Pepper and I went to a conference in Tipp City, Ohio for the last two days. It is the second time I went, first time for Pepper. It is an extremely well run conference. The place is actually quite amazing. It is a huge mega church in the middle of the Dayton suburbs. One of the fund raisers they have been doing is called, “Its not YOUR birthday” The pastor challenged the congregation to match the funds they spent on themselves for Christmas with a donation to the poor and starving people in Darfur. The first year the congregation came up with thousands of dollars. It was an amazing project.
What is even more amazing is how much we as Americans have and spend. Why do we have gifts for each other on Christmas morning? Why so many? Why do I feel compelled to spend so much on my children? My siblings? My extended family and friends? Quite often I have to ask friends and relatives what they want and then just go out and buy things for them. And they do the same. We all have cars. We could all just get what we want if we want it so bad.
I really do want to cut WAY BACK this year. Now, we say this every year…. It doesn’t really work. If we spent just $10 on everyone we bought gifts for, the amount would still run over $400… and we spend at least three times that amount. I suggested to Val last year that we try to at least make a donation to a charity “in the same ballpark” as what we spend on ourselves and family. We did try. And we talked about doing something for the community together as a family. We tried that too.
I am not sure how to make significant cut backs in what we spend at Christmas this year. We do not know how to change things with our family and friends. We do not want it to feel like a ‘punishment’ to our kids… but really- do we want them to learn that getting material things is all that Christmas is about? We want to replace all the store-bought-gifts-ripped-open-in-5-minutes routine with something better. I welcome any suggestions…..
check this out, it explains more than I ever could...
The Sudan Project http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dw9b1Sv0B0#watch-main-area