Some holiday gifts keep on giving

By Clyde Davis: Local columnist

Several years ago, Sinbad and Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in a Christmas comedy about, among other things, parents attempting to latch onto the perfect, coveted and much sought after gift for their children. As is usually the case with Christmas comedy movies, there is a heartwarming underlying message about reconciliation, real values, etc.

We have been playing our own version of this game, sans the heartwarming message, as we look for this year’s parallel to Cabbage Patch dolls, Tickle Me Elmos, and the other icons of Christmas past which haunted the minds of parents — in other words, this year’s hot item that can’t be found.

So comes the subject of the perfect gift — in this case, however, I want you to focus, not on the perfect gift for a 7-year-old, but on the gift which might truly gladden the heart of the special someone in your life. No, I am not talking about naming a star for someone, though somewhere there may be people who actually buy those certificates. Several weeks ago, this column focused on actual, tangible presents. What of the intangible gift?

Perhaps the issue of abused chidren is close to the heart of the one whom you wish to honor. A donation in his or her name to a local abuse shelter, a safety program for kids, or any other organization designed to protect the innocents might be a great idea.

Chidren’s sports have always been important to me. As a child, I was lucky enough to play, and have been involved in numerous coaching aspects and ages. However, the cost keeps going up, and especially for families with more than one kid, the cost can be prohibitive. A gift for such a person as me might involve scholarshipping one or more kids who could not otherwise play.

Okay, maybe your recipient prefers animals to people. Have you thought of a presentation in his or her name, or perhaps their favorite pet’s name, to the SPCA or an animal rescue organization? I can see it now — the Bonnie Davis obedience school scholarship fund! (Bonnie is our terrier)

Conservation may be the primary love of your loved one’s life. Don’t overlook the fact that many ecozones have their own special group dedicated to their care and preservation. For example, I am aware, off the top of my head, of a national wetlands preservation society, and the Otero Wilderness Project, which is of course here in New Mexico. Additionally, groups such as Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Ducks Unlimited devote themselves to particular interests

It would be inappropriate to overlook a gift to education, whether in the form of a gift to an institution or individual scholarships. Rising costs leave many students strapped for finances.

It is usually easy to find presents for the children in our lives. As well, there are certain traditions which it is easy to honor — a nice piece of jewelry, a book that he or she has come to expect, etc. But in looking for that gift for the “person who has everything,” it might be a good idea to honor his or her name with a contribution.

Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and a college instructor. He can be contacted at:
clyde_davis@yahoo.com