Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Building Goodwill

When my husband was out of town recently, I made some executive decisions and broke some unwritten rules.

I foraged in pantries, closets and other dark places; gathering clothing and items we had 'outgrown.' I made piles around the house; grabbing any unflattering sweaters, whether they belonged to me or not.

Unused Christmas gifts from last year, still in their original boxes, went in a pile. No--I'm not going to wrap and "re-gift" them. Barring dire circumstances (like being broke and needing to give someone a present), I think re-gifting is cheap, tacky, and usually obvious.

Then I got daring. Here and there in the dining room where wrapped gifts were stacked, I picked up Christmas presents intended for us, given by people who live far away. I carefully examined and shook each package. Occasionally my finger slipped under a flap of festive paper and tugged, or untied a ribbon and pried open one corner a box. I'd take a little peek inside.

And I congratulated myself on an uncanny sense to accurately discern which wrapped packages would probably need to go away. Some All of these gifts and all the piles went into my car.

At my local Goodwill donation center I dropped off two large garbage bags full of housewares and clothing.

"Do you need a receipt, ma'am?"

"No, thank you!"

I drove away feeling much lighter. Giving is good.

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