyone wanting to have a chat about anything. A wave and a smile from residents sitting in their warm rooms kept me going though.
Christmas decorations are starting to appear inside and outside houses. I hope people are making sure that they're using the correct plugs and wiring for them all. We don't want fire to ruin Christmas for anyone. I must confess that this time of year is when I find myself in two opposing camps, environmentally. Part of me loves to see all the lights, to send cards and receive them, to give presents and receive them but the other part of me hates the waste of resources - the electricity being spent on extra lights, the beautiful cards and wrapping paper being thrown away after one use, the thought that however much time I've spent on choosing something that a person will really enjoy, actually I haven't got it right and the gift will languish on a shelf somewhere until it finds its way into the next charity bag.
That's why I love gifts that are given, not to me, but on my behalf to someone in need. If you follow all those links you'll get the idea. Two years ago my daughters "gave" me a well in a developing country. I was so thrilled I burst into tears. This year one of them has just sent me some "reverse book tokens" - a wonderful idea. I remember how much the library meant to us when we were in India for a time, and we were people who could afford to buy books. How much more it meant to those who couldn't own their own. It's a gift I'm proud to have received.

1 comment:

Pete Johns said...

It was a wonderful moment in my life when I saw you open the card containing "the well", and one that will stay with me always.

Both of your daughters had agreed long before that Christmas that this would be the perfect gift for you and to see your reaction and theirs was really precious.

Gifts like the ones to which you link really highlight the point that Christmas is a time for giving. Giving on behalf of someone, for me, takes things to a whole new level.

We, too, are torn on the whole business of sending and receiving Christmas cards. It's truly lovely to receive card though the post; but then there's the carbon footprint. We have discussed sending a festive email with photographs this year, but then is the carbon footprint of an email really less than the markings-on-dead-tree counterpart, when you consider the power stations involved? I don't know.