in a perfect world of yancies: Yet What I Can, I Give

09 December 2013

Yet What I Can, I Give

Okay, that title's a quote taken out of context (see below), and it's meant to be not truth but rather aspiration. This time of year our thoughts of course turn to questions about giving, and I thought I'd share an update since last year's post about our giving.

Thankfully, the Times did another story too, this time with lots of helpful links and even more Peter Singer references.

As you can see, our distribution is relatively unchanged from last year: a questionable commitment to the arts even though we know that helping people living in extreme poverty is the only morally justifiable choice. I guess we could pat ourselves on the back for giving almost 30% to Oxfam while the US average for overseas giving is just 6%, but I think our first step for 2014 should be telling Oxfam that we'll up our monthly gift.

Now you might wonder about the stuff further down the list: is the Nation Magazine a charity? Well, we subscribe but never read it, so I put in on there. On the other hand, we hardly ever use our YMCA memberships... if you put even half of the cost of that onto the chart, it would actually rank above the radio stations.

It would still, alas, not get us to the 5% mark...

The cool calculator the Times linked to agrees that we should be up closer to 5%. What's worse, we're actually down from last year. I'm ashamed to say that although a pay raise explains part of the decrease in the percentage we're giving away, we also let a couple of things slip and just forgot.

Emily and I are discussing sending a one-time end of the year gift—probably to, yes, Oxfam—to offset our mistake a little, but even if that happens we likely won't make 5%.

Where are you at on all of this, reader? What's a good distribution? What kind of percentage do you think makes sense?

Personally, my hope at this point is that writing about it now will make it a little harder to ignore in 2014. Tune in next year to see how it goes!

[Clunky transition alert!] Speaking of tuning, we've been enjoying some wonderful music during this season of giving.

First, take a listen to Franklin's rendition of Old McDonald:

And Sunday took us to St. Joseph Church for the Seattle U Festival of Christmas. Truly beautiful music. Glad we got to share it with Grandma Christine this year!

Also the source of the title of this post, which is a partial quote of a line from In the Bleak Midwinter, one of the songs we heard yesterday. Nothing like hearing it live, but if you want you can listen to another version On YouTube.

While we're here talking about atheists who love Christmas music, I have to tell you about this amazing story on NPR the other day. Actually, take a listen:

I can't remember the last time something made me smile this much.

In fact, I can't stop yet. Here's their version of Angels We Have Heard on High:

Man I love this time of year!

Okay fine, here are the pictures of Franklin. Helping to decorate the tree:
Decorating the Tree

Decorating the Tree
Thanks for giving your time, reader.

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