A friend posted that her 6 year old had a tantrum over the Christmas present he thought he would be getting this year. In the first world we are focused on getting instead of giving, eating instead of fasting, consuming instead of simplifying our lives. How can be change that?
One of the things I have done over the last few years (since my daughter, then aged about 9, asked for a World Vision child sponsorship as her Christmas present) is to give goats, and fish farms, and cataract operations and mosquito nets as presents. Perhaps the cataract operations weren’t such a good idea. I gave them to my husband and he had his own cataract surgery (with complications!) the following year! It’s fun to try and choose an appropriate present. MissN was given mosquito nets (the mozzies always bite her!) My niece usually gets school supplies or sports equipment for third world kids.
Here are some places you can buy the kind of gifts that bless you, bless the recipient of the card and bless the recipient of the goods. You can’t beat that for giving!
Gospel for Asia – a weaving loom, a rickshaw, an outdoor toilet, a camel?
World Vision – soccer balls, a fish farm, a stable full of animals?
Compassion– toothbrushes, veggie seeds?
Tear Australia – tree seedlings, a smokeless stove?
Christian Blind Mission – glasses for children, a wheelchair?
There are a vast range of organisations which you can purchase from. There are some good ideas here. And here. Karma Currency enables the recipient to choose where their gift will be donated. And the wonderful Kiva organisation (just made my 20th loan!) have gift cards, which enable your gift recipients to loan to someone in the third world. And keep on loaning, once their loan has been repaid.
Let’s make giving the essence of Christmas this year. And giving to the least fortunate, those who haven’t been blessed to have been born into our affluent societies.