I really love this time of year for several reasons and not all of them involve eating way too many treats. I love this time of year because it gives me the perfect excuse to indulge in my favorite things. I love to bake, so everyone gets cookies and candies that are too rich for the rest of the year. I love to create with my hands, so everyone gets some sort of craft I've been dying to try out. I love to take pictures of my kids, so everyone (family mostly)get calendars or photo ornaments of my girls. But what I think makes this holiday so appealing for people is the permission to spend money on gifts and show our affection to our loved ones. Unfortunately I do think the "obligation gifts" that have no real meaning to the recipient or the giver has left many people with the sense that Christmas is just about keeping the economy going by buying next year's garbage. "It looked good on T.V." "Mommy, I want that!". "Maybe my aunt could use a SlapChop".
Last year I did a post about different ways in gift giving and I still think those are great ways to create some meaning for the season. This year I'm putting my money where my mouth is and giving to a couple of organizations that can help make a difference in someone else's life. I truly believe that there's no better way to feel a sense of abundance than giving to others. I've chosen to buy a Literacy Package through World Vision and provide a small loan through Kiva which does micro-financing. Although I've given a small amount to each, I know that the amounts will have a greater impact within those countries in need.
And for any of you who are a bit skeptical about your money being used up mostly by administration costs of the charity, Will and Jada Smith claim 100% of your donation will be used to fund clean drinking water through Charity:Water. The gift of clean drinking water would always be appreciated.
Are there any charities that you give to regularly during Christmas? Do you believe giving should be part of your entire year? Would love to hear your thoughts.