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Christmas and Compassion

Well, Christmas is approaching quickly.  Someone reminded me the other day that it’s only about 42 days away and of course that started the flury of “Christmas Lists” flowing around our house.  The kids (and I have to admit, me too) have been thinking about what would be nice to give/get for Christmas.  Recovering from surgery I’ve had ‘extra’ time this week to start thinking about that.

But at the same time, this week has seen another flurry of letters from our Compassion kids.  It seems there’s always one coming in, and Nancy was busy responding to about 5 of the kids this week with letters of their own.  Khadiza, our child from Bangladesh set THREE letters in the space of six weeks!  How can we keep up???  (And then on Twitter today, I read that one person just sent letters to all of her28 Compassion kids!!  28!!!  God bless her and her family!!!

So how do you reconcile Christmas here in North America with the Christmas that these sponsored kids will experience in places like Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nicaraugua, Tanzania, Columbia, Uganda and El Salvador, as well as other places that Compassion sponsors kids?  Our kids have asked for gifts (so far) ranging from $50 to $500.  Of course, they’re not really expecting them ALL, but they’re certainly hoping.  By comparison, the sponsored kids would be ecstatic if they got something worth $10 or less!!

Every year we send over a little extra to each of the kids for them and their families and every year we are amazed at how far the little bit we send goes — clothes, food, supplies, grain, etc, and etc.  We LOVE to get the pictures back every year with the kids proudly displaying what our Christmas gift money bought for them.

A few years ago, we decided in our extended family, that we had WAY too much, and so we decided that we would all shop for ONE gift for the person whose name we’d drawn the previous Christmas.  That one gift would be purchased at a second hand store (like Value Village, or the Thrift Store, or something like that) and that the money that we WOULD HAVE spent on that gift had we bought it new would be donated to Compassion for a special project.  This year we’ve decided to completely be done with individual gifts (we already have too much anyway — see a post coming soon on cleaning house!) and have decided to donate it ALL to Compassion.

If you think you’d like to do something like that, then I strongly suggest you check out Compassions “Gifts of Compassion” site where you can buy a soccer ball for $10, or a goat for $45, or even a kitchen for $3000.  Do you really need the extended edition of Avatar on BluRay, or Season 23 of The Office to line your shelves?  Wouldn’t it be better to give something to someone who really needs it?  Or, if you don’t already sponsor a Compassion kid, why not start today!!

At this moment there is 41 days, 7 hours, 30 minutes until Christmas.  How are you going to spend it this year?



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