I was very happy to get gifts in return... from some of you, and I in no way think less of the those who wouldn't get me anything, even though I wasn't asking for much at all, and it would have been totally easy just to get me a measly mosquito net or something; I'd have shared it with your other readers even.
Anyway, I'm sure you had your reasons.
But darn it, I'm not giving up. In fact, I'm pushing it further and we (yes that we means you too) are going to create a new holiday.
The holiday is the Inter Solstice (it was an available domain name :-)) and here are the preliminary holiday traditions:
1. When. The Inter Solstice is celebrated on the Winter Solstice, of course, with the giving of gifts presented in a blog post, comment, tweet, or so on. This year the Inter Solstice will fall on the 21st of December (at 11:59 AM UT, for our orthodox celebrants).I'm looking for:
2. What. All Inter Solstice gifts are charitable and tax-deductible donations of any size, given in the name of your digital friends. Learn how to get your Inter Solstice shopping and gift wrapping done, here, and get your gifts out early that day so others may have a chance to reciprocate.
3. Who. Inter Solstice is nondenominational, requiring only a provisional belief in the sun and a vague understanding of the internets. There is no reason to worry if your friends or followers celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, or nothing at all; we're all under the sun.
4. Appropriate Gifts. Inter Solstice is nonpartisan. You have a lot of different online friends and lurkers, some who hate everything you stand for, right? Be honest. So, how do you find a gift they'll all enjoy? As with art or pornography, you know it when you see it. Oxfam and Toys for Tots are probably kosher, for example, but celebrants should stay clear of donations to, say, organizations like the Family Research Counsel or Planned Parenthood. You can find gift ideas here.
5. Guilt. As with many traditions, guilt is a significant part of Inter Solstice. A life-saving vaccination is a life-saving vaccination, regardless of whether it came from spontaneous charity or grotesque ego manipulation. And really, what kind of person refuses to get their friends a present on the holidays, right? You don't want to be thought of as some unmannered good-for-nothing, do you? You see, shameless pandering is an Inter Solstice staple and should be used to spread charity like a virus. You could help do that by listing your gifts and recipients, here.
We here at InterSolstice.org hope you will consider celebrating and expanding this fledgling hint at a holiday. You can show your appreciation for your friends, encourage charity in others, and make a difference in people's lives when they need it the most.
Contact us; we'd love to hear your suggestions on how to build on Inter Solstice traditions. Maybe you could share a neat new gift wrapping graphic, or help build some elaborate and false mythology around the day. Or you can simply share an Inter Solstice miracle (Like experiencing a preternatural lack of spam for a week after donating or something... I don't know what to expect; it's a new holiday).See some suggestions for how to get shopping, here, and thank you.
1. Of course, about a week before the solstice I hope other will indicate on their blog, facebook, what have you that they will be celebrating, in order to give warning to others. Then I hope they do celibate in the (1st annual) traditional manner on the solstice. You have a lot of online friends for whom you should get gifts on the holidays but many would freak out if they got a package in the mail from on online personality, right? Instead, get a charitable donation in their name and encourage them to do the same. Like I said, lets spread charity it like a virus.
2. Help me make the site work and presentable. The draft is here, and please note not all of it is working but you can get the idea. I've been working on it for a while but got sidetracked with the election. Don't, for example, use the contact form there, just yet; you can send your suggestions by email or comment here. I really want this to work and spread charity, particularly at this time when many families are in financial trouble. So can you give me your suggestions? What would make this into a substantial internet meme and spread charity? I'll take anything: criticism on the color pallet, new "traditions", ideas for interactivity, new graphics...
And consider this your traditional Inter Solstice warning; you will all be getting a gift from me for the holidays and I want one back :-).