Generosity and Gratitude Part 2

Hey all.

So, you know how people can be asshats? Well, someone was. Which is to be expected, and they didn’t exactly ruin everything, but they did help ruin it. Time was the main culprit, though.

In case you didn’t read my last post, Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess started an event called the James Garfield Miracle six years ago. This year it was still going strong. It’s an event in which people in need or people looking to help all come together in the comments of her post and magic happens. People laugh, people cry, and people probably split their faces open like the joker because of how much intense smiling goes on. There’s also a good chance someone is doing something strange to an animal (not in that way), hiding in a bathtub, making a stabby face, or something else equally outstanding. (Different people, the same person isn’t doing all those things.) (Or maybe it is the same person, but probably not at the same time.) (Actually, it could very well be the same person doing it all at the same time. It’s the internet, we have no idea who’s wearing pants. I think I just got confused.) Because we’re all a bunch of weirdos over there, which is perfect. Also, half of us are possibly drunk and 90% of us are doing a lot of yelling, because even though we’re timid as fuck we’re also very dramatic.

Okay sorry, I went off on a little tangent there. I just get so excited about our “tribe”. I hope to have my own tribe one day… but I don’t think I’d call it a tribe.

Anyway, according to Jenny someone was scamming the kindhearted people. I don’t really know what that means. She mentioned a fake list, so maybe it was someone who didn’t really need help who was pretending to need help to get stuff they didn’t feel like paying for themselves, or to sell to someone else to make money, or.. well, I don’t really know. At first I thought “Well, who cares if they’re lying? If they’re that desperate then they probably really need the money or the stuff or whatever, they just feel like no one would help if they were honest.” But then I remembered this YouTube video in which a guy walks around with money taped to him and carries a sign saying “Take what you need” and a bunch of well-off people take a lot of money and even admit that they don’t need it but a homeless man only takes $2. So maybe someone was scamming us.

Thanks to that person, and because it’s getting so close to Christmas, Jenny has decided to stop allowing people to post their wish lists. However, the lists that people had already posted are still there, so if you’re in the giving mood and have the ability, go check out the comments section and find someone you think is worthy. Even though, seriously, they’re all worthy. If I was rich I probably would have bought every single person every single thing on every one of their lists. But alas, I am not.

In fact, I asked for help myself. My father spoils my son but my stepchildren aren’t as lucky and really, really, really want an electric scooter-type-thing. I think because I only have one expensive thing on my list and then a bunch of gift cards to be able to buy that one thing, people were hesitant to choose me. Which is completely and totally understandable and I don’t blame them, but I super promise I’m not being scammy or shady. I just really want to provide these kids with the perfect present because Christmas hasn’t always been the best of times (it’s when Nate went away, if you recall) and they deserve the world. Two amazing, beautiful souls were kind enough to get me gift cards so I am closer to my goal, but I’m just gonna link to my list in case someone who has the means sees it and wants to help. Please do not feel pressured or donate to me instead of someone else or do anything that might harm or be unfair to anyone else in the universe. We can survive without the dream present, I’m just a softy and try to make everything perfect.

Okay, well, remember to go to The Bloggess’s James Garfield Miracle post and peruse the comments to get your heart melted. (Remember that there are at least 4 pages of comments and I only linked to the first page so try to browse around — the last page gets pretty good because it’s when gifts start arriving at people’s houses and they tell us all how elated they are.)

Generosity and Gratitude

I know many of my followers have hard times. I know some of my followers have good times. Both can be overwhelming during the holiday season.

To make things a little easier (and probably more overwhelming, but in a good way), Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) is holding her Sixth Annual James Garfield Miracle. Basically, it’s an online event “hosted” by her taxidermied boar’s head named James Garfield, where people who are in need can ask for help and people feeling generous can give it. It’s all done in the comments of the post I linked to. Here, I’ll do it again.

The basic principle is to help children or extra super special people who probably aren’t going to have much of a Christmas this year. It’s also done through Amazon.

The way it works is: people in need, those who cannot afford gifts (or food, or other needed/desperately wanted items) go to Amazon and make a wish list. It can get a bit confusing, but it’s fairly simple. Title the list anything you want, but it’s helpful to title it something like “Holden’s Christmas List” or “Christmas for the kids”, you know, something related to what you’re searching for. Then browse Amazon for the things you’d like, or would like to give someone but cannot afford, and add them to the list. The list must be publicand there must be an address attached so the people who purchase things for you can send them to you (or wherever you want the items sent).

Once you’ve made your list, go to the post I already linked to twice and leave a comment with the URL. It’s best to include a little information, like who the list is for and such. If you want to explain your/their story (like why these items cannot be afforded right now), you are more than welcome to and the community will take you in with open arms. However, if you’re not comfortable sharing, that’s fine, too.

People who want to help: scroll through the comments, find the person/people you’d like to help, click on their list, find something(s) on it you’d like to send, and purchase it! It’s that easy.

If anyone has any trouble, the community of commenters will help you to figure it out. The only thing is that there are no comment replies set up. If Jenny replies to you directly, she does it in a bolded edit on your comment. If other people reply to you, they’ll start their comment with your name and possibly comment number. So you’ll have to go back to check if you expect responses.

This was started only a few days ago and there are already over 2,300 comments. Don’t let that discourage you, though. The comments are mixes of people asking for help, people giving help, people thanking for the help, kind words, recommendations, etc.

I will admit that even I have asked for assistance through this event. At first I had planned on helping, but then I realized that my stepkids (referred to here as Nixon and Nathaniel) need a little magic, so I asked for them. Unfortunately the one thing they really want is super expensive (almost $300) so instead of asking for that I put a bunch of Amazon gift cards on my/their wishlist. Hopefully enough people will pitch in so I can get them their one shared wish, but if not that’s okay, too. The outpouring is more than enough and I’ll at least be able to get them something.

(Most of you know I have a biological son, as I talk about him often. Don’t fret about him — he’s more than taken care of thanks to my father. I’m actually even considered returning one or two of his gifts to put the money towards the kids’ present.)

Even if you’re not in need and can’t help, simply browsing the comments and seeing the staggering number of people coming together for each other is heartwarming. It’s more than heartwarming, it’s heartmelting.