At the risk of sounding Grinch-like, there is one thing about Xmas that really, really annoys me. It’s Kris Kringle (sometimes called Secret Santa). We also do a version called ‘Bad Santa’ which is unusually cruel in that people are able to steal gifts they prefer from others.

I find them all a complete and utter waste of time and, quite frankly, money. All up, we (Aaron and I) spend about $120 on KK gifts each Xmas – four KK gifts at the limit of $30 per gift. Please understand it is not the total cost that annoys me. It’s the total waste of it.

At the risk of sounding ungrateful, I don’t need anything. And for $30 I struggle to find something that is fun (and different from the bottle of wine/designer tea/candle that I usually buy).

I have made this very clear to my family who, if reading this, please ignore my Scrooge-iness and let’s all have a nice Xmas dinner!

For a few years now, I have suggested that instead of buying gifts for each other, we pool our $30 each and make a donation to a charity. It actually would add up to a decent amount and has the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of people far less fortunate than us.

Of course, for me, there would be no better way to spend this money than on a charity that is improving lives of people living with diabetes. With the $120 that just Aaron and I spend on KK presents, we could provide life-saving insulin for two years for a child in a country where medication is prohibitively expensive.

I am sure that I will love the bowl or bottle of champagne or colouring-in book I receive from my KK this year. But really, it will make no difference in my life. It will not improve it. Again, I get that I sound ungrateful to the cousin or aunt who has purchased this gift for me, and while I don’t mean to, it is the way I feel.

It feels wasteful. And there are so many ways that the money could be better spent.

So, today I have made a couple of donations. I have made a donation to Spare a Rose, Save a Child, adding to the monthly contribution I already make. The money I have donated will go to the IDF’s Life for a Child program and provide insulin or BGL strips for 12 months to a child who would not otherwise be able to access these supplies.

spare a rose

And I am also making a donation to Type 1 International to help their work in ensuring people with type 1 diabetes around the globe have access to insulin, diabetes consumables and medical care.


If my KKs are reading this, please feel free to give me a handmade card with a little note telling me you have donated the amount of my gift to either of these charities – or another one that you support.  I promise that I will think it the best KK present under the tree, and I also promise to stop being a Grinch!

Our Xmas album collection is eclectic. One album that is on frequent rotation in the silly season is Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and their version of The Twelve Days of Christmas is different to say the least! Enjoy if you can.