the Holidays and the Greater World

Despite the cold, this is my favorite time of year. I love almost everything about it. I am, unashamedly, the girl who walks into the mall and gets giddy when she sees the Christmas decor being put up in October. By the time Halloween comes around, or Reformation day (to each their own), I'm ready for the holiday hustle & bustle. Now don't worry, I openly recognize that this attitude is detestable to the majority of Americans, but I haven't quite decided whether or not I care. I am that girl who sings Christmas carols too early and I'm ok with it. I'll try to not sing them too loudly until post-Thanksgiving just to be respectful to the rest of you.

Anyways, yesterday was my first day of Christmas shopping. I made quite the dent in my list and at the end of the day I was quite proud of myself... until last night.  Sometimes I get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that I forget that there are ways to shop and give gifts that matter. What I mean by "gifts that matter" is that the gift is not only amazingly stylish and unique, but it has the potential to significantly impact another human's life.

It's not just about the gift. It's also about encouraging your families and friends to think beyond themselves. And if you're a follower of Christ, this an opportunity to use gifts that matter to display the love of Christ by meeting the physical needs of a lost world. It's also another GREAT opportunity to take care of the orphans and widows through being wise spenders.

So in honor of trying to use our money wisely, I wanted to share a few of my shopping ideas with you:

Shoes bc I love them...

  • Help Children with heart disease in Iraq through getting some clash (click on Buy Shoes. Saves Lives tab): Preemptive Love
  • Buy a pair of shoes and have a pair given to a child need: Toms Shoes

Donations in Honor of .... for the person who has everything and needs nothing:

  • Feed a child, house a family, purchase livestock for an entire community, build a church, or check out a lot of other creative gifts: Samaritans Purse Gift Catalog
  • You can also donate to Samaritan's Purse Water Projects. I'm raising money for a WASH program in Uganda. Make a donation in honor of a family member: Run for Water.  (shameless plug... shameless).
  • Make a donation to a non-profit organization in your community in honor of a family member! What better way to say Merry Christmas than to say, “I love you so much and want to honor you buy supporting a child in our community through a mentorship program.” Get creative. Do some research. Pick an organization that you love.

Cool purses, scarves, jewelry, etc. for the fashionista:

  • Purchase a variety of jewelry, bags, and scarves to help a variety of causes: Global Girlfriend

Coffee for folks who, like my husband, may or may not have a slight addiction:

  • We recommend Coffee4Missions. It's a great company that supports missionaries serving in the 10/40 window.
  • Three Avocados is an awesome Non Profit Coffee company that focuses on clean water in Uganda.

Now listen, you will still see me at the mall this year in a few of my favorite stores picking out items for beloved family members, but combining a scarf from Global Girlfriend or a bag of Three Avocados with a gift card to the Gap might just be a good way to go.

Ok, that's my shopping idea/sermonette for the season. And family and friends, if you end up getting one gift that you REALLY want and then a cool scarf from a 3rd world country... don't be surprised. Seriously, I've forewarned you. :)

Much love to you all - Brit

ps. this is a picture of the dinner table at the Donald's residence at Christmas... I love it... LOVE IT. Can't wait to be home for Thanksgiving!

Posted on November 4, 2010 and filed under Culture.