My Christmas list…

It’s that time of year when people are wondering what to get one another for Christmas.  Usually I don’t make lists, but this year I felt like it was important.  For those of you in panic mode knowing that there are five short shopping days before Christmas, here you go:


  1. Peace on Earth/Good will toward man.  I know, I know.  “Micheal, that’s far too much to ask.  There’s no way we can give you peace on Earth or good will toward man.”  Bullshit.  You don’t need to solve the Middle East problems or stop warring factions in Africa.  But I’ll bet you that you’re on the outs with someone.  I’ll bet you had an argument about something or they did something to hurt you.  Maybe your neighbor keeps letting his dog crap on your lawn.  Maybe you never got over your best friend sleeping with your boyfriend when you were sixteen.  These things eat away at you and affect the way you interact with others.  Take a bold step and forgive.  You don’t have to tell them you forgive them, but do it in your heart.  Send them a card.  Buy them a drink.    Remember that what you do resonates through the world.  Every act you take in your life affects someone else’s life, which in turn affects someone else’s
  2. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless.  I’m not saying that you should invite a homeless person to stay with you for the holidays.  I am betting, however, that you have a ton of clothes that you haven’t worn in a year.  Go donate them somewhere.  If you don’t have any place in your area, let me know and I’ll gladly take them to one of the dozens of collection facilities in my area.  Volunteer at a soup kitchen.  Chances are one of your local churches is running something to give a good meal to the less fortunate in your neighborhood.  Or, the next time you’re at the grocery store, consider buying generic/store brand food where you wouldn’t have before and use the difference to buy extra for your local food bank.  If you’re feeling really giving, contact my friend and brother in Christ Pete Couper at  Breakthrough Ministries and help out in his mission to “Lead the homeless home.”
  3. Help me heal and comfort the sick.  This is where I get a little bit personal.  Most people who know me know that I do several charity events every year.  I walk in the Crohn’s/Colitis walk for my mom and aunt, the Race for the Cure and The 3 Day for the Cure for dear friends who have lost loved ones to Cancer, and ride in the MS150 in honor of friends who suffer.  These charities provide support in the search for cures for these diseases, financial and emotional support to those who suffer from them, and education and awareness on preventing, detecting, and dealing with them.  Each year I raise thousands of dollars for these charities because they are causes I believe in.   You can donate to the MS150 on my behalf here (edit 12/12/12: I haven’t registered for 2013 yet, so the donation link is defunct)  I have not yet registered for the other events yet, though I will be in the near future, so if you would like to donate, please contact me at galen_of_avalon at hotmail dot com (address broken up to avoid spam bots) and we’ll work something out.  Remember that these donations are tax deductible, so if you’re thinking ahead to tax time…
  4. Support me on my path.  This site is about my journey from the man I am to the man I want to be, the man I feel called to be.  I’ll detail this elsewhere on this site, but the basic issue is that my outward self does not reflect my inward self in the way it should and I aim to rectify that.  Unfortunately, there’s a lot of clean up work involved in doing so, and a lot of building.  I am always satisfied with kind words, patience, and acceptance, but, to be honest, I won’t be above asking for your financial support.  In the coming weeks, I’ll be opening a Cafe Press store and putting up a donation link.  If you feel like giving to me, you can contact me at the email in point 3, but know that there is no possession I need, nothing I can hold in my hand that will make me happy, but building up an emergency fund, paying off debt and funding educational expenses, whilst covering the overhead of participating in the charity events I do (bicycle maintenance, walking shoes, etc.) are gifts that would mean infinitely more and will enable me to do more of what I need to do.   Make no mistake, I’m happy to do this on my own and would rather see you focus on the other points of this post.

Christmas is never about how much you give.  It’s not even about what you give.  It’s about giving from the heart, whether that’s a homemade sweater to keep a loved one warm, or an inexpensive soup cup set that reminds the recipient of the warmth of the love with which it was given (most treasured gift I ever got).  No one needs a big screen TV or a portable gaming system.  They need to know that they are loved and matter to someone, somewhere in the world.  Remember this on Christmas and the other 364 days of the year.