ALLCASTLE PRINCETON + work

A Twist to the Christmas List

I know it may be a little early for some of you to think about Christmas, but I do try to start early. Starting early spreads out the cost and reduces the pressure to get everything done. This post isn't about planning for Christmas, or why you should start early. It is mostly a mom bragging about her kids.
Those of you have been around for awhile probably remember the system we use when buying Christmas presents for our children: Four for Christmas. If you aren't familiar with it, I invite you to take a moment and go read about it by clicking the link above.
Four for Christmas has worked very well for us, overall, but I find myself in kind of a rut when it comes to the spiritual gift of the four. We've given Bibles, movies, books, music, and games. Although there is a lot of choice of spiritual items, the gifts seem a little repetitive sometimes.
Then a week or so ago we got a catalog in the mail. It was the Christmas Gift catalog from Samaritan's Purse. We made up shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child before, but I was not familiar with the gift catalog concept. The catalog is full of a variety of ways that you can help families, children and evangelists in poor countries. What really caught my eye though was the section toward the end called Seven Gifts that Fight Hunger and Poverty in Jesus' name. This section included food for families, but went beyond that to provide means for these families to provide for themselves.

I wondered if the kids would be interested in donating one of their gifts this year. Tim and I talked about it, and decided to give them the option. The next day I showed them the catalog, and asked if they would like to forgo one of their presents this year to buy something for another child. They quickly decided that they wanted to.
I gave them the amount they could spend individually and suggested that they could also pool their money to buy something bigger. They decided on chickens. That only takes a portion of their money, and they have yet to decide what to do with the remainder. They may buy more chickens, and they have also talked about Bible stories for children.
I am so proud of them! I can't describe the feeling when I saw them all huddled around the catalog picking out Christmas presents. They were not looking for themselves, not picking out xbox 360's or anything like that, but choosing to give up something to help someone else in need. I was all warm and fuzzy inside.
Sometimes I wonder if they are learning the values that we want to pass to them. Sometimes I wonder if they feel like they are suffering by not having everything they want. Times like these put my doubts to rest.
Thank you for indulging me this space to brag a little.

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