Because this is our debt free year we are going to celebrate by doing very small gifts for each other this year and spend the bulk of our “Christmas Fund” on charity. Sunday evening night at dinner we passed around the 2010 World Vision Gift Catalog and had very special discussions. Of course the boys wanted to know if they were going to get NOTHING at all, and we assured them that there would be something under the tree, but that it would be less than last year. Much less. Noticeably less.
After that short conversation the real conversation started. And the questions began… “Why don’t they have water?” “Why is that baby’s belly so big?” “We can give a COW?!?!” To that last one I had to respond, “We can give a share of a cow. When ten other families give a share, they put the money together and can buy a cow for a family.”
I believe they’ve each decided to give something completely different! Carson hasn’t decided. Bailey is giving chickens. Parker and I are going to provide care for a few orphans. Matt is giving to a different charity called 20 Liters. And Hayden asked if we could send them money to help one of the children get adopted. I told him that we couldn’t do that, but that we have friends here in Wiesbaden who are adopting! He is going to donate his Christmas gifts to them to help them get a step closer to bringing home their child(ren)! Blessed my soul!*
The weather has turned cooler and I am happy. No. REALLY. I am happy. We have made it beyond the summer heat and I am feeling much better. It’s strange… it seems 95% of the world prefers summer and hot weather. I detest it. I endure it, but often I am not pleasant. Today running in the cool weather (50 degrees) I could see my breath and it was spectacular. It just feels right to be thinking about Christmas. Planning for our giving season. And in a way that we pray will teach the boys that it’s “not about us.”
I would love to hear your stories of giving to others. We did this the second Christmas season Matt was deployed as a variation of a Christmas from my childhood. Someday I’ll share that story in full but for now, let me simply state that it was a stake in the ground for me. An ebenezer. A defining moment. However you want to put it, I all of a sudden realized my life and my comfort were not the norm for everyone. There were people in my area hurting, deeply. There were families so poor that they had no floor. Dirt poor. And just as my parents gave me the opportunity to see the hurting of others, I am praying to give my children a small taste of that experience. The opportunity see that they have such a blessed life and have so much they can give.
*I don’t know if Hayden’s going to buy a t-shirt or give money, but I wanted to help spread the word on how to help Dan and Becke bring their children home.
Here are some other ways you can help Dan and Becke:
And their main website: