One week to Christmas.
Seven short days until that rotund, welcome home invader makes his way down North Idaho chimneys.
Let's be sure he doesn't miss a single house, OK?
Press Christmas for All is in the final week of its 28th annual fundraising drive to put a toy or two under every tree and a hot meal on every table in Kootenai County on Christmas Day. Hundreds of you have already pitched in. We cannot thank you enough! And for the rest of you, the opportunity to give is still wide open. And yes, it is most emphatically an opportunity.
We were speaking Friday to a young woman who has discovered the joy of giving. In her case, she took a child clothes shopping. The child told her she'd never had more than one pair of shoes at any time in her life. The young woman, clearly moved, suddenly appreciated so much more what she had in her closet, which in truth wasn't that much.
Here at the newspaper, Brenda Hanson is leading an employee drive to raise an additional $500 for Press Christmas for All, as she does so lovingly and relentlessly every year. Without disclosing the name, she shared that the largest single donation came from an employee who had less to give than many others.
That employee understands what it feels like to do something good for someone else - which reminds us of an essay Mark Twain wrote late in life.
"What Is Man?" is one of Twain's least-known works, banned in some places because it was deemed sacrilegious. "What Is Man?" is a discussion between an old man and a young man, and the old man steadfastly maintains that everything a person does in life is done either automatically or for selfish reasons.
What does that have to do with the joy of giving, especially at Christmas time? As Twain's old man understood, there is no feeling of self-satisfaction any greater than that derived by doing something good for someone else - particularly when there's nothing else to be gained by the giver but the sense of satisfaction itself. We could argue about whether or not altruism really exists - as Twain and his critics certainly did - but it's a moot point for this editorial.
When you donate what you can to Press Christmas for All, you'll help others. Mark Twain himself would agree that you'll also be helping yourself.