Monday, November 14, 2011

Reader Emails: Christmas Gifts

Dear Y-W-P. I want to get a good Xmas gift for a friend who is always well dressed. Can you suggest a nice event to take him to? Maybe the symphony or the theater in Boston? I live in Cambridge [...]

***NOTE: I responded with an actual list of nice events in Boston... most of which have a legitimate accompanying foundation affiliated.

But it got me thinking...
Style blogs are often silly, stupid, and superficial... Boxing the Compass is without a doubt silly, stupid, and superficial, but it's fun to put together on a weekly-ish basis.

Instead of velvet slippers, vivid pocket squares, and too-tight tweed jackets, consider giving donations as gifts this year.  Research the charities well, and ask around.  If they throw ostentatious or lavish fundraisers, be skeptical.  If they can provide full disclosures of their balance sheets, all the better.

Half of my family is of Connecticut stock, so when reader JKG mentioned this charity, I thought I'd look into it a little closer.  I liked what I found.

Organic is hit-or-miss, but local is always good.  Last winter, my wife and I were staying at a nice resort-like inn in Connecticut.  When the manager told us for the third time that all of the linens were "made from 100% organic cotton", my wife finally told him that we had no intention of eating the towels.

Keep in mind that many charities, trusts, and foundations have matched giving, so even a $5 or $15 donation is appreciated.  My brother often gives donations on behalf of his siblings, and it is a nice way to enjoy Christmas morning.

People always make jokes about getting socks for Christmas, and by the looks of many blogs, I think that some of the ankles featured (in lace-up dress shoes, mind you) could use a pair or two.  The Trad put it well when he suggested this.


  1. Would you share the holiday event list? I'll make a donation to something, if you do.

  2. I can do better... email me and I'll set you up with a great regular listing.

  3. You put forth an excellent suggestion. Farmland in Connecticut is disappearing rapidly and mostly being replaced by over-sized houses on tiny lots. Local is great and when organic, even better. The Trad Post was spot on!

  4. Last year, my friend George Costanza gave gifts to charity for all his friends. I believe it was to the Human Fund. What a grand idea!

  5. What a delightful surprise, YWP. I humbly thank you for passing this along.

  6. A very good idea as most gift recipients don't need a thing. Because of my tidewater heritage, I favor the Chesapeake Bay Foundation or the Garden Club of Virginia.

    Best regards,


  7. Great idea - We support this which is something like you suggest:


Let's keep it clean... but if you DO have to get foul, at least give it a bit of wit. Also, advertising disguised as comments will be deleted, unless it is clever.