We all know the pressure is on to make people happy at Christmas. And I always wanted to be a good gift-giver. I would pay attention all through the year and surprise loved ones with that one thing they’d really wanted. I loved the adventure of finding the gifts…but felt guilty about the priority I was putting on this process of gift-giving.
Two years ago, I felt God challenge me about the way I was spending this money. The number of zeroes was growing each year. Generosity has always come easy to me, but I knew I needed to redirect who was benefitting from these gifts. Seriously…do we need one more Wii cartridge or giftcard??
Once I made the decision (and prepared my many family members for the change), it became such a fun experience. We’ve given cows and pigs, we’ve adopted children in Kenya and India and we’ve helped fund water programs in Uganda. There are so many programs that make the process easy, and have built a legacy on creating change where needed. There was some learning along the way–especially in prepping family for this change. Some people loved the idea and were excited about knowing their gift was going to help someone else. Others were not so crazy about it at first, and I had to respect their desire to get an actual gift (though I didn’t give in and change what I was doing, but did respect their feelings in the process). And, in addition to not giving any gifts, I asked that I not be given any either, so that the money they would’ve spent on me was used to help others, too. All that to say, communication is needed when you decide to do this, but it’s well worth the discussion so people know ahead of time.
If you want to know you’re really impacting a life with a gift this year, try this: you’ll never regret it, and won’t have to wonder if your present is just collecting dust in someones’ closet.