That almost sounds strange doesn't it? Not doing ANY Christmas shopping?
Well it's true.
A couple of months ago I came up with the idea of taking what money we would have spent on Christmas presents and donating it to those in need - like Somalia, Uganda, World Wildlife Fund, Pakistan, Child Sight Foundation, Global Animal Foundation, etc. etc. The list of those in need is absolutely endless!
And we are not on it.
I brought my suggestion to everyone in my immediate circle of family and friends and they have all agreed to go with my proposal.
So instead of going crazy battling shoppers and worrying that we have everyone on our list covered, we are spending our time searching out foundations that we would love to support.
We do have one restriction. We want foundations that actually use the money donated for what the foundation is all about instead of for paying themselves an 'administration fee'.
And that's it.
Come Christmas day we are all going to arrive at my nephew's house WITHOUT gaily wrapped packages. Instead we will be arriving with items for a pot-luck supper. The Man is going to deep-fry a turkey, my brother is bringing Trifle, I really like brussel sprouts done in yogurt and garlic, Byron is bringing cranberries and probably more cranberries, and my nephew promised to dust the house in flour to make it look festive (and to tease Byron and I as we are both Celiacs and that might do us in).
Once our meal is over with (and the dishes done) we are going to sit down with our lists and explain who we have chosen and why. Our lists can be as long as we want or as short as we want. It doesn't matter at all.
And then comes that moment I'm really excited about. It is seeing my selected foundations up on the computer screen and clicking SEND. It's knowing that I'm going to be giving a far more valuable gift to more than one person this year and that my gift is going to make a difference. Perhaps it will be food or drinking water, or even the gift of a smile for a child. Perhaps it's keeping an animal from being euthanized or providing shelter for the homeless along with a good hot meal. And perhaps I can only give $5 or $10 dollars to a selected few or to many, but it will be done with joy.
Each donation I am able to give is going to be wrapped with love from my heart. You don't need to put a bow on that.