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THE ART OF GIVING by Francine Black

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 Contents - Sep 2005AD2000 September 2005 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Support the 2005 Fighting Fund! - Peter Westmore
Events: Sydney to host World Youth Day 2008 - AD2000 REPORT
News: The Chuch Around the World
Canadian Bishops' cave-in to 'renegade Catholicism' under fire
Priesthood: America's 'vocation rich' dioceses: latest success stories analysed - AD2000 Report
Can reverence at Mass make a comeback? - Michael Ryan
Interview: Benedict XVI and the power of the Eucharist - Fr John Corapi
Education: Catholic schools of the future - Br John Moylan CFC
Cinema: The Church under Nazism: a sensitive film portrayal in 'The Ninth Day' - Michael E. Daniel (reviewer)
BOOKS: The Myth of Hitler's Pope: How Pope Pius XII Rescued Jews from the Nazis - Thomas E. Woods Jr (reviewer)
A religious response to evil ideologies - John Rego
Letters: Liturgy - John Daly
Letters: Liberal manifesto - Dr Peter Gilet
Letters: Fatima and Benedict XVI - Paul MacLeod
Letters: Society of St Pius X - Fr Kevin Robinson
Events: C.S. Lewis Seminar - Sat 17 Sept 2005 2pm-9pm
Letters: Ethical medicine? - Dr A.W. Hartwig
Letters: Latin Mass - Richard Congram
Letters: Simple Catechisms - Rosanna Sherman
Letters: Gnosticism
Letters: Good reading - E. Pickering
Books: GOING AGAINST THE STREAM: Ethical Aspects of Ageing and Care, by Peter Jeffery - Kerrie Allen (reviewer)
Books: THE ART OF GIVING by Francine Black - Kerrie Allen (reviewer)
Books: THE PATH OF LIFE: Benedictine Spirituality for Monks and Lay People - Gabrielle Walsh (reviewer)
Books: STAIRWAY TO THE UPPER ROOM: Daily Meditations on the Gospel Readings - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: The Holy Shroud, by Antonio Cassanelli - Gabrielle Walsh (reviewer)
Books: More good reading from AD Books
Reflection: Benedict XVI: how to make the new evangelisation more effective - Fr Dennis Byrnes PP

by Francine Black

(Gracewing, 1990, 274pp, $11.95. Available from AD Books)

This is a charming book which delights in the beautiful art of giving. Francine Black offers suggestions about what we might give as gifts for Christmas, Easter, going away, wedding anniversaries by year, for hostesses, invalids, sick children, people who have everything, children by age.

She presents ideas about what gifts might you choose, what is appropriate for the occasion and degree of intimacy, what to consider if you have limited money.

What is so appealing about this book is that it helps one to rediscover not only the joy of giving, but also of thoughtfully choosing for specific persons, and of using one's own creative talents to make gifts for people. This is especially appealing at a time when it is promoted that the only presents worth giving are those that can be bought and are expensive.

The author presents many ideas which mothers could teach children, and which children could make in school holidays such as bookmarks, cards, paper dolls and play dough. She also details how to make simple but pleasurable gifts such as: home- made toys and Japanese gardens for children, using flowers for pot purri and other arrangements, making jams and marinades, potted herbs, confections, liqueurs, sewn, knitted and embroidered things.

And not only does Black discuss material gifts, but also specific acts of love and service which we may do for people to show care and love - walking their dog, minding their children, writing a poem, helping elderly people. She also discusses different ways we might present gifts - outlining many creative ideas.

In a day and age that is fast-paced, leaving little time for creativity, this book is a refreshing reminder of the joy of thoughtful giving, being creative and of doing things for others. The ideas presented are simple, charming, old-world, and ideal for people living on a range of budgets.

Dr Kerrie Allen is Research Officer for the Australian Family Association.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 18 No 8 (September 2005), p. 17

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