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Christmas On A Fixed Income

David J. Reilly, 32, KCCH

This article offers some suggestions on what to get "Uncle Dave" for Christmas, Chanukah, Birthday, Father's Day, or just any other special occasion. Last year, I read an article about this very idea written by a nationally syndicated columnist. It may have been Erma Bombeck or Ann Landers. The column made me think about all the Brethren who are on fixed incomes and Brethren who get the same things each year.

"Uncle Dave" doesn't really need another fish tie, pair of slippers, or boxed set of six socks. Although these items may be of use, generally they go directly to a drawer and are unused. What "Uncle Dave" is probably most concerned about is groceries. Food prices continue to rise faster than the cost of living. He is also concerned about the cost of medication, both prescription and over the counter. He is concerned about outliving his retirement.

In many instances, "Uncle Dave" has enough to pay living expenses, but nothing left for extras. I am writing this article to help friends and children of the "Uncle Daves" out there, to give him something he can really use and so make this holiday a truly happy one. Here are a few ideas.

All of us know the sacrifices our wives make for us. Retiring on a fixed income is the time when many wives use their special skill of giving up things for both husband and wife. Consequently, it is also a good idea to give practical gifts to "Aunt Barbara."

This list is not complete but, hopefully, it will aid the reader in gift getting and giving. It is important to think about the person you are buying for and to select a gift or service that will be used and remembered into the new year. The dollars spent on helping people on fixed incomes will go farther and last longer than a gift set of cologne "Aunt Barbara" or "Uncle Dave" doesn't wear.