This incessant drumbeat of retailers trying to convince me, corrupt me that I need so…much...stuff.
Clothes, appliances, jewelry, toys for grandchildren I don’t yet have.
I go back and forth between, “This country and culture has lost its mind,” to “Oooh, maybe I do need a shrimp knife and pajamas with my dog’s face custom printed all over them.”
That I would even entertain getting more stuff makes me disgusted with myself.
Spoiler alert, in case you haven’t guessed. I’m not big on Christmas.
Are you enthralled with the magic of the season, Dear Reader?
Is Halloween merely “Holiday Season Eve” for you, because the calendar turning to November gives you permission to put up your tree, decorate your entire house?
Good on you, if that brings you joy.
Me? It stings my Grinchy-heart.
If I don’t have bins of ornaments and decorations to bring out by this age, why start?
Like most years, I was gritting my way through this month when an unexpected letter landed in my mailbox.
It was from a man who owns a company I do a lot of work for.
Mysteriously, the envelope also contained a pair of dice and some specific instructions.
It read, “You get one roll of a pair of dice. Each number on the dice is worth $20 cash.”
That money will be his Christmas gift to me.
Or rather through me.
He writes, “Whatever amount of cash you win is yours, but it is hoped you will give at least half (or more) to someone less fortunate than you. Please don’t give it to a relative or family member.”
The idea is to give as a random act of kindness to someone I don’t know very well.
Suddenly, my heart lit up like a Christmas tree, my mind spinning all the ways I could give away the money.
I might buy a stranger’s dinner at Cracker Barrel.
I always like to gift the hardworking women who keep the Ladies room clean at the airport, as I cannot imagine a more important, under-appreciated job.
Will I simply see someone and instantly know that they are the one?
I now know two things for sure.
One, no one rides for free. The man gifting the money expects something in return. The envelope with the letter and the dice also contained a self-addressed stamped envelope. He wants to know what each person does with the Christmas dice money, not to keep us accountable. Rather, a heart-warming story is the best gift he will enjoy.
And two, I now can’t stop thinking about all the stuff this Christmas dice money can buy.
Gifts, gifts, gifts.
There are so many possibilities.
However much money I’ll get when I roll the dice, it will be enough.
Enough to make this the best holiday of the year.
Daryn Kagan is the author of the book “Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts On Losing Her Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.” Email her at Daryn@darynkagan.com.