Season of Giving
And giving, and giving, and giving
Illustration by Brad Fitzpatrick
Well, it’s here again, along with dead plants, barren trees, damp, cold days and colder nights, freezing rain and an early season snowfall or two. It’s another dreadful “season to be jolly,” also known as the “season of giving.” But the “season of giving” is like the “political season” in New Hampshire. There is no “season” because it goes on through all seasons, year after year. Heck, you know that. We all receive year-round appeals to give to one charitable organization after another, and most of them are quite “legit.” And just about every one on the voter lists receives solicitations from various political candidates or “friends of” same, with “friends” having roughly the same meaning as “fellow extortionists.”
It was long ago, but I once received such a solicitation from Judd Gregg — as though Judd needed any money from me. You could look it up: In one race after another — one for Governor’s Council, four for US representative, two for governor and three for the US Senate, Judd never lost a primary or general election, due no doubt to the incalculable appeal of his hidden charisma. Besides which, he had then, and as far as I know still has, more money than King Midas. And there I was, barely eking out a living, with the wolf at the door and Gregg in my mailbox.
Then there was the year that Gov. (now Senator) Jeanne Shaheen sent solicitations to state employees for donations to her next campaign, a legal no-no. You know, Merry Christmas to all, and to all job security. When that was discovered, the governor’s legal counsel explained that the donor list had somehow gotten mixed up with the governor’s Christmas card list. I never got a Christmas card from either of them.
But one year I did get a Christmas card — and a very nice one too — from my good friends the Doles, Bob and Elizabeth. Seems “Liddy” was planning to run for president in the next New Hampshire primary. She dropped out months before the voting, however, and I never got another card from the Doles. Guess they lost the “spirit of the season.”
Maybe I’ll get one this year from my good friend in Ohio, Gov. John Kasich. I certainly get a lot of emails, some from John and some from “Team Kasich.” In case you hadn’t noticed, John ran for president last time and he no doubt hopes to run again in 2020 or 2024. His biggest boast has been that when he was a member of Congress, he led the successful effort to balance the federal budget — which means, I guess, that he knows a lot of accounting tricks. Beware of him.
But if I should get a Christmas card from Kasich, I’ll probably accept it, as long as it doesn’t arrive with postage due. Even in the season of giving, there are limits to my generosity.