It’s day 5 of the Beautiful Christmas series.
I’m joining with 5 other bloggers to bring you the Beautiful Christmas on a Budget series. Throughout this week, we’ll be sharing tips on how to create a Beautiful Christmas without sacrificing your budget.
I’ll be the 1st to admit that it’s fun to receive gifts at Christmas. I love to find out what others picked out just for me. There’s nothing wrong with that.
When I’m honest I realize that lingering under the surface is a spirit of discontent or disappointment at Christmas time.
It’s hard to admit. It’s ugly, but it’s there.
When I swing my focus from the getting to the giving that discontent starts to slip away. There’s such joy in giving. This is the joy that lingers.
One of my favorite Christmases ever was when I made homemade gifts for my family. Hand-tied Tutus and flower applique shirts for the nieces, monster shirts for the nephews, and a diaper bag for my sister.
I knew the time and care that I put into each one of the gifts and I could hardly wait for each person to open their present.
This time year is the perfect time to stock up on baking ingredients for cheap. Put together a plate of cookies or a meal and brighten someone’s day.
Each year I get together with my friends from my house church. We each bring the ingredients for a batch of our favorite Christmas cookies (Peanut Butter Balls!). And then we divide the cookies up between our four families. It would be fun to make an extra plate and bring it to your church staff, your child’s teachers, or someone that needs a little extra care this season.
Giving Food & Personal Care Items
This time of year can be a huge struggle financially for families. It’s the perfect time to sort through that stockpile and pull out the items that someone else could use right now.
Check out The Bucket Project each week to find deals for $1 or less to donate to a local food bank. It may be this Christmas season that you’re just scraping by…I’d love for this list to help put food on your table. If you have extra to give, use that list to stretch those dollars even more and learn the joy of giving freely!
What’s Your Passion?
Start collecting your change for an organization that you’re passionate about. Our family is putting aside our change for 20 Liters, an organization that provides filters for clean water to people that don’t otherwise have access.
What blew me away…how much my 3 and 5 year old grasp this concept. We watched a video of the filters in action in Africa. They saw real people transform the dirty water to clean water.
It teaches me not to underestimate my kids and how much they want to help others.
What is your passion? What could you get excited about?
Shop Fair Trade Items
There’s something truly wonderful about buying a special gift for someone in your life and knowing that you’re also giving an opportunity to someone else in the world.
It’s a conversation starter. It’s sparks conversations about other cultures and other places in the world.
Today we headed to a Fair Trade Fair that my son’s school offered. I picked up Beads for Life bracelets for my 3 oldest nieces. Along with the bracelet, each niece will receive little paper explaining where the beads came from and how this endevour is empowering women. It’s inspiring…it’s good for our souls.
Do you have a person on your list that doesn’t need or want anything?
Here’s an idea to give a gift to someone else on you giftee’s behalf, a life-changing gift. My in-laws bought goats for my boys last year. My boys didn’t actually get the goats :) They went to another family as a way to provide.
World Vision Gift Catalog – here’s just one place to look for these types of gifts…I’d love to find learn about other places that you know about.
A word on Microloans…
1 out of every 5 people in the world live on less than $1.25 a day
Microfinance is a way to give an opportunity to these hard-working people to make their business ideas a reality, allowing them to provide for their family. What a beautiful thing!
The amazing thing to me is most of the borrowers are women who just want to provide for their children. The current repayment rate is really, really high. That’s amazing! Empowering!
The heart of my post is not to make you feel guilty, but maybe it’ll stir a little something inside you. There’s so much joy in giving. There really is.
And I hope that a giving spirit will be a part of your Beautiful Christmas.
What other ideas for giving do you have?