I am paraphrasing the song by Band Aid to illustrate my point about Christmas time for some being not only about giving but taking. Even forcefully! And (sometimes) through intimidation. No am not talking about thugs who generally hang around with the likes of Vermin but actually more normal gentle folk who become thugs during Xmas and Sinhalese New year. People like the postman and the guy who collects the garbage. And some, who we do not know, turn up at our doorstep brandishing lists insinuating that life as we know it will not be the same if we don’t make use of this season of cheer to make them happy through a generous donation.
First the postman came with a list. We did the honors. Then there was another guy who delivers registered letters. Till then I thought the postman delivered registered letters as well. But I stand corrected and he too got a donation. We drew the line when a third guy appeared with a list claiming he was the “Old/previous” postman.
I must say I was impressed with the quality of the lists these people were bringing over. It was quite well done. Not the usual full scrap sheet with hand drawn lines. Someone had taken the trouble of setting this up on a computer and actually developing a heartwarming intro intended to make the reader tip more generously.
Much to their chagrin a few garbage collectors have discovered that some of their more unscrupulous mates have beaten them to the punch by going earlier to the doors of potential donors.
I don’t resent the fact that one should give something to those who make our life more comfortable with the services they carry out. But I certainly don’t want to feel like that I am making a donation because I have to. And these days to many of these people it is an entitlement not a gift given at ones discretion. Which to me is wrong.