Posts Tagged ‘USO’

Letter From New York 12 22 14 On Christmas Quiches…

December 23, 2014

Today was devoted to Christmas quiches. Somewhere along the line it has become a Christmas tradition that I make Christmas quiches for my friends and neighbors and so today I made them, eighteen in total, supported by the faithful Nick. Since early this morning I was prepping for the day, slicing ham, dicing mushrooms, shredding cheese, steaming asparagus, putting together all the various things that were to make up this year’s Christmas quiches.

Christmas is upon us. I have a couple of presents to wrap but other than that I am done. It feels good.

It doesn’t look like it will be a white Christmas here in Claverack. Probably very damp but not white. And that’s okay. I celebrate that it’s not Minnesota cold. But then Minnesota is not as cold as it used to be.

In fact, according to some, Minneapolis is going to be a very temperate place in the next century, the product of climate change. Wine growing regions are moving north.

These are extraordinary things, this shifting of climates. It is all changing. The old timers here tell me that winters here in Claverack are nothing like they used to be – oh, so much milder. I always say that winters here are the way we hoped winters in Minnesota would be but never were.

It is a tolerable winter.

So we won’t have a white Christmas but we’ll have the spirit of a white Christmas even if it is not.

My car is full of quiches, ready to be delivered tomorrow. I feel a bit like Santa. Instead of a sleigh I have a red Toyota Prius and I am Santa like as I drive through Columbia County dispensing my bounty.

The first reviews have been good and I’m glad. Of the eighteen quiches three went home with young Nick and he texted me that they were great! And I’m glad.

It is satisfying to give gifts that were made in my kitchen. It feels like a throw back to Christmases past, when gifts were made at home and shared with friends and neighbors – not an orgy of mall shopping or online binging. Though I have to say, thank God for online shopping! Most of my gifts came through online buying rather than personal shopping. So much more convenient!

Most of the presents I am giving this year have been purchased online and shipped to me. The convenience is staggering. And then, in the name of my family, I made a donation to the USO.

Most of us Tombers don’t really need anything so I gave to a cause that I thought really needed something. I haven’t always agreed with our government’s military decisions but I support the men and women who have answered the call and gone and fought for us in our foreign adventures.

I can’t imagine anything harder than spending Christmas in a foreign land without your family and friends. So I tried to do something about it by donating to the USO.

Christmas is upon us. Tomorrow I will go and do a massive Christmas shop for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, both of which will be celebrated here at the cottage with old friends.

May all of us be celebrating those days with old friends and loved ones.

Letter From New York December 2, 2014

December 2, 2014

Today is Cyber Giving Tuesday [#GivingTuesday], a complement [alternative?] to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which weren’t as Black as usual or as Cyber as normal.

Sales were down this year, a whopping 11% on Black Friday weekend. Volume was up on Cyber Monday but dollars were flat as I read the reports this morning. Despite the price of gas being down and the GDP being up, Americans hung on to their cash and kept their plastic in their pockets.

The soothsayers have some reasons for this: sales were being extended post Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Some Black Friday events were going all week. Cyber Monday seemed to start on Sunday and shows no signs of abating for at least a couple of days. People are more comfortable that sales won’t disappear between now and Christmas. Folks are more comfortable that delivery services will successfully serve as Santa Claus. There are, I suppose, lots of reasons sales were lower in retail and flat online.

So…

I’ve been regularly blasted with emails saying: Black Friday extended! Cyber Monday continued!

And while those celebratory shop-a-thons have been extended, Cyber Giving Tuesday only happens today.

Since PayPal offered to add 1% to whatever I contributed, I decided that I would contribute through PayPal. It wasn’t hard for me to decide to what I was going to contribute. I had chosen the USO weeks ago. I can’t imagine much that is harder than being away from family and friends and home and being in a war zone. So that’s what I did today for Cyber Giving Tuesday.

It is the present I give to and on behalf of family members. I pick a charity and give in the name of my family and send them a note telling which charity I’ve chosen this year. The USO has been a frequent winner in recent years.

I like the idea of Cyber Giving Tuesday and hope that heaps of money is raised today for charities. It’s a nice reminder of the meaning of the season, which can sometimes get lost in Black Friday frenzy and Cyber Monday madness.