SANTA FE, N.M. — I could not find a “holiday card” in Santa Fe, or at shops in Albuquerque, Dallas or New York City, where I also looked, that had anything at all to do with the actual birth of Jesus Christ, for which “the holiday” (Christmas, remember?) was named, and has for millennia been celebrated in Western civilization.
I counted 96 cards on display at one place featuring snowy winter scenes; cheery animals in scarves and mittens; wreaths and bells; sleighs full of toys; and the guy whose birthday many humans now believe falls on Christmas, namely Santa Claus; but not one depicted Him, or the star, or the manger or anything remotely associated with the original topic of Christ-mas! Not even one!
Even “Merry Christmas” is now being replaced with the innocuous “Happy Holidays” so as not to draw attention to His name or burn the ears of anyone who cannot tolerate having to hear it said aloud.
One can freely talk about Nebuchadnezzar, Grover Cleveland and Adolph Hitler, but that notorious guy Jesus must be censored from the pages of history lest someone hear His name!
Christmas is about a lot of things, including giving, but in the Christian tradition, giving is intended to be constant, not just at Christmas time. “If you have two coats, give one to the person who has none.” Luke 3:11, (Which can be a sacrifice if you like both coats.)
In generous Santa Fe, the giving is indeed year-round! This past year, I covered 17 events for local charities, all working to improve or enrich other people’s quality of life by supporting the medically needy, the poor, the homeless, the home-bound hungry, child welfare, abused women, neglected teens, animal causes, education, the arts, and more.
Underwriting these charities takes place 24/7 all year long and, in our little town, it’s fishing in a small pond, with nearly 100 501(c)3s competing for the same dollars from essentially the same pool of donors, requiring ever more imaginative approaches to entice them to contribute.
What tempts Santa Fe crowds (Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, agnostic, Hindu, Muslim, etc.) to attend the charity galas, the benefit auctions, the cocktail buffets and the barbecues; is it luncheons or picnics, or sometimes just lectures on the topic?
Is it a fun idea for an event, or passion for the charity? Both? If it’s not the fabulous food and entertainment at these events, maybe it’s the reward of feeling good about doing good unto others. Matt: 7:12.
For those still able to use a favorable last-minute tax deduction, the week after Christmas is the last chance to positively affect your bottom line while helping others through the charities you want to support … year-end giving.
Hey, otherwise ALL your tax dollars can go to the government! This way, you can designate part of them.
Anyway, I have surmised that maybe only museums and churches sell Christ-mas cards, so I ordered exquisite 14th-century Flemish Wilton Diptych Nativity cards online from the National Gallery in London.
So, I did get the kind of cards I was looking for. It’s not nearly so difficult to find a charity to support in Santa Fe.
Ashley Margetson has a BA in English from UCLA, is a senior real estate broker with Sotheby’s International Realty and has a finger on the pulse of philanthropic activities in Santa Fe. To tell us about an upcoming event, email firstname.lastname@example.org.