I started thinking about charitable giving in response to this post at "Grumpy Rumblings of the Untenured." Nicole and Maggie listed their favorite Christmas charities.
The point being, these were THEIR charities.
So far, so good.
Grace is not so much of a scrooge that she begrudges anyone for lobbying for their favored cause, especially at Christmas when pocketbooks are likely to be open.
But I draw the line at sending donations to MY charities in the name of other people to whom I feel obligated to give a gift.
Case in point: this year a relative of mine who usually sends small gifts to my family gave cards saying that she was not gifting this year. Instead, she made a donation on our behalf to a local animal-rescue project. Now there's nothing wrong with that particular charity; it does good work. But it is SO NOT a charity to which Grace would make a donation. (Sadly, Grace is a bit of a scrooge when it comes to animals--I don't have pets, don't want pets, and have never quite gotten the "dogs and cats are just like our children" people, even though I number those types among my friends.)
It doesn't feel like a gift at all. In fact, I would rather my relative had sent a card and said she wasn't sending gifts this year--given the economy, that would have been understandable. Instead she makes unwarranted assumptions about the charities I care to support. To put it another way, I wouldn't be making contributions to Planned Parenthood in the names of certain friends of mine who I know support Right To Life.
Nicole and Maggi think I should get over it--any donation beats an ugly sweater or a bath set. (I agree about the sweater, but I happen to like bath sets!)
The truth is, I won't confront my relative. I know she means well.
But, hey! This is what blogs are for. I can at least warn YOU about my feelings on the subject.
And I don't think I'm alone.