PennyinHatChristmas is coming, the geese are getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man’s hat.

After celebrating a delightful Thanksgiving with Keith’s family in Northern Virginia, we spent the night, brunched the next morning then drove home via Route 7West. Near the intersection with route 15, a fender-bender blocked the right-lane turn for the Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets. It was Black Friday, and people were racing to shopping centers and malls.

Christmas is coming: for days in advance, retail stores publicize “come-ons.”

The geese are getting fat: today, Cyber Monday, online retailers join the party.

Please put a penny in the old man’s hat: tomorrow is Giving Tuesday.

Five years ago, Giving Tuesday began in response to post-Thanksgiving kick-offs to the Christmas shopping season. It’s an international, social media movement, apparently an effective means for charities to raise money.

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday. Hmmm…


Every Sunday after the pastor’s message, there’s an offering—first fruits.

The choicest of first fruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the LORD your God. Exodus 23:19

Honor the LORD with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce. 
Proverbs 3:9

I’d like to say that our “first fruits” offering is just that—first. But when I look at my budget spreadsheet, I see taxes claiming the top spots then house and other living expenses. “Donations” list toward the bottom of the line items, as if they only get our leftover pennies.


Mark 12:41-44 tells the story of the widow in the Temple. She offered two small copper coins, worth a penny. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had…”

If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do
If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!

Hmmm… This Friday, December 1st, I write our end-of-the-year donation checks—first. Then I resolve on January 1st to place “donations” on the first line of our 2018 budget.

First fruits put into hats in thanksgiving for God’s blessings.


  1. Luanne

    I love this! So true about taxes, mortgage, etc. But donations need to be part of our daily experience–in money, time, and our thoughts as well.

  2. Carole Duff

    Thanks so much, Luanne. When my children were young, I told them, “We put our time and money where our values are.” Oh yeah? And pennies for thoughts, too?


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