As we start the last night of Hanukkah tonight, the holiday is definitely winding down. Here's a few thoughts on the topic of giving.
8 Days, 8 Levels
I found this article about Hanukkah and Tzedakah (charity) to be really enlightening (pun intended). It takes on the topic of the 8 levels of giving charity, and relates it to Hanukkah's 8 nights. It's easy to get cynical about giving charity, but articles like this one help you avoid that trap.
The Gift Of Content Aggregation
The article, Eight nights of apps: iPhone apps put Chanukah in the palm of your hand, inspired an idea. What about setting up a sort of digital gift exchange next year? It would work like a regular gift exchange in that you'd pair up folks, but rather than going out and buying more stuff, you'd compile a list of online resources for that person.
You could follow the mobile app inspired theme and do 8 Android apps for Hanukkah, or you could hit up YouTube and find the 8 funniest videos involving lighting something on fire. Or you could find the 8 best holiday related snopes. The sky's the limit. The rules could be simple: it must be 8 items, it must have something to do with the holiday season and it must be made up of URLs..
The idea could work because: (a) it's recession friendly, (b) it's got a personal touch to it, (c) you can share lists with the whole world, bringing joy to all. Best of all, there's no need to buy more stuff.
Who's with me next year?