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All I Want For Christmas ...

Conversation that took place in my house a few days ago:

Husband: Hey Mel? What do you want for Christmas?

Me: I think I'd like a goat. Maybe a couple of chickens too.

Husband: O_o

another conversation that took place in my house a few days ago:

Me: Kids, we have too many toys. We need to scale back. When you are incapable of cleaning your rooms because there is too much stuff for the space, that says to me that we need to a) get rid of a few things and b) not bring so much stuff into the house. So, I want you to really think about what you want for Christmas this year. Please don't give me a list with every toy you see advertised on it, because you will be sorely disappointed come Christmas morning.

Girls: O_o
Boy: Watch me jump off the furniture! (sometimes the little one has some focus issues!)

Me: Just think ... if we do a smaller Christmas, we could use some of what we would have spent to buy a goat and chickens and REALLY help a family in need. You have so much stuff, and these people do not even have sufficient food to eat!

Girls: O_o (asking each others in concerned whispers "is she serious?")

Okay, so a little artistic license was used in these conversations, although the "You are not the boss of Christmas!" was shouted at me last night by a certain five year old.

I think the Lord placed the World Vision catalog in my hand within five minutes of me discovering that the girls COULD NOT clean their room because they had more stuff than space for a reason though. I got to thinking. What if we took $100 out of our Christmas budget and gave it away? To World Vision for a goat and two chickens, or to a friend's adoption fund, or to my friends raising orphans in Kenya, or to the Salvation Army, or to a family that needs shoes and coats for their kids, or maybe a Christmas dinner, or toys to put under their tree? Would that $100 really be missed by our family? In light of the difference it could make in the life of another family?

My poor children do not get it yet. They've led pretty sheltered lives and are pretty much used to having what they want. I wouldn't necessarily call them spoiled brats, but we haven't done a fabulous job teaching them gratitude, and teaching them how very much they have, because we haven't made an effort to live with gratitude and to live like we are aware of how very much we have. I know how hard it is when you're bombarded with advertisements everywhere that show you just how much more STUFF is out there and how you need it ALL! I'm right there with them. I saw an ad last night for a coffee maker I decided that I really need. It caused an immediate dislike for the coffee maker I have, which works fine, which I seriously use about ten times a year. So yeah, I'm a rational adult who KNOWS that I'm richer than a significant portion of the world just by having sufficient (ahem, MORE than sufficient) food and clean water and a warm bed to sleep in. I know it's hard for kids who don't know that.

I really am serious though. We are going to scale back our own Christmas this year, following the "something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read" principle, and the excess that I would have spent I want to use to bless others. Hopefully the rest of my family will see it as a blessing as well.

May I challenge you to give this Christmas away, as well?

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