A different kind of Christmas

I tried something different this year for Christmas.  Since I have everything a person could possibly need, I asked for my family to give donations to charity instead.  And I was even more encouraged when they decided I could do the same for them.  So at the end of the day, instead of having to figure out how to squeeze more clothes into my closet, or what to do with gifts I didn’t need, I had the joy of knowing that we had provided twelve chickens, a goat, ten mosquito nets, deworming medication for 2,000 children, and a contribution towards digging a well for the poor in Africa.  Though it sounds like a lot, it really wasn’t.  American money still goes a long way in Africa.  It was the best Christmas since I was a kid.

I wrestled about posting this because of the idea of “losing my reward.”  But at the end of the day, it’s not about a reward.  It’s about caring for our starving brothers and sisters.  I’m certain many, if not most of you reading this are involved in caring for the poor, but if this suggestion might inspire just one more person to take action, then that can make an eternal difference.

Here are a few stats:

  • One Billion people worldwide have no access to clean drinking water.
  • 25,000 – 35,000 people, (including 14,000 children), die every day of hunger-related causes.  (That’s about one child every seven seconds).
  • 2.6 billion people have no access to basic sanitation facilities.
  • There are about 12 million AIDS orphans in Africa.

4 thoughts on “A different kind of Christmas”

  1. The adults in my family have done this for years, and our children and grandchildren have also entered the arena of blessing. This year mine gave to several local families in need, a children’s home out East, a homeless shelter in our area, and a national ministry focused on families. We’ll continue our giving throughout the new year and include a shelter for battered women that’s just opened in the parsonage of the church where I work as secretary. The joy of giving is always multiplied when we remember that we’re partnering with GOD to reach out to those who have less than we do, which is most of the world!

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  2. The whole Christmas thing became such a gooey… event. It wasn’t Grinch that stole the Christmas. We did. (By this I mean that we are by far more comfortable in receiving things for Christmas, than of giving, which is actually, the whole deal with this season, and so we stole Christmas). Having realised that, I boldly went where no one has gone before (at least in my community): I proposed to skip church service this Christmas (outrageous, ain’t it?) and go on streets and make soup for homeless people. I won’t say which was the answer to all my proposition, but I ended up receiving (as many others) a lot of gifts, frustration and a sense of “something-is-missing-and-we-all-missed-the-whole-point” kinda feeling. Anyway, I’m not saying that in order to criticize my community, rather to point out the fact that we desperately need a renovation of heart and mind.

    A new kind of Christmas? (a good book to write :D) I’d surely love one, please!

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  3. Gabi,
    I applaud your efforts not to get caught up in the commercial chaos Christmas can become in our culture. Don’t give up; just keep at it; the longer you stand firm to “keep Christmas in your heart”, the stronger you’ll become. It may take a while, but others will see the difference it makes in you and want it for themselves. The spirit of CHRISTmas is to be an every day presence in our lives, not a seasonal surge. GO FOR IT!!

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  4. Very Good Idea to skip the ‘Christmas’ part! Ther is such a build up, and then 24 hours later, it’s gone! Being able to bless others on Christmas Day is more worthwhile surely? Christmas Day is supposed to be a family day and being a family to people who don;t have one, is not this more worthwhile?

    I have to agree with Gabi and Jane!

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