Journal

Christmas Gifts That Bless

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Whacky Wednesday—T’is the Season, and the packages are piling high!

Instead of giving more collectibles to dust, more whatsits to clean or wear, or calories that go to waist, I’m giving gifts that keep on giving this year.  The joy is in connecting the gift to the heart of the recipient.

My son began playing soccer at three. Even though he’s grown and living in Thailand these days, he still loves soccer—playing, watching, and cheering the sport that taught him countless life skills.  What could be better than donating soccer balls in his name for children whose only toys are found in trash heaps?

For those who’ve worked so hard on Band of Sisters with me—a novel that raises awareness of human trafficking and asks the question, what can I do to help in a need so desperate?—I’m donating to an organization that helps to rescue and restore young women, giving them a real start in life.  It’s the best way I know to honor those who’ve shared this journey.  If this sounds good to you, check out some of these wonderful organizations on the resource page on my website.

And then there are loved ones who, through the years, have shared concerns that God has laid on their hearts.  It’s exciting to help them in their desire to bless others.

If you’re looking for other ideas, here are a few of my favorites: clean water or a share in a well for those whose only water is contaminated and infested with disease; help for abused women and children locally or across the world; medicines that make the difference between life and death in this and other countries; family shelters in Israel for those who’ve been bombed out of their homes; mosquito nets for families in malaria infested areas; dental help for those who can’t afford it; support of cleft palette or club foot surgery; animals, like a sheep, goat, chickens or a share in a fish pond that help poor families sustain themselves and/or their community; a bicycle for children whose journey to school is long and perilous; school supplies or fees for needy children.

The possibilities are endless, at home and abroad. These have become my favorite gifts to give, and it’s thrilling to learn that they’re often favorite gifts received.  What are your favorite gifts to give—or to receive?  I’d love to hear!

This week we tramped the fields in search of the perfect Christmas tree.  I’m delighted to report that we found it—at least the perfect one for us, and that we’re enjoying the fragrance of evergreens.  What about you?  Are you decorating a tree this year?  Don’t you love the lights?

Looking forward to seeing you here again next week!

God’s blessings for you,

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