There are some people I know who are choosing to avoid the stores this holiday season and, instead, have a "homemade" holiday. As in, they're making all their gifts. I had actually considered this idea a few weeks ago. Then I remembered 2 very important things. Number 1: I hate to knit. I HATE it! I taught myself a few years ago and I discovered it was an activity that I could actually fall asleep while sitting up. It just plain bores me to tears. I wish it didn't, but I'm being honest. Number 2: I can't sew. I've tried. I've practiced. I've persevered. And I broke my sewing machine. Sewing and Cathy do not mix. At all. So if you hate knitting and you can't sew, what does that leave you with? A hot glue gun and ..... ? You see my dilemma. If we were living on the prairie 150 years ago, my family would all be dead.
However, it is incredibly delightful to witness the creativity and passion of those women more able than myself. Deirdre and Carrie, to name a few. Feel free to follow along as they count the days until Christmas and see what they come up with.
As for myself, we will be buying items for our kids and each other. But that's not to say we all need to go overboard in the consumerism department. Everything in moderation, correct? First and foremost, how do you plan to give to those less fortunate this holiday season? Do you have a favorite charity? A family you know that's suffered a job loss and is not expecting to have a Christmas this year? Do you give to the same place or try to find a new organization to support each year?
If you're still looking for that one place to donate to, may I make a few suggestions?
Water For Christmas. Your money goes to help give clean water to people who are without. $20 can give one person clean water for 20 years. When was the last time you blew $20 on something? How insanely blessed we are in this country to have so much and take something like water for granted. Go to Tesi's blog to read how her son shared with her that fetching clean water was part of his job--at age 3.
Ethiopia Reads. Pretty basic stuff here. Donate books to Ethiopian children. Get them reading. Give them a chance. Had Zinabu not been adopted by anyone (that just gives me chills and I need to excuse myself for a moment to get some Kleenex) I would want him to have books. Books and books and books.
Pamba Toto Jewelry. My friend Colleen is in charge of this organization, and it is amazing. If you have a problem with faith-based charities, I implore you to give this one a chance. Rescuing orphaned children from the slums of Kenya's Mathare Valley, she and her team arranged 2 group homes for the kids to live in and receive an education, health care, food, and a family structure. The beads they buy for their jewelry is 100% fair trade, and they make sure they support local craftsmen/women. It's beautiful jewelry going to a wonderful cause.
Mosquito Nets. Something else we take for granted. Screens on our windows. Bug spray. And living in a non-malaria infested country. This here's an easy one. A no-brainer. Go for it.
Thanks for listening.