Dorothy Burchett head shot

Dorothy Burchett 

I had already bought several Christmas gifts for my daughter and granddaughter. They were wrapped and in the bag, ready to take to their house on Christmas Day, when I got an inspiration to get them each a Bible.

As I thought about it more, I decided that I would not just buy them a gift, I would give them mementoes. I have a big, beautiful Bible that belonged to my deceased mother. I went to the closet where I kept it and there it was, in all its splendor. I wasn’t so sure about the other one. I looked for it among my other books and, sure enough, it wasn’t there.

The only answer to the dilemma is that I must have donated it to a local charity.

I had a similar dilemma on Dec. 1, when I was decorating for Christmas. I had a very large snow globe that had a large nativity inside. It played a Christmas carol, as the nativity rotated. I thought it would look nice on the coffee table, but, when I looked in the closet, it was gone— donated, most likely.

The Bible and the snow globe have gone the way of many of my possessions in the last seven years, as I moved from a large seven-room house to a smaller, four-room cottage.

The snow globe had sentimental attachments, as it was given to me by a previous employer. I did bring it out at Christmas time for years. Apparently, the Practical Pig in me finally got the upper hand and insisted that I get rid of it. I couldn’t just throw it out, so the only logical thing I could do was to donate it.

It seems to be a trend with me. I go to the closet to get a dress or pair of slacks, only to find it absent. Maybe I “never” wore it, but, suddenly, I decided to wear it once again. I have donated and sold at yard sales items that I wish I still had. (I must admit, though, that there are a lot of things that I don’t miss, either.)

It was all done in the interest of downsizing and being practical about material things. After all, people and relationships are what are really important. Why should I mourn the loss of things? So, I try to focus on that and keep material things in their proper place in my life.

So, I hope that the people in the mission in Kentucky, to whom the local priest took donations several years ago, are treasuring the set of flatware my mother gave me for a wedding gift for my first marriage.

I pray that someone who needed faith and hope in their life has found it in the Bible I once used when I was coordinator of religious education at my church 30 years ago.

Maybe, some young woman (or man) is making flaky pie crusts with the pastry blender I sold at a yard sale after my mother died.

It wouldn’t surprise me that some young child is shaking that snow globe my employer gave me and asking questions about the little family inside it.

You know what? Maybe, the proper place for these things in my life is in somebody else’s life. Maybe, that’s why I donate.

(Dorothy Burchett is the author of the book “Miles and Miracles,” available on Amazon. Contact her at

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