Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Something to consider...

As we approach the holidays (and for those unmoved by the spirit of the season- the end of another tax year), we often look for ways to give to those in need.  We put our change in red buckets, manned by smiling bell-ringers outside the mall, after spending an obscene chunk on Christmas gifts for our family and friends.  We donate canned goods to local homeless shelters and food banks as we prepare to gorge ourselves on all sorts of holiday yumminess.   We give a little extra to a favorite charity, but only after we've made sure we have enough to cover the holiday budget.  We hear pitifully sad stories of people in need and living through heartbreaking circumstances and we say really goofy things like, "Boy...  Sure makes you thankful for what you have, huh?"  Or, "Stories like that make me want to hug my loved ones a little tighter."  Blah, blah, blah.

Or maybe that's just me...?

Any giving to others is good, of course- no matter how small it may be.  But how often, during this busy season, do we really- and I mean Really, do something that could change a life?  

For me, sadly, the answer would be "rarely to never."  How about you?  I'm sure you're not as pathetic as I am.  I must admit that at this time of year, my focus is primarily on my own family (not solely on my own family, but still...)...  to provide toys that no one really needs, to give cash to teenagers who will undoubtedly blow it on something stupid and quickly forgotten...  to fill stockings with unhealthy, cavity-inviting crap...  to spend, spend, spend on groceries for feasts and goodies for people who have never gone hungry a day in their lives...  Always, always trying to outdo myself and create the perfect Christmas.  Each year I vow that I will focus more on the true meaning of Christmas for myself and my children and also find more opportunities to give to others and share the blessings God has given to me.  And each year, I wind up being more like a bipolar Martha Stewart on crack than a Mother Teresa.

But I've been given something to think about today; a reason to change my self-focused, holiday ways that I'd like to share.  I'd like to encourage and challenge you to visit Mrs. Broccoli Guy's blog and read THIS POST... Please.  Then, consider what, if anything, you might be willing to do. 

Christina's post (which I trust you are leaving me soon to read, right???), while adoption-related, will touch your heart and make you think, regardless of your ties to adoption.   If it doesn't, you must be made of stone (no offense).  Please, please read it...  All the way to the end- no skimming, people!  There is a website listed at the end of her post where donations can be made.

(Before I go, let me point out that I have intentionally not jumped upon my adoption soapbox for this post, although I very easily could have.  Talk of foreign countries and their adoption laws, the plight of orphaned children, adoption reform, etc.- those topics would bore lose a few of you, yes?  So I chose the holiday angle instead, preying upon your holiday spirit of generosity, hoping to appeal to those of you who may not share the same level of interest in adoption and children in need of families as I have (not to suggest that you do not care about adoption or children in need- I only mean to say we are each moved by different causes, and yours may be different than mine).   At least I'm honest about trying to manipulate you into doing what I want you to do.  That's worth something, isn't it?)

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