I want, I want, I want

Tis the season for a LONG Christmas list. Sometimes it still surprises me how many people look at Christmas as a time to try to get everything they could possibly want. In my workplace they have a tree set up from the Soroptimist International where we can take a tag off the tree that is associated with a child. It is a child’s whose family can’t afford Christmas or a kid in foster care and the kid’s write down their sizes and what they might want for Christmas.

I was surprised at what I saw on over half the Christmas tags. A Wii System, x-box, extension pack for gaming system, iPod, bike were just some of the things that I saw mentioned, granted there were a couple that had anything or clothes. On one hand I can understand writing down what you would want most, on the other hand it seems overly greedy to expect something that big when many families can’t afford to get something like that for themselves (at least if they were paying for it in cash). I found one tag with Legos/building toys and raced to go shopping after work and was surprised when there are no more basic Lego sets. Most of them are $30 or higher and for something specific like a boat or Star Wars ship or Harry Potter. I’m sure parents knew this already, but I’m used to buying dog toys.

Christmas is such an easy time to start with the I wants. I got struck with them today when a co-worker brought in a holiday Starbucks tumbler. That had a little huxley quote on it with a mouse and book in the bottom of it. I don’t NEED it but I sure WANT it!! 

Starbucks tumbler

The easiest way I’ve found to help me get rid of the I wants is to remember the people with the needs and then give money away. The more we give away, even though it isn’t much, the more I wish we had so we could give it away and bless someone else. This year Eric and I decided not to do Christmas presents for each other, instead planning on making a tradition of picking from things like gifts to the shelters, Operation Christmas Child, Angel Tree, Soroptimist International or any of the other awesome places we can give to those less fortunate. And I don’t share this expecting others to follow the same pattern or to say look what we do, it is just where our hearts have been turned and wanting to let people know of other alternatives for Christmas.

Food for Thought:

 Next time you are out shopping are you just adding more presents to under the tree so that way it is a big Christmas for the family furthering consumerism and materialism? (No I’m not saying don’t get any Christmas presents, but do we need really need to have 20 boxes with our name on them??) Or can you stop and give a little to the salvation army bucket, the local food bank or homeless shelter or wherever and help someone else have a Merry Christmas that might not have had one at all?

Do you have any interesting tradition of giving things away at Christmas? Or a special organization that you like to give to around the holidays??

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2 responses »

  1. I love your attitude, but as someone who lives in the 2/3’s world I was warn you off of the operation Christmas child. The intent is good (getting people use to giving) but over here they have become like a commodity.

    I have talked to a number of people and some churches pick them over before handing them out. Sometimes to screen for “bad” things like playing cards. Sometimes its to redistribute the contents, and sometimes its to get the good stuff for themselves. A friend of my was handed a stack of pictures that were in the trash from people who had sent the Christmas boxes. It was sad to think that the pictures of families who had given the gifts had been cast aside by someone who had picked over the boxes. I would much rather go with World vision and give a family a goat or contribute towards a well. But that’s just my perspective.

    • Wow. It is really sad but nice to hear a perspective that sees what happens on the other side. We don’t always think about the other end of it. Our small group did a goat and chickens together this year. It was really awesome getting to pick that out together!

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