This Christmas is looking pretty interesting. On the one hand, we have the recent discovery that many of our consumer goods are coated in lead, heavy metals, sarin, dioxin, and various other substances that will cause our flesh to melt off at the slightest touch. On the other hand, we have the equally surprising discovery that enormous amounts of debt that people can't afford to pay back can lead to trouble. In the middle, we are also being reminded, once again, that the Holidays are about something more than the mere accumulation of material goods and consumption of fattening foods.
So it looks like this Christmas will focus on a return to values.
If you're looking for something a little more values-oriented, you might check out the BOGO flashlight. BOGO, which stands for "buy one, give one," produces waterproof, durable, solar-powered flashlights that it is attempting to distribute to needy groups around the world. The brainchild of Mark Bent, a former diplomat and oilman, the BOGOlight can give seven hours of light on a single recharge, and will last up to three years.
Dent's idea is that many of the world's problems can be solved with the simple application of light. For example, his lights make it possible for people to study at night, after a day of work. They make it possible for villagers to scare away animals or find their way in the dark. And, of course, they'll make it possible for you to find your way around the house when the power lines freeze and the electricity goes off.
The BOGOlight originally came in blaze orange, but Dent found that young men were often stealing the lights from women. Consequently, he introduced pink lights, which made it possible for women to congregate in small groups for classes.
The BoGo light sells for $25 on the internet. If you buy one, Dent will send another one to the region of your choice, and donate $1 to charity.