A Different Degree of Wealth

Holiday Charitable Giving – One of the Most Enjoyable Things You Can do With Your Money

Imagine it’s the height of the holiday gift buying season and you’re walking with many other shoppers toward the entrance of a major retailer. Above the sound of nearby traffic and tinny holiday music being piped out of the store, you hear the familiar ringing of a Salvation Army bell.

The bell ringer is wearing a flopped over Santa hat. His arm moves rhythmically up and down as he holds the door, wishes everyone “Merry Christmas!” and nods a thank you to the few who drop money into his red kettle.

You walk casually towards him, palming the gold Krugerrand in your pocket. You’ve wrapped it inside a dollar so it won’t attract notice when you make your deposit.

Just ahead of you a woman opens her purse and pulls out a few bills. In the moment it takes her to fold them so they fit into the slot, you move up quickly to be the next in line. As the attendant turns to thank her for her donation, you slip yours into the kettle, and are into the store before anyone notices anything.

Congratulations. You’ve joined the secretive group of givers who each year slip dozens of Krugerrands (worth nearly $1800 at today’s prices) into Salvation Army kettles around the country.1

Why do people like to make these kinds of donations anonymously? A study by Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management found that being publicly recognized for a charitable gift diminishes the giver’s feelings of altruism.2

Lead researcher Kelly Goldsmith said, “The effect was so strong that it actually makes givers significantly less likely to donate.”

For unusual donations like the gold coins in the red kettles, the extravagance of the gift can act as a vote in support of the Salvation Army’s mission to help all in need. And when mentioned by local media, it serves as a reminder to others to give generously.

As in other areas of your finances, it’s good to have a plan when it comes to giving. And while you should earmark a consistent amount for charity, you can also have a category for “impulse giving,” situations where your heart leads you to make an unplanned donation.

Special giving during the holiday season, especially to charities that assist people in financial hardship, not only helps those in need, but makes the season more joyful and meaningful for the giver.

End-of-year can be a good time to see what you have available for this kind of giving. And if you’re feeling extra generous (and stealthy), you might also try sneaking a Krugerrand into a Salvation Army kettle.

Warm wishes to you and yours for a joy filled holiday season.

Have a wonderful Christmas weekend!

Source: Efficient Advisors

Golf Tip of the Week

Butch Harmon’s Greatest Driving Lesson

Driving the ball well carries extra importance. Not only does it set you up to play a hole, but I bet you have an emotional attachment to the driver: Good driving days are your favorite days. You’re not alone. Some of the top players in the world feel the same way. We all step up on certain holes and want so bad to hit a great tee shot. Sometimes it’s because the hole is difficult, or the right drive might lead to a birdie chance. The trouble is, most golfers equate great driving with distance. And trying for distance often leads to your worst drives, just when you need your best. Instead, pick a shot that favors position over power, and then follow a plan to hit it.

  1. Short holes: swing to a distance
  2. Uphill drives: set up a high launch
  3. When it fits your eye: let the shot happen
  4. Long holes: hit it better, not harder

Tip adapted from golfdigest.comi

Recipe of the Week

Pull-Apart Christmas Tree

8 Servings


  • 1 lb. refrigerated pizza dough
  • Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp. water)
  • 7 mozzarella sticks
  • 1/4 c. melted butter
  • 1/2 c. finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp. Thinly sliced basil
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp. chopped rosemary
  • Marinara, warmed (for serving)


1.Preheat oven to 450°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut mozzarella sticks into 1” pieces and set aside.

2.On a floured surface, divide pizza dough into two pieces. Stretch and roll each piece of dough into a long rectangle, then cut dough into 2” squares (you’ll need 33 total).

3.Wrap a dough square around each piece of mozzarella, forming a tightly sealed ball. Place balls seam-side down on the baking sheet in the shape of a Christmas tree (they should be touching). Brush egg wash on dough balls and bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

4.Meanwhile, whisk together melted butter, Parmesan and herbs. Brush on baked pizza balls. Serve warm with marinara for dipping.

Recipe adapted from delish.comii  

Health Tip of the Week

5 Easy Ways to Kickstart Your Clean-Eating Goals Before January 1st  

Step away from the sugar cookies—and use these totally doable tips to ease into a healthier routine.

Many people refer to the days between Christmas and New Year’s as a “twilight week.” The bulk of the holiday season is behind us, but the fresh start of the new year still lies ahead. It’s tempting to consider this cozy in-between time as your last hurrah before January 1st. But indulging freely in wine and snacking on leftover sugar cookies likely won’t leave you feeling your best! Instead, why not use this week to ease into a healthier routine? By the time 2022 rolls around, you’ll be off to a running start with your goals—whether you’re aiming to slim down or simply eat more mindfully. Here are five completely doable strategies to focus on, to get your wellness back on track.

  1. Re-think that drink
  2. Up your H2O
  3. Get into a healthy breakfast groove
  4. Start cooking, even just veggies
  5. Consider your splurges carefully

Tip adapted from health.comiii 

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