Some of my favorite moments from Christmas 2010 were from Christmas Eve morning (no not Christmas morning when my own kids dug into presents) when our family of five gathered around the computer together and picked out gifts for children in 3rd world countries, children that have known poverty the likes of which we cannot even fathom.
Last year we did our Christmas giving in the form of sponsoring a local needy family and it was great, but we didn't get their wishlist until kind of last minute so we couldn't buy anything on-line and spent a weekend running all over town dragging our kids through crowded stores to find coats and shoes in all the right sizes for the family of 3 kids plus a single mom. I was really glad that we did it, but in hindsight I think the spirit of what we were doing was entirely lost on our kids as we snapped at them to behave in long check-out lines and stressed over if we'd gotten all the right sizes.
So, this year doing the biggest chunk of our giving through shopping on-line at World Vision seemed like the way to go. The lazy way to go, perhaps, but still a tremendous organization doing great things around the world!
We watched the videos on the various gift choices learning things like how just 2 chickens can completely change a family's future, suddenly with that gift they have an ongoing source of nourishment and income as the chickens lay eggs and also give birth to baby chickens.
My husband and I had an amount in mind that we wanted to give overall and helped the children dole it out among various gifts. And when our amount was exhausted, the 7 year old offered up some of his allowance towards another gift.
It was one of the most fun gift giving experiences I've ever had! We were all together in the comfort of our home, thinking about people other than ourselves, nobody was whining or hiding under racks of clothes, we learned about agriculture and how people on the other side of the world live, and it kinda felt like we were actually giving Jesus presents for His birthday!
And how exciting it was to be able to give someone a goat for Christmas or chickens or a rabbit or a Bible (which will likely be the only one in their entire village and read and listened to by many)! I'm so grateful we had the privilege!
Find more Gratituesday here.