2009-11-20 / Columns


The Gift Of The Magi
Mark Rogers, Executive Director

Do you remember "The Gift of the Magi," a short story by O. Henry? You know the one. It's been restaged on every cartoon and sitcom Christmas Special for the last 50 years - remember Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas? Anyway, allow me to summarize in case you missed O. Henry in school. "The Gift of the Magi" Cliff's Notes, if you will.

A young wife sadly realizes on Christmas Eve that she doesn't have enough money to buy her husband a fancy watch fob she has picked out as a gift for him to use on his precious pocket watch. As a last resort, she sells her beautiful long hair to a wig maker and buys the watch chain. When her husband arrives home, he is stunned to see that she cut off her long hair. The young man, in a desperate bid to raise money, has sold his pocket watch so he could buy a special present for his wife - a beautiful set of combs for her hair.

So here's the deal, the wife's got pretty combs but no more long hair, and the husband has a fancy fob and no more watch. But they learn a valuable lesson - their love for each other is more precious than any worldly possessions. They're poor but rich.

But I'd like to add my own lesson - gift giving can be really complicated.

[Cue the upbeat holiday music!]

That's why your Owen County Community Foundation is once again offering our services as Christmas Elves!

Don't sell your hair. Don't sell your watch. Just make a gift to your Community Foundation in honor of those on your Christmas list (the good list), and we will send a holiday card announcing your generous donation to the person you choose to honor with your gift.

No wrapping. No deliveries. No mess. No fuss. Just some Christmas cheer in exchange for a gift to your community and to those special people on your list who probably already have combs and watch fobs anyway.

All you need to do is send a list of those people you would like to honor at Christmas to your OCCF elves along with your donation. Your personal elf will send a special holiday card announcing your gift to whomever you choose to honor. If you would rather mail the cards yourself and add a personal note, just let us know, and we'll get the cards ready for you to pick up. We do prefer a minimum gift of $10 per card requested.

The gifts received in the holiday giving program can be placed in the fund of your choice and will be held permanently to produce grants or scholarships to help our communities become better places to live, grow, and work.

Anyone interested in making a special Christmas gift to your OCCF should send the gift and the names of those you are wishing to honor by Friday, December 18, 2009. We will mail the cards out right away and you can cross those names off your shopping list.

Questions about OCCF holiday giving can be directed to Suzi Summerlot by e-mail at suzi@owencountycf. org, or by calling 829-1725. Holiday gifts can be mailed to your OCCF at P.O. Box 503, Spencer, Indiana 47460 or can be made online at: www.owencountycf.org. And as always, we welcome your visit to our office at 201 W. Morgan Street in the second floor of the Owen County State Bank.

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas!

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