Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Different Grownup Christmas List

This week we started talking about what to Christmas lists. We start early around here, because I don't like to be caught in the mad rush of last minute shopping. I love Christmas. No, I mean I really LOVE Christmas. This year from July until now, I have tried to do something Christmasy and fun on the 25th day of the month. It has really helped with my craving the holiday season. I don't know if it's the music, the decorations, the hope, or the present shopping, but I become a giddy little girl for a month, and then I wish for it to hurry up and roll back around to November again.

This year, my girls have already started thinking about Lalaloopsy's and video games. I have started making little requests for Sonny and have kept a few things in mind for myself for the past several months when I saw something that I "needed" but couldn't justify on our current budget. So when I got a little catalog from Compassion with this cute little chick on the cover, it challenged me to think a little farther beyond myself. I don't know about you, but I've never thought about giving someone pigs for Christmas. Or chickens. Or vaccinations. Or, the ultimate things we take for granted here in America, Water. But you can do just that. Do you have some people who are really hard to buy for because they have everything they need? Maybe you could look through this catalog and find something that would be meaningful to them. Compassion will send the gift to a family in need, and they will send a gift card to you to write a note for your gift recipient. I know that I would like to get my kids involved in this giving opportunity, but I'm not sure how I will approach it yet. I have a friend who asks their kids to eliminate one thing from their Christmas lists. They pool all of that money together and pick out what they would like to donate as family.

There are plenty of ways you can help that go beyond this year's Top 10 Toys. And they aren't as pricy as you might think.

Five dollars can provide a child or caregiver a Bible in their own language.

Twenty dollars can provide infant formula for one month. Not all infants have the options of breast milk. "Due to their own health conditions and diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, many new mothers are unable or are advised not to breastfeed their newborns. Sadly, other mothers trapped in poverty do not survive in childbirth and leave behind an orphaned infant."

 Ten dollars can provide garden seeds. " A vegetable garden provides food for the family, and abundance can be sold for income. Your gift will help give a family all they need to start their own kitchen garden: vegetable seeds and fertilizer, along with training and any necessary equipment."

 Forty-five dollars can purchase a goat. "Goats can be bred to provide a source of milk, meat and household income. Your gift will help families generate income by providing training and other resources to help them successfully raise and care for their animals."

Sixteen dollars can purchase a chicken. "A chicken is much more than a meal for a family living in poverty — one chicken can provide a source of income, manure for the vegetable garden, and a steady supply of eggs."

 Fifty-five dollars can provide safe water for a family for life.

Thirty dollars can provide regular and routine medical care. "Your gift will help provide medical checkups, surgeries, and other special treatments as needed so that children can grow into mature, healthy, young adults."

These are just a few of the gift giving opportunities you will find in the Gifts of Compassion Catalog. Please click on and see how a little of our Christmas money can make a huge difference all the way to "the ends of the earth".

1 comment:

Aisling Beatha said...

My favourite ever "gift in kind" like this was from neither Compassion nor Samaritans Purse, I THINK it was World Vision but couldn't swear to it. It was "birth certificates for children in nations where they cannot access education or many other things without one.

Something about that one really struck me, something about giving back a true identity.

And I did think about buying my dad a toilet in India last year!