The Gift Decider

I have been thinking a lot about giving. Also, a lot about want and need. These thoughts have come from the season, from conversations, from struggles and arguments and from inspiring, hard-working agents of change and good. You will remember last week I talked mostly of the pressure to have a Perfect Christmas. And while this is always there, nagging me, with questions and doubts: Have I decorated enough? Should I make 12 dozen cookies? Will there be enough presents? Did I buy too many presents? Does it smell like CHRISTMAS in this house?? I  work to steer my thoughts toward giving, and giving in ways that won’t add to the over-consumption rampant in our culture. How can I give in a way that feels right?

I am enjoying putting my mind to creative ways to give this year. How can I be of service to folks in need? How can I help a friend out? What are some ways to give without increasing the burden of more possessions onto the receiver of the gift? Here is my gift to you, Dear Reader. It is my wish that this will help you in your shopping, ease your burden and allow you to truly enjoy the season- stress free. I give you the gift decider:

giftdeciderThere you go. Your choices are: buy yourself something, get them something they NEED or Do Some Good. I love the Heifer Project. There you can help end hunger in developing nations by buying a goat or a flock of chickens. The livestock creates a source of income for the recipient, giving families the means to support themselves and break the poverty cycle. When you make a donation, you pick the level of support and you get a greeting card for the family member or friend under whose name you made the contribution. They don’t have a fruitcake to smile about and you can do some real good.  Another way to do a lot of good with your holiday money is to support the Nyaka School. The Utopia Foundation is matching contributions (by 50%) to the Nyaka Aids Orphans Project. Jackson Kaguri travels back to his village in Uganda to assist a generation of children orphaned by the aids epidemic. It is his mission that each of these children have a safe home with food, water and access to education. A donation of $250 supports a child for a year a whole year: food, housing, medical care, uniform and schooling! Instead of ‘thanks for the socks’, your family can be involved in an amazing program to love and educate children in Nyaka, Uganda.

Happy shopping!

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