I'll admit to a plethora of self doubt around the whole Charity Crockpot Toilet Gift thing.
Having now been through the whole process from both sides, I think I've got it wrong. Slightly.
Giving to charity is a good thing. Giving a specific gift to charity is a great feeling, and much more pleasurable for the donor than being thwacked in the face with a clipboard. It may not be as good for their revenue stream, but nonetheless at the end of the day, the charity gets the money and up to 20% of it goes to a good cause, possibly even more.
Giving a gift like that, instead of throwing money away on some of the incredible junk that people give at Christmas is definitely preferable. I'd much rather have received a small picture of a chamber pot or a fork handle than a big tub of cookie dough. After all, cookie dough is pretty easy to make yourself. And a big tub of it is just a temptation if you're a fat bloke. Oh look, I'm digressing.
So, it's good for the charity, good for the world wide world of the world, and good for the giver. And in some circumstances, good for the recipient. But not always.
A bit of spin might help. The message on the card I gave was along the lines of "I bought you half a turnip but gave it to someone who needed it more..." and that's not quite the right sentiment. If I won a million quid in a raffle, but they gave the money to someone else, I might be a little upset. Eventually, I might get over it. But with a charity gift, the message needs work. It's closer to "I could have bought you something that was a bit rubbish and would have left you disappointed. My present was never going to make a significant difference to your life, but this way at least someone's life is significantly improved. I thought you'd like that."
Only in fewer words. Obviously. Sell it. Make the recipient feel that they've not lost out on anything. Remember when you were five. There's anticipation associated with a gift. You want to rip open the paper, and at the end of it you've got something you didn't have before. If you're going to shatter that anticipation, then sell it better. After all, you're not five years old any more.
If you are five years old, and you are reading this, then please run up to your mummy and say "bottoms!" at the top of your voice. That'll annoy her.
Posted by Kate
December 18, 2006 3:58 PM
Thank heavens your 5 year old nephew is not good enough at reading to take you up on this...yet. In the meantime, anticipate away - We've got you a good pressie this year. Definitely no cookie dough and nothing charitable about it!
When he is old enough to read this, he will be about three times the age he is now. He'll know better words than "bottoms" by then.
Nice blue :)
D'you know, I was always told that when you're in a hole it's a good idea to stop digging ;)
Best bit of being an uncle (or aunt) is corrupting the nieces and nephews!