A couple of trains of thought crashing into each other …
My husband and I have talked off and on about Christmas gifts, the push to spend, and the endless pricey gifts that are expected but often end up not wanted or appreciated. That said, we love to give gifts (we’re not being Scrooge). We just want them to be meaningful and thoughtful. We also want to give gifts that are more personal and heartfelt, rather than just buying to buy. We are moving more to gifts that can be used up (tickets to an event, paying for a class, etc.) and we’re not afraid to give plates of decorated cookies or homemade bread (small and yummy is good).
We are also more aware of the needs around us, both US and abroad (we have a lot of missionary friends). It burns us to see people we know struggle just to pay the bills and eat (and that sometimes not too well). Ministries are struggling left and right with low giving since 9/11.
OK, this is the crash.
I’d like to offer the suggestion that you and your husband do some praying about how and where you give and how that might play out in your attitudes about gifts and gift giving. My husband and I periodically pray about where and how we give and we try to be aware of the needs of our friends and neighbors (I have to say that “stealth giving” is a real kick). Beyond that you might talk about holiday spending and where money might be better spent. Does anyone really need another dust collector or might you donate to a ministry in their name? And please, don’t forget to give to those who serve your local body of Christ (if nothing else, send a card with a heartfelt thanks for all they do).
Giving together is an intimacy builder and it’s great for kids too (give them age appropriate choices as they learn the joy of giving).
Here are a couple of neat ministries (please add your favorites by making a comment) and, as always, do check ministries out before giving to them.
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. Winston Churchill
Be generous! Lori <><