I’m getting you socks for Christmas


December is a time for holiday cards, holiday cheer and, of course, holiday appeals from non-profit organizations. 

I seem to get a dozen or more a week—many evoking the holiday "spirit of giving" or reminding me of yearend tax deductions.  Others thank me, cursorily, for past giving and ask me, curtly, to give "just $100 more." 

The flurry of facsimile pitches often leaves me cold; many (from organizations I've never supported before) end up in the kitchen waste basket, unopened.

Yet this simple 33-word message—in the storefront window of Midnight Run, a local charity—thawed my heart.

Maybe that's because it took me by surprise. Or because it's so homespun. Perhaps the blog I wrote last week about a shoeless New York man is still on my mind.

But the biggest reason, I think, is because Midnight Run is giving me an opportunity to make a real difference in one person's life rather than asking me to save the entire world—or save the non-profit organization. 

That just feels right to me—especially during the holiday season. It might even be the first gift of socks that someone enjoys opening this year.