I was talking on the phone with my mom the other day now that she’s safely lodged in her winter abode down in warm, sunny Florida. She told me she had spoken with my aunt and they had talked about Christmas. My aunt said to her that she wished no one would buy her anything for Christmas because she already has too much stuff. And Mom says to me she agrees–this after I had already bought, wrapped, and packed her gifts to take with her on the drive down so I wouldn’t have to worry about shipping everything later on. Really? Wouldn’t that make the holidays just a wee bit easier?
Then this morning I read the daily blog post on A Holy Experience about how they stopped giving each other Christmas gifts ten years ago and instead give donations through World Vision, Compassion, Samaritan’s Purse, and a few other organizations. Their kids happily browse through these group’s gift catalogs and choose what they want to give to someone else, rather than receive a Christmas gift for themselves. What a beautiful, brilliant idea! Isn’t that really what Christmas giving should be about?
If I hadn’t just about finished our shopping already, I’d definitely be making a few more donations. I did buy a family some ducks. But next year I know I’ll collect the catalogs as they come in the mail and let each of us choose a gift to give in place of a gift for ourselves under the tree. We have so much already, it would feel so much better to give to someone who truly is in need. Maybe if there’s still some money in your holiday shopping budget, you might peruse a catalog or two and see if you can give the gift of love this year…Or maybe begin planning shopping for next year.