We're all familiar with that age-old question, "What do I get so-and-so for Christmas"? Do they really need another toy, or book, or novelty coffee mug? While there is a certain amount of joy and cheer to be found in getting that "perfect gift", it also easy to look at our tendency to turn our own sacred holidays into consumeristic blitzes.
Don't fear, I'm not here to say we should do without, or do with less (although it's always worth considering). But I do want to offer some alternative gifts that might stand for something bigger, that in and of themselves are worth celebrating. So here are three gifts to consider giving to help extend and deepen the joy of giving this year.
1. Compassion International Gifts
You may be familiar with Compassion International and the incredible child sponsoring program they operate around the world. But did you know you can also give one time gifts to meet specific needs. It runs the full gamut from delivering bibles in the native language, to sponsoring hygiene classes and supplies, to sending food, providing chickens, goats or cows for a family or digging wells. Gifts of all dollar values can be put to great use, and you can give a gift on someone's behalf, and then give them a nice card that fully explains what the money went to support. I would also say that this is a great way for a family or community group to each contribute something and then see how far your money can go by all being generous together.
2. The Heart House Handicrafts from Bangladesh
3. The Nozomi Project
We were fortunate enough to have the Takamotos with us to share what they and the Nozomi Project are doing to help bring hope. Their tag line is "Beauty in Brokenness", and their artisans create beautiful jewelry from broken pottery while striving to foster community and restoration by employing local Ishinomaki women. The beautiful handcrafted jewelry ships worldwide (and if you order by the 11th, it can even get here for Christmas!). So you can be a part of helping to spread that hope while also delivering a beautiful gift. What a perfect conversation starter.
If you want to hear the Takamotos talk about the project, you can watch the video below.