December 2011

By Emslie

Back in 1997 Seinfeld had an episode entitled, “The Strike.” There are a whole bunch of laughs in this episode. My favorite running story line is that George tells everyone at his job, Kruger, that he has given charitable donations in their names as their Christmas gift. Of course, every charity has to have a title. George dubs his fictional charity, “The Human Fund.”

Thinking of this episode quickly reminds me how shallow Christmas can become if we are not careful. The mere appearance of giving a gift, even if it really has no value, can cause great admiration and respect from one’s peers. Before you say it, No, I’m not advocating that everyone go out and start creating fake charities and then passing out cards to their co-workers. What I’m advocating is the reality of what George pretended to do.

Generally when I give gifts to people at Christmas the list too often consist of people who already have a ton of stuff. There have literally been occasions when I have spent hours trying to figure out what to get someone that they don’t already have. This only happens when the person you’re trying to shop for really doesn’t NEED anything (or is extremely picky).

So what do you give the person that has everything?

Yes, you can give them love (as the Temptations would say). You can also give them the gift of giving.

There are countless charities out there that give nice little cards and/or plaques to donors. Making a charitable gift in the name of someone you love is like personally putting one of the bricks in place for their mansion in heaven. You can then turn around and give them the card and/or plaque for their desk at work. They’ll have a selfless conversation starter and you’ll have the satisfaction of servanthood. Here is a list of the Top 5 Christmas Charities.

P.S. If you are afraid of showing up empty handed at your family gatherings buy a handful of gift cards to your favorite restaurants. You can pick these up at grocery stores, drug stores, gas stations or local convenience stores. I have yet to see a person turn away a free meal from a good restaurant. This will also keep you out of the long lines at the mall.

Skinny and UnhealthyI just wanted $200.

I didn’t come in here for your results, or your concerns, or your warnings. I came to this health screening as an obligation to get a free payday from my employer.

There is no way in the world I can be skinny and unhealthy.

Yet, even with all of my disbelief, the charts don’t lie. My blood pressure is high. My cholesterol is startling. If I don’t make a change soon, I won’t have to be concerned about $200. There is the whole eternity thing that I would be dealing with first hand.

Who knew you could be skinny and unhealthy?

I sure as heck didn’t. I guess the days of eating 3 egg omelets with four pieces of bacon and a half of stick of butter are gone. Just thinking about that right now makes my chest hurt. Gone are the days of double bacon cheeseburgers with extra bacon dipped in fry grease for flavor. I can no longer indulge in the pleasures of half a carton of ice cream and the flavorful fat the hangs off a piece of steak. This stuff will kill me. Continue reading “Skinny and Unhealthy: My Reality Check” »