Thursday, December 11, 2008

oxfam to shoppers: get them something they don't want


This time of year, instead of earnest appeals, Oxfam might do better to exploit a consumer insight I learned this morning on the crosstown bus: sometimes gift donations are made out of spite.
WOMAN ON CELLPHONE BEHIND ME: Let's think how to get out of this the cheapest way possible…

My ears perk up for details of a real estate selloff or messy divorce proceedings…

… I'll do Mom this year and you can do Dad and Terry and we'll put both our names on it.

I'm about to stop listening when…

Dude! Dad and Terry are married now, you can totally get them something together. It doesn't have to be good. Just go to the drugstore and get them, like, a battery charger. Ooooooo, I have a better idea. Oxfam has a website where for, like, 18 bucks you can irrigate a farmer's land for a month. That's perfect. Just make sure its in a faraway country they've never even heard of, okay?
Someone on your gift list you can't stand? Give them something they can't use, but can't return either. A water buffalo in their name. A goat. A cow. Something that makes you look like an angel of mercy when you're actually feeling like Scrooge. You'll get the satisfaction of cold-shouldering someone in a way they can't object to, and helping someone else truly in need. Because it's sometimes easier to maintain the holiday spirit with people you've never actually met, isn't it?

4 comments:

Catnip Intoxicating said...

I gave a co-worker (who I did not get a long with) a lump of coal. I found it a CVS. Turns out he loved it!

facty said...

I moved to Ireland two years ago - here, families will get each other gift and also adopt an African family or buy a village a cow.

Its actually pretty inspiring to see the charity of the Irish people year-round.

I thought about buying a village cow for some of my USA friends but realised they would look at the gesture just as you illustrated in this post.

Ah well, they sell plenty of Guinness merch in the airport.

TheGirlPie said...

Hate to say it, but this is PERFECT for me... tonally especially -- wonderful writing, thanks.

Ad Broad, oldest working writer in advertising said...

@Catnip Intoxicating Ha! CVS sells lumps of coal? I'm putting that on my shopping list tomorrow...

@facty It is kind of sad, isn't it? Lucky you to live among the goodhearted Irish. Not to mention the Guinness. ;)

@TheGirlPie Ah, a girl after my own heart...tarnished though it may be... ;)