I promised I would be back yesterday with my final installment in the Christmas mini-series. Well, I obviously wasn’t. I’m sure y’all are real sad about that. 😉 Sometimes I just have trouble getting it together.
Anyway, I do hope though that Jen Hatmaker’s article and the video from Advent Conspiracy hit home with you in some way. I thought the best way to wrap up after those two posts was to tackle to subject of Christmas presents.
I will be the first to admit that I love getting presents. Who doesn’t? But would it be the end of the world if you and I got less presents this year or maybe none at all? I think it’s safe to say that each of us have everything we need. Of course there are things we would like to have. But you all know as well as I do that the excitement of those much desired items wears off very quickly. Case in point, name 5 things you got for Christmas last year. I am ashamed to admit it, but it took me a little while to even think of one thing I got!
I also enjoy shopping for (well, most of the time) and giving Christmas presents. If we are totally honest though, how much money do we waste on buying things that nobody needs, wants or even likes? You know there is always that one person (or maybe several in some families) that is so hard to buy for. So why do we stress ourselves out trying to find a present just for the sake of giving a present? I’m sure some of you feel that way about shopping even for the “easy” relatives and friends.
So where does that leave us?
I’m not saying we should stop buying Christmas presents. What I am suggesting though is that we stop spending gross amounts on ourselves and instead give more to others in need. (Sidebar to my family. You are still getting some “real” presents this year. But some of what you get will be different from years past. So be cool. 🙂 ) The 450 billion dollars that Americans spend on Christmas each year is almost unfathomable. And yet the estimated cost to provide clean water to the world is 20 billion dollars. Something is majorly wrong with our priorities folks. Just saying.
I know I’m probably too late for this year as many of you have probably finished your Christmas shopping. But for those of you who haven’t, please consider purchasing something from one of these organizations/companies.
Samaritan’s Purse– They have a catalog full of gift options such as mosquito nets, medicines, Bibles, etc.
Compassion International– You can sponsor a child or choose gift options like from Samaritan’s Purse. You can also buy farm animals which I think is super cool.
World Vision– Again, you can sponsor a child like with Compassion or choose from their gift catalog.
Living Water – If you watched the AC video, you know they are one of their partnered organizations. I think it’s need you can buy water gift cards and the recipient can choose which country they want to help.
Hearts 4 Hearts– These dolls are absolutely beautiful! They are actually even more gorgeous in person than on the website. Anyway, each doll was inspired by real life girls from around the world. H4H is partnered with World Vision to provide help to girls in these various countries.
Hearts 4 a Home– You can purchase a beautiful plaque or Christmas ornament to help the Beckerich family raise funds to bring their son home from Belize!
147 Million Orphans– Started by two adoptive moms. You can find cute shirts, jewelry and other accessories. They give funds to their ministry partners to provide clean water, food, medicines, etc. in several different countries.
Wild Olive Tees– This company was also started by some adoptive moms. They have super cute t-shirts and a portion of their profits are given to help several different orphan and widow foundations.
There are so many more options to choose from, but I obviously can’t list them all. My point was to show that we aren’t limited to buying the same old gifts every year, from the same old stores.
One last thin. If you truly desire to make this season less stressful and more enjoyable, Ann Voskamp has some awesome posts on her blog on the subject. She also has an incredible, free Advent devotional available for download.
Wishing you a slowed down, time spent with family, giving to others, Jesus focused and joyful Christmas season.