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Give with a light heart or simply: I gave at the other store!

December 16, 2009 - Taste Buds
TIS THE season to be jolly but, let’s face it, we are all a little stressed!

We want to give our family all that we can. We give of ourselves at church and school. We give and give and give until our heads hurt.

We send in canned food to school for the needy and mittens for underprivileged children. We collect recycling materials and drag bags of aluminum cans around in our cars.

We spend the pre-holiday crush rushing around like crazy people in an attempt to fill the wishes of everyone we know.

Then, in the middle of it all, we need to decide which charities to support at this vital time.

We know everyone is hurting in the valley. We know we are blessed with all that we have. We acknowledge the fact that our children have much more than they need. We have roofs over our heads and shoes on our feet and recognize the fact that it is our moral and civic duty to help those less fortunate.

But c’mon!

We can’t take the guilt we feel every time we pass a bell ringer!

Don’t get us wrong. We are in full support of the Salvation Army and their red kettles. We fully support any charity working to give a hand to our fellow man.

Still, the internalized guilt we feel each and every time we pass a bell ringer is almost unbearable.

Here’s the scenario ...

We go into one store and drop some money in the kettle and are on our way. The bell ringer, with chimes merrily tinkling, wishes us a Merry Christmas. We say the same and go on our way.

Later, we go into another store and there is another bell ringer with yet another kettle and tinkling bells. There is another Merry Christmas exchange and we continue on our way.

As we exit the store, we sheepishly throw a little change into the kettle.

At the third store the scene is replayed and we feel the icy stare of the bell ringer as they hold the door open for us and we walk on by.

Do we turn around and state our case? Do we tell them we just gave five bucks to the first store and $1.50 in change in the second kettle?

Would he believe us? Should we just let it go and deal with our feelings by eating a dozen doughnuts in the comfort of our own homes?

How do we deal with the guilt! They don't give us stickers when we donate like they do when we give blood!

Simple answer: We don’t! We just keep chucking change into red kettles hoping to keep guilt at bay.

If it makes anyone feel better, we encounter the same guilty feeling when groups send us free address labels in the mail, asking for donations.

Yes! We use the labels!

One Bud recently received a nickel in the mail from a charitable organizations. She kept it but it’s going in the first red kettle she finds! And we strongly suggest you do the same!

Now, here’s a recipe from Mary Sue Dundr of Mt. Pleasant you can make , eat and keep those guilty feelings at bay!

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all up and roll into ball. Flatten and top with sugar. Bake 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Yield: 2 dozen.

The Buds can be reached at


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