‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Friday, December 12, 2008

True Christmas Giving...Let's Do It!

The photo on the right is of just one of the millions of orphans living in poverty in our world right now. She happens to be from a Siberian Orphanage, where my daughter is from.

I can't bear to be spending money on Christmas presents knowing there are so many hundreds of thousands of children in the world without anything to call their own. Of course, I have to buy Anastasia some gifts. I want to, and she would be devastated if I did not. But I've made a deal with myself this year. I am tallying every penny I spend on her and am requiring myself to spend exactly that much on goods for the children in her former orphanage.

I'm also holding a potluck kind of Christmas Eve party and asking all my guests to bring a small toy or hat or mittens that I can ship over there. I remember the orphanage director telling me that they never hear from the families once the children are adopted, yet each one of them promises all kinds of future help. What happened? Did all those families forget about the obvious needs they witnessed there? On our last trip, my brother went with us and bought about $1,000 worth of new shoes that we then brought back to the children at the orphanage. Financially, I couldn't have done that, but I was delighted to be a part of such generosity. And I can give according to my own means. We set up one of the rooms like a little shop-- laid out all the shoes -- and the director let them come in and choose a pair in their size. It was awesome.

Each year I send a small Christmas tree for Anastasia's group, and Christmas candy for the entire orphanage. It costs about $150, but how I can I complain about the cost when I have a roof over my head and food in my belly? And a job?????

I know I'm preaching to the choir - most of you who read my blog are incredibly generous and kind-hearted souls -- but humor me: I don't know who many of the people are who stop by. My stat counter says I get about 50-75 unique visitors a day on average. so I'm speaking to those anonymous lurkers:

Challenge yourself to spend the same amount that you will spend on your family this season on someone less fortunate. If you need ideas, send me a comment & I'll gladly give you lots of ideas! I'm happy to even furnish the address of Anastasia's orphanage as well. There are 100 children living there right now, ages 5-16. They have nothing. Nothing. Let that sink in for a minute.

What if every single person in this country took up this challenge? Think of the joy that would be spread, especially to children like our own who live in all the orphanages of the world? Anyway, if you ask me, they are our children. We need to show them they are loved, even if it's only a toothbrush sent at Christmas. Do something. Don't let this holiday be about materialism and consumerism and me-ism. Look out past your own backyard. Show others what this season is really about. Let it be about love.

Later Edit: Of course I don't mean Christmas is the only time for giving...it's just that at this time of year, it is often the saddest time of year for those who have very little. Always give, throughout the year....but in this Season of Giving, give like you've never given before!


  1. I love the potluck idea! I was just talking to my coworker about how hard this time of year is. I wish people would do as many fundraisers throughout the year as they do now. I just can't give to them all.

  2. I'm with Kristina, I wish there was more year round help then what seems to be mostly at one time of the year. I know it's out there, just not easily accessed I guess. We do give back to the Butterfly's orphanage too.

  3. Hello! I'm an anonymous lurker! I've just written my blog, and each day I click on next blog just to see who it is! Today it was you, and I just wanted to say how inspired I was by your post. You made me think.

    Happy Christmas.

  4. Tremendous post! I have had the same experience! I have taken Sergei back to his orphanage twice, and the directors - well, everyone! was so happy to see him! All we could take was the collection of socks and stockings which we brought from Sergei's school - but we all know how children go through stockings, so I am sure it was appreciated.


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