A Meaningful GiftPosted by Stephen Wells, ALDF's Executive Director on November 12, 2007
Every year at this time of year I go through the same conversation with my parents. They ask what I want for Christmas and I say, "Oh don’t buy me anything." I mean, I’m 43 years old! Train sets and Legos are just not that exciting anymore. And clothes? Well, let’s just say my parents, being in their 60s and 70s have different taste.
My main concern is that I don’t need things. It’s amazing how even a relative minimalist like myself can accumulate things. I often look in my closet and think, "What is all this stuff?" And, of course, my parents are living on fixed incomes and so it’s kind of silly for them to be spending their limited funds on stuff I don’t need.
But, the reality is, try as I might, they are going to get me something — because they love me and, well, because that’s what you do for the holidays.
My solution? Well, everyone who cares about me knows that my passion is animals. It’s always been that way. So, as you can imagine, I’ve gotten my share of animal-themed merchandise through the years – please, no more stuffed wolves! But now, given the work that needs to be done on so many fronts to protect animals, I ask my family and loved ones to make a donation to ALDF – or any animal protection group that they feel is effective – in my name.
That way they feel good about getting me something they know I will be truly grateful for. I feel great because they honored my passion and gave me something really meaningful. And, best of all, the animals are a direct beneficiary of my parents’ love for me and of the spirit of holiday giving.
That’s what it’s all about.