Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Goat for Christmas

It's the Christmas season again. How did that happen so fast? We've been having a lot of discussion lately with our grown kids about celebrating Christmas, cutting back on gift-buying, getting back to the the meaning of the holiday and avoiding the materialism. What pleases God in celebrating the birth of his son?

Years ago Fred and I sponsored a child through World Vision. So we continue to be on that organization's mailing list. We recently received a gift catalog. I thumbed through it and set it aside. The purpose of it is that you buy gifts for others, but they don't go to that person. The gifts go to poor villages in places like Zimbabwe, El Salvador, or Bangladesh. The gifts you can buy are farm animals, clothing, fruit trees, seeds, medicine, mosquito nets, clean water, tuition, or sewing machines. These things help to keep people healthy, feed them, or help them make a living.

I came across the catalog again and tossed it in the trash...but then pulled it out again. I was going to tell Fred I think we should give something. Fred would agree, but then I realized it had to be more personal. Instead of Fred buying me a gift for Christmas as he always does, I told him I wanted something from this catalog. He then decided he wanted the same from me.

The girls and I have since looked through the catalog many times and talked about what gift we would give. All the gifts are so necessary and needed. But I like the idea of giving an animal. Which one? After much discussion, we decided on a goat and chickens. The goat could provide milk and cheese and the chickens would provide eggs. They can forage and not require a lot of expense to feed. Their fertilizer will be good for a vegetable garden.

Now there would be people who would say this is nonsense. Will our money really go to buy a goat? I think World Vision is a trusted organization. Our church has some sort of relationship with them and has even adopted a village in Mali. People I actually know have gone to Mali and worked in that village.

It's a small thing. But we can pass on gifts this year and hopefully make one small bit of difference for a family in a village far away.

Anyone else so inspired, check out the website: http://www.worldvisiongifts.org/.


Stacia said...

This is a great idea. Too much stuff is given every year, when what we're craving is memories. Dominic and I also decided to do without gifts this year, although our one caveat is that we can make each other something. I can't wait to see what he makes and to do my special project for him!

Deb said...

I like your idea too. I still want to give a gift to Fred, not something that costs money, but something from the heart. Any ideas?

Stacia said...

Hmm, maybe make him a Christmas ornament from things around the house? Redecorate a frame and put in a nice picture of you two? Make something out of beads that he can hang in his car? Write him a poem? Write him a song that you and the girls can sing together?

Deb said...

Great ideas!