This Time Next Year

I have had a fortunate life really. It has not been without its share of bumps: loss of loved ones, bad luck exacerbated by my own behavior and such; but by and large, things have been good. Surrounded by amazing friends and family, being able to (usually) live a life where my chief concern is my art and calling a fun, interesting city home, I am grateful for what the universe has given me. In particular I am thankful for the generosity shown to me in both the good times and the bad, which is going to make what I am about to say sound bad. Next year, no one is getting Christmas presents, even the little ones.
It is already too late for this year. I went to Wal-Mart, picked up some easy gifts for those closest to me. Next year, however I am going to do it different. Next year, I am asking everyone who knows me to tell me which charity they would like me to donate to. Not which cause, I have my own causes and I would never ask anyone to give to them, since causes can be contentious, but which charities. Do you want me to give to the Red Cross? How about Toys for Tots? The local food shelf is perhaps your preference. Tell me, and I will send what I can, anonymously or in your name if you wish.
I would also like you to return the favor. I do not want clothes, jewelry, books, music or anything else. Send an anonymous donation to the Open Door Mission in Rochester and you will have given me the best present you ever could. For almost every religion, this season is one of hope, let us make it one for those who have so little of it.

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