Holidays—It Should Be So Nice



GLOBE X390 (ISTOCKPHOTO) | ADVOCATE.COMSuggesting a donation to charity rather than a gift

You should never assume that you’re owed a gift. The best-case scenario is when someone asks you directly, “Is there anything in particular that you’d like for…?” Then, feel free to mention your favorite charity like this: “It would mean a lot to me—and the nonprofit—if you could help out with a donation this year. And it’s tax-deductible!” I have broken the “no assumption” rule in years past when I was expecting a gift from my partner or my family by asking them to support a nonprofit that I’ve been involved with. I plan to do that this year again. With the economy still a mess, nonprofits need as much help as we can give them. If you’re planning to have a holiday party, let your guests know in the invitation that in lieu of taking a bottle, you’re taking up a collection for a particular organization and why you support it. Then, have a basket out in plain view for your guests to leave their donations (checks and cash are fine). Your nonprofit friends will thank you sincerely—and so too will the folks they serve.

STEVEN PETROW X100 | ADVOCATE.COMSteven Petrow, author of The Essential Book of Gay Manners and Etiquette (