I’m Right, You’re Wrong!

by Marinka on November 29, 2010

Welcome to a very happy Thank Goodness Thanksgiving is Over installment of I’m Right, You’re Wrong.

Today, we are tackling the dilemma of Marinka’s holiday gift list.

See, Marinka’s 8 year old godson is on her gift list and this year, instead of giving him Leggos-DS-Puzzles-Books, Marinka wants to give him a more meaningful gift.  Where more meaningful equals she can get it online, while supporting Oxfam.

Cast of Disagreers:  Marinka and Various Family Members Who Wish to Remain Anonymous Lest They Be Mistaken For Capitalist Pigs.

Disagreement: Is  a Bag of Manure a Good Gift for an 8 Year Old Boy?  How About a Can of Worms?

(Explanation:  This is a gift that’s donated  in the name of the giftee to a needy family/community by Oxfam.  And to answer Papa’s question, neither the donor nor the giftee needs to produce the manure him/herself.  Although, yes, Papa, that would be a nice touch.)

Position One:  Kids have enough crap!  Isn’t the gift of helping others the best gift we can give them?

Position Two: A child’s holiday gift isn’t the time or place to push one’s communist agenda.  Give them a gift and donate shit on our own time.

What do you think?


And not to pressure you or anything, but have you entered my very special Oxfam giveaway?  You can win a goat!  What loved one wouldn’t love to find that in his stocking?

And enter Wendi’s giveaway to get your own manure!  I mean, not your own, of course.  It’s a figure of speech. Weirdo.

P.S.  For those of you wondering why don’t I just inflict this on my own children, instead of my godson:  I may well. I already discussed it with my kids and gave them options of gifts that can be given on their behalf.  My 12 year old daughter, who I swear is an angel who walks among us, immediately asked to donate a water purifier.  Young Ladrinka, 9, was a little less enthusiastic and a little more “YOU’RE KIDDING, RIGHT?”  It’s a work in progress.

One year ago ...

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Gdot November 29, 2010 at 7:33 am

I’m torn….
Position 1:Kids have crap
Position 2: give ‘crap’ in kids name.

I’ll think about it while I’m Christmas shopping today….


November 29, 2010 at 8:01 am

What 8-year-old boy wouldn’t be thrilled with a can of worms? Kids do have too much crap, and I think it’s perfectly appropriate to indoctrinate, uh, I mean expose them to helping comrades, uh, I mean others.

Give him the worms and a small set of Legos and that should please all the socialists and capitalists in your family.


November 29, 2010 at 8:42 am

I think young Ladrinka could use a goat in his room to help clean up Pokemon cards. See if that one flies with him.


Migg November 29, 2010 at 8:58 am

First of all, you’re totally awesome for doing this.
The world needs more people to give their family worms/ manure!

I’m with Nona I say a small gift and then a gift to oxfam. You’re teaching your godson, and children for that matter, social responsibility and empathy. And, as an educator, I’m aware that this is sadly lacking in some of our children.

Maybe a disenfranchised country leggo set for the home run?


November 29, 2010 at 9:05 am

As I wrote on Wendi’s blog, I once received an abortion for Christmas. (It was a donation to a family planning clinic designated specifically to a woman-in-need’s abortion.) And as I said on her blog, I’m a Hillary Clinton abortions-should-be-legal-safe-and-rare type guy. But an abortion? For Christmas? I think a bag of manure and a can of worms falls firmly into this category for a child.
If your aim is to create a cynical, bitter child who will grow up to distrust all charities, then by all means, shit-and-worms-away! But why stop there? Why not drag him to the homeless mission every night in December?
What Michael does for our nieces and nephews – who all have too much stuff – is to buy them books and/or cd’s that are above their reading/taste level – i.e. classical music for the one taking cello lessons, or a serious history book on aircraft design for the one with an interest in airplanes. Oddly enough, and to the amazement of their parents (and me), the kids actually spend time with these things.
And we make donations on our own dime.


Renee November 29, 2010 at 12:20 pm

In full agreement with Peajaye!


The Lady AshEfield November 29, 2010 at 7:08 pm

Seriously? i say give the kid the bag of shit- the worms- and a visit to a homeless shelter. all good lessons.

-as Lu-Lu Fishpaw says: I’m gonna get an abortion and I can’t WAIT!
(thanks Peajaye!)

The Lady Ashefield


November 29, 2010 at 9:11 am

I like Nona’s option of a small token gift and the bag of worms.

For my kids’ birthdays, we request that their birthday party guests bring a small donation to whatever charity – the library at the children’s hospital or the coats for kids drive – in lieu of gifts. I just can’t bear anymore small plastic junk presents in our house. My kids have always been fine with this option, especially since they know they still get gifts from family members.


From Belgium November 29, 2010 at 9:14 am

Perhaps young Ladrinka would be more into the idea if he could raise the worms from babyworm to full adult worm and then give them away to the needy… Or produce the manure himself …


yanabug November 29, 2010 at 9:20 am

This is a tough one. On one hand, whenever someone gives me a “gift” in the form of a donation to a charity of their choice, it sort of pisses me off. Because seriously, that’s not a gift for me. It’s a gift for the charity and for the giver (who gets to feel like a double good doobie for being charitable and for shoving his/her charity all up in my face). But on the other hand, I love Oxfam, and kids really do need to learn that the world of need is larger than their need for a new kinect thing-a-ma-jiggy or whatever. So I guess I agree with the others, and vote for doing both. Especially because he’ll probably appreciate the worm donation more if he’s not busy resenting it for replacing his “real” gift.


Bostulla November 29, 2010 at 10:37 am

I’m not sure that the altruism brain cells are fully developed at 8 years old. Maybe Nona’s suggestion of doing both is a great way to nourish their growth.

Either way, it will be much better than the annual gift from my godparents: religious dashboard figurines. Hello? I didn’t have a dashboard when I was eight.


November 29, 2010 at 10:39 am

He’s eight. He won’t think it’s so wonderful, no matter how wonderful it is.

These are gifts to be given to adults, not kids, methinks.


christy November 29, 2010 at 11:07 am

I probably am siding with the wrong member(s) of your household, but I say Christmas is for presents, for eight year olds anyway. I think the oxfam posts are awesome, and they are indeed providing incentive for me to broaden my donations this holiday season, but for kids? I don’t know, I sure wouldn’t have appreciated it when I was a kid.


annie November 29, 2010 at 11:51 am

Hmmm- well we did this once but with the WWF (that’s wildlife, not wrestling). The girls loved it but I suspect it might have been because they also got a stuffed animal to commemorate the one they donated. Maybe you can go with option 1 but also include a can of worms or bag of manure 😉

They really must have something to open.


November 29, 2010 at 11:52 am

It’s an awesome idea!!! I’m a little conflicted as to whether it’s a good gift for a kid. I’m thinking of starting my own charity: donating my mother-in-law to a needy family that didn’t get a goat. If my husband really loved me this is what he would give me for the holiday.


November 29, 2010 at 10:36 pm

I’ve got some inlaws to throw in to make a set. How many do you need?


Loukia November 29, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Do the can of worms or manure, but attach the card to a little gift. As cool as the gift of worms or manure is, (and what stories he can tell his friends!) I’m sure he’ll also enjoy unwrapping a little something like LEGO, too!


Allyson November 29, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I’m actually having this same debate with myself about my own children and various charities that do similar things. They have aunts and uncles and grandparents who spoil the shit out of them. I’m tired of contributing to it. When do I get to say enough?


November 29, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Uh seriously. Position 2.


K-Line November 29, 2010 at 2:54 pm

I say, give the world-improvement gift AND a DS.


Kimberly November 29, 2010 at 3:47 pm

My husband suggested we “take it easy” thus Christmas due to the fact that we are getting our bathroom redone. I’ve been seething ever since.

I’m 46. I have a feeling an 8 year old won’t be so mature.


joeinvegas November 29, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I vote with Ladrinka – “You’ve got to be kidding, right?” (even an adult wouldn’t go for that. The donation is your choice, not theirs)


November 29, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Hmmm, I’ll be honest. I think it’s a great gift idea for an adult. I think it’s an okay gift idea for a kid, only if you are getting them something as well. Or else, you’ll forever be known as the person who doesn’t give gifts. Which is okay, if that is what you want to do, but not if you think he will be all impressed with your gift idea.

If that makes sense at all. Which I doubt it does. I don’t know. I guess it’s a bit much for an eight year old to understand. Or maybe appreciate? Sigh. I’m done.


November 29, 2010 at 7:36 pm

I would love it. The average 8 year old won’t understand but will only know they didn’t get a present. So, manure and something small or give the manure to an adult and give the kid something else.


Vicki November 29, 2010 at 10:26 pm

I was TOTALLY thinking of adopting an endangered animal for my step kids for Hanukah. They have so much crap they never play with. And they love animals. Why not?!


November 29, 2010 at 11:23 pm

I agree with position two but then again my kids 2 and the thought behind donating anything is beyond her ability to understand.


joanne November 30, 2010 at 10:12 am

I go with small gift with donation, adults understand donation gifts kids? not so much.


emilyk November 30, 2010 at 6:51 pm

I received things like this from my parents all growing up and still do. I have to say, it was my least recognized gift as a child (I was definitely more interested in the toys) but as something that was in my life on a regular basis, it brought my attention to it, even if only for a fleeting moment. We also did do things like help out with the homeless during holidays, and to my 8yo self it often felt like an inconvenience, but I often enjoyed the experience and it gave me a lot to think about. Now as an adult I think those things had an impact on me. But I’m torn… because it’s a passive participation in giving. They aren’t actually the ones giving (except maybe in the sense that they are missing out on another toy for themselves – there might be something there) and I never quite got that… in that sense it did/does seem a little pushy and preachy. With my new little one, I’m thinking about celebrating St. Nicholas’ day as she grows up, and having that be a day when we participate together in giving to the poor and hurting – both in deciding how to do it and doing it. And there you go… I now sound like a totally self-righteous schmuck. Oh well, it’s Christmas.


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