Holiday Gifting: Start from the Heart

World Vision SpoonsThese spoons were made in Kenya and the work is absolutely beautiful. The hand-carved sets are made to benefit Kenyan orphans of the Kamba tribe. Every spoon is unique. Twisted handles carved by a single blade, smoothed and polished and somehow resting in my hands here in America. They are more than a gift. They are hope. And isn’t that the greatest Christmas message we have to share? Hope … the promise of love and acceptance and a heavenly reward. If you knew a gift could change the lives of children living in poverty, would you give the gift?

I look out the window at my children running around the yard. There are giggles and shrieks and guffaws. They are dressed in water-proof boots and warm coats, their bellies are full. They are blessed … and there are many children in the U.S. and beyond, who are starving or abandoned or worse. Regardless of statistics and news stories, we all know poverty when we look it in the eye. The eyes, after all, are windows to the soul. You want the great, untold story? How about the quiet desperation of a mother or father who is unable to bring food to a tiny child, day after day.

No matter our circumstances, hope is abundant and free for the taking.

World VisionBefore you click away or turn it off, read on for just another couple of sentences, at least. I must remind you … ME … all of us, that Christmas is about giving. The Bible doesn’t say ‘give only to your family and extended family to commemorate my birthday’. I love choosing and purchasing, wrapping and presenting Christmas gifts to my favorite folks, but I’ve also experienced the absolute joy — and yes, excitement — of giving from the heart to total strangers around the world. And there are so many opportunities, from Compassion International to Samaritan’s Purse shoe boxes (a great activity for kids!), to World Vision.

A quick look through the World Vision Gift Catalog yields an abundance of could-be wealth in the form of farm animals, eggs and clean water. There are options for school supplies and more that will help children in the U.S. or in another country, it’s your choice. There are also handmade gifts from around the world — the serving spoons, jewelry, scarves and spices, the sale of which benefits specific groups of poverty-stricken individuals. And I’m not talking about people who could fend for themselves if they wanted to. I’m speaking of those who are truly destitute.

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. ~ 2 Corinthians 9:7

World VisionStart A New Tradition this year and transform the season of giving!
– Gather your kids around the Thanksgiving table, or plan a special night closer to Christmas, and browse through the World Vision Gift Catalog. Set a budget and encourage each family member to choose the perfect gift for someone in need. What a way to teach compassion and kindness!

– Do you draw names for Christmas gifts in your family? This year, why not select a bunch of equally priced items from the World Vision Gift Catalog and choose gifts for strangers!

– “What do you want for Christmas?” It can be a hard question to answer because really, what do we need?  Next to nothing. When someone asks you that question, suggest they purchase a World Vision gift for someone in your name.

What a wonderful thing to give the gift of love without expectation of return. But as you probably already know, giving often blesses the giver even more … because we’re giving gifts for Jesus— that’s how this whole thing started. Those wise men? They were wise. And they knew all about giving gifts in Jesus’ name. We may not have gold, frankincense and myrrh at our disposal, but we can give clean, clear water or pencils and paper, new shoes and warm socks, or baby chicks that will grow to feed and support a family living on nothing but hopes and prayers.

Thanksgiving and Christmas are upon us, friends. There’s no better time to be thankful and give gifts of love to others! Look here.

Go exploring! You may enjoy these previous posts.

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