Tickled Elmo lately?

Tickled Elmo lately?

By Chris Johnson
Director of communications

In probably way too many ways, I’ve turned into my dad — the smart-aleckyness, the thinning hair, the one-pack ab. Just about everything but the construction skills, actually.

Another way I’m becoming him is that at my age I’ve become impossible to shop for at Christmas. For the past 20 years, I’ve shopped for hours for my dad at Christmas only to resort to buying yet another book. It’s not that he’s rich and has everything. He’s just not materialistic. Don’t you just hate people who have more important things in their lives than stuff?

Well, I guess you hate me, too, because I’m becoming the same way. It started in earnest last year when I was asked what I wanted for Christmas and my response was a totally honest “nothing.”

Of course, by “nothing” I meant “no stuff.” If you could wrap up world peace, talent for my guitar or a Georgia Bulldogs national championship and give me that for Christmas, by all means bring it on. But when it comes to stuff, I just don’t need or want much. I’ve got a pickup truck, and what more stuff does any good ol’ Georgia boy need?

But there’s a movement afoot to ease the misery of buying gifts for the impossible-to-buy-for. It’s called alternative giving, and I’m all for it.

This saves you the misery of searching in vain for a gift that a person like me will get and go, “Hmm, how bout that? A ceramic chicken with a clock in it. Boy, have I been needin’ one of those.” In lieu of that experience, you donate to a worthy cause in honor of someone as their Christmas present. The Fuller Center certainly has a worthy cause for you.

Not only does alternative giving show that you’re thinking of the person (and it’s the thought that counts, right?), but also it saves wear and tear on your feet and brain. And, more importantly, it makes someone’s life better. If you donate to The Fuller Center for Housing, you can help a child have a safe place to lay their head at night or help an elderly person on a fixed income obtain desperately needed repairs. And you’re not contributing to people with a sense of entitlement. You’re helping people who are trying to help themselves and are willing to work.

That’s a worthy cause, more worthy than buying something that puts “ch-ch-ch-chia” in your head forever. (Trust me on that one!)

Today, The Fuller Center put up a cool web page where you can make a donation to The Fuller Center in a loved one’s name, then print out a unique Christmas card. It actually comes out on a basic 8.5” x 11” piece of paper from your printer, but there are directions on how to fold the paper into a neat little card letting the recipient know of the gift that benefits others in their name. Go check it out!

Now, generally, I don’t like to talk about Christmas shopping until about 6:15 p.m. on Dec. 24. And I promise I’ll drop this Christmas shopping talk until after Thanksgiving, at least. But I thought it was worth planting the seed.

As for me, please, honestly, I need no stuff. I sincerely hope every single person who was considering buying me a Christmas gift (we may be talking hundreds of folks) will simply go to our page and make a donation in my name. Or someone else’s name. In Mickey Mouse’s name if you want. What’s important is helping others … especially at Christmas.

Although, if you do see a ceramic chicken with a clock in it, that could be an option for me. I was just throwing that out there, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more it also sounds kinda cool.

To give an alternative gift that goes a long way and makes a difference in families’ lives, click here!

Chris Johnson
This post was written by
Chris Johnson is the Director of Communications for The Fuller Center for Housing, a multi-award-winning columnist for the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer and author of 4 books.

1 Comment on "Tickled Elmo lately?"

  • Anonymous says

    This was a very good article. Sorry about the “becoming your dad part”. It happens.

    Dad

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