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Ár nDraíocht Féin
Three Cranes
Chaos Matrix

December 6th, 2006

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10:19 am - Gifts for the holiday season. . .
Some confusion appears to have sprung up around what I might want for Christmas/Yule/Solstice/Saturnalia/Kwanza/Hanukkah/Ramadan/whatever. I'm pretty easy-going and don't actually require gifts (while I like getting them, I'm never going to be miffed that I didn't receive anything), but I get bugged by people from time to time about what they can get me.

At least six people have asked me what I want, which leads to the central issue: I want something that you want to give me. I don't really like holidays because people get all consumed by getting someone something because it's a holiday and they're supposed to get someone something for that holiday. It's part of why I have so many problems with birthdays, particularly my own: I don't like the expectation inherent in the system.

Of course, informing people on good ideas sort of causes problems with my general preference of not telling people to get me things, or telling them exactly what to get, but hell, I figure I'll make a general post that includes some ideas in particular and some definite no-no's.

Things I might be interested in:
Things not to get me, ever, are these:
  • Stuff for my altar. I know you mean well, but whatever it is, unless I've specifically asked for it (and I have done that once), I don't want it. No, really: I don't want it. I don't care how cool it is, I'll never use it.
  • Things that are more expensive (or look more expensive) than you can afford. The gift will just make me feel guilty.
  • LJ userpics or storage space addons. I'll never use them.
  • Things that stink, like candles and cologne.
But the best gifts, honestly, can't be described or listed or shown. They just happen, they're thoughtful, and they're useful (or novel).

Example of an excellent gift? mazisexton sent me a priests' "last rites" kit from the Vatican, as well as what appears to be a vampire-repellant kit. Why is it a good gift? Mostly, it showed that she was thinking of me; that she knew enough about me to know, deep down, that it was something I desperately needed (even if I had no idea until I opened the box); and it reminds me of her. I may never use it, but I'll always treasure it.

Hope that helps some :)
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: blahblah
Current Music: "Margaritaville", -JB

(19 comments Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:December 6th, 2006 03:37 pm (UTC)
Curious....do you find a lot of useful info in the Clergy Journal?
[User Picture]
Date:December 6th, 2006 03:54 pm (UTC)
Actually, yes, I do. While a lot of the journal is geared toward Christian ministers, what I've seen so far in reading through is that it's mostly focused on managing congregations.

Here are some article titles that I've found useful:

* Accepting Restricted Donations
* Every Check to a Church is Not a Charitable Gift
* Handling the Congregation's Funds
* When a Baby Dies - Mourning a Miscarriage
* Ministering to Pastors with Mental Illnesses
* Well-Crafted Corporate Prayer
* The Care and Nuture of Volunteers
* Three Myths Pastors Believe at Great Peril
* Marketing and the Church
* Beyond Shame: Toward an Understanding of Church Conflict
* Relocating Clergy Ego

And on and on. And that only goes back about two years in their archives. The articles that seem like they'd only affect Christian clergy or congregations (like the one on miscarriage or the one about corporate prayer) are actually very good about talking about the issue and not overloading you with scripture or judgment. In fact, scriptural quotes are rare in most articles that I've read, and I haven't seen any articles that base their arguments on scripture or anything like that. It really does seem to have a strong practical aspect to it.

Of course, keep in mind that I've never read an entire issue of this magazine. I've only read the articles where a title catches my eye or that is obviously useful. It's possible that my perception of the journal's usefulness is actually one of "ten good articles per year" rather than "each issue has about 10 good articles". Because I don't read the physical issue, I don't think in terms of "that was a good issue" but rather, "Wow, there's a lot of good articles in their archive!"

If you drop me an email, or post your addy here, I can send you a couple of articles I've grabbed from their archive, so you can see for yourself.
[User Picture]
Date:December 6th, 2006 04:04 pm (UTC)

I'd really like to see some of the articles....

dansarani at yahoo dot com
[User Picture]
Date:December 6th, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC)
Just sent three articles to you.
[User Picture]
Date:December 6th, 2006 05:24 pm (UTC)
I get a similar publication called Church Treasurer that is filled with useful information (that I usually don't have time to thoroughly read, but at least I know where to find it).
[User Picture]
Date:December 6th, 2006 06:03 pm (UTC)
Just did a check on that in the library archives, and it seems we don't have that one. Darn :)

But thanks for the head's up.

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