Don’t Need Any More Stuff This Holiday Season? How About This?

 Christmas gift

Ever since the health adventures in June and reading The Hole in the GospelI now view acquiring more stuff very differently. When there are 800 million people on the planet who don’t even have safe drinking water, it’s a little difficult for me to construct a wish list full of stuff I simply want and don’t actually need. If you don’t have enough to eat, you can survive for a while. But, if you don’t have enough to drink, you die within 48 hours. In addition many of the world’s diseases are greatly reduced when people have safe food and water sources.

Doesn’t seem important to you because of this year’s recession and the healthcare issues in our own country? Well, consider this. When we take care of people we have not even met around the world, we say a LOT about who we are as a nation. We, in essence, are SHOUTING compassion, generosity and kindness when we donate to causes that help people in developing countries or put a roof over the head of someone who’s been trying to get off government aid for years. It’s detente at the grass roots level.

Still not buying it? That’s okay. This is America and you’re entitled to your opinion. But, keep in mind that you, yes you, even with your meager income and having a dependence on government aid yourself, are still far wealthier and more blessed than the average 3rd world person. Why? Because you can read. Yes, read. Most of the world finds this a luxury.

When my kids were little, they would create their Christmas wish lists around this time of year. They were adorable and got posted on the refrigerator. Many were done in crayon with childish scrawls and pictures for anything they didn’t yet know how to spell. With the relatives living far away, having them on the refrigerator was handy for me, so that I could relay them to their very generous extended family.

When they became teens, they often wanted things that none of us ancient adults could even figure out. We might spend hours looking for something in the toy aisle only to learn we needed to be in the video game and electronics section of the store. Thus, we moved the “Christmas wish list” system to email, with each person pasting links of their hoped-for item. This worked splendidly.

However, even with this system, duplicate purchases often happened or sizes weren’t right. The wrong color was purchased. The link didn’t work, as expected.

Enter amazon.com. Amazon has taken their wedding and birth registries up a notch and now allows you to make a wish list for any gift giving occasion. What’s even cooler? They allow you to ship that item right to the recipient’s door, often free of charge. And the recipient can put in notes about size, color, or reason for wanting that particular item, right beside the item.

What’s that? What you want isn’t available through Amazon? No problem. You can add a browser icon that says, “Add to Wish List.” So, all you have to do is go to the web page containing what you want, click the browser icon and voila: your item is added to your Amazon Wish List.

So, why am I rattling on about Christmas wish lists when I just said I want everyone to contribute to charity around the globe? Because you can use that oh, so handy little icon to have your loved ones and friends contribute to worthy causes around the globe–causes you get to select yourself! For my wish list this year, I have asked for donations to charitywater.org, World Vision and Habitat for Humanity.

Now, don’t worry–I’m still enough of a material girl to put down some other items that are just for me, but if my donation items are the only gifts I receive this year, I will be just fine. Why? Because I don’t have to dust, sweep, or clean a donation to a worthy cause. Because I already have safe water to drink. Because I already have enough to eat (so much so, that I have to exercise it off!). Because I already have a roof over my head and warm clothing on my pudgy, vertically-challenged bod. Because people I don’t even know will have a merrier Christmas just because of one little browser button.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” –Matthew 25: 35-36

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a truly giving Christmas shopping trip! 🙂


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This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 at 10:50 am and is filed under God stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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