Our family goal at the holidays is to try to give lovingly and intentionally. Give up and above the 10% we give throughout the rest of the year. Give to show that Jesus’s birth is a gift to all.
So, we have chosen to give less “stuff” and more “us”.
In lieu of a game consul or other common electronics, our family gift is a donation to Advent Conspiracy. Providing water to those around the world and missional opportunities to those locally.
In lieu of a cheesy gifts that no one would probably appreciate, this year we have chosen to give adult relatives gift donations to kiva, so that they can actively participate in making a loan that will change a life (they even get to choose whose life they will change!).
And in lieu of buckets of presents, my daughter will be receive the news that she is going to have a sponsor “friend” in Rwanda through Africa New Life (my son already has one).
With the money that grandparents recently sent us, I was going to put it in the kids’ college accounts, but when I realized how after splitting it in two, it would be of very little help in college expenses, I think I’m going to try something new. I’m going to withdraw the amount in cash and put it in an envelope labeled “kids culture experiences”. And then next time there is a high school musical, play, or other performance that I would otherwise have needed to pass up because of finances, I can dip into the envelope and give them the gift of experiences.
This is not to say that we will not have gifts this holiday season (we usually open our home gifts on New Years morning). I have been collecting quite a few clearanced items throughout the year and hiding them away to give to the kids. My son will receive a cool costume that I bought 4 days after Halloween at 80% off. My daughter will receive a small toy that I found in the clearance aisle of Target. The kids will get items from grandparents, aunts, and uncles. And Professor X and I? Well, we needed a new mattress. So, that was our early gift to ourselves (and OUCH, I didn’t remember how expensive mattresses are!!).
Maybe this list or video will inspire you to do likewise next year? At any rate, please check out the links and pass them along. These are awesome organizations that are truly helping to “save the world”.