Thanksgiving is next week. And so is Black Friday and the beginning of the holiday gift shopping season. It’s about this time that people start gearing up for their long-held family traditions, and start to look for new ways to make the holiday season more meaningful.
It’s also the time when we focus on Change Their Story.
Take brown construction paper and cut out a trunk and branches. Then cut out leaves that are big enough to write a short message on. Tape the tree trunk to your wall and each day, have the members of your family write what they are thankful for on a leaf, and tape it to the tree. By the time Christmas comes, you’ll have a full tree full of thankful thoughts from your loved ones.
Decide as a family what you want Christmas to represent, and then assign those labels to the gifts you give.
Some like the phrase, “Something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read.”
Of course you can get creative with your own list. By doing this, you are giving the gift a meaning and purpose that will be attached to it for as long as it is in your home.
The three gifts of the Magi identify Jesus as “King and God and sacrifice.” You can be a Modern Day Magi by making three gifts of your own. Make each of these as sacrificial as possible…not out of your excess, but out of your sacrifice.
Money. Give away some of your money to your church, another family, a special charity, a friend who is adopting, or anyone else you feel needs a little extra this Christmas.
Time. More valuable than money, give the gift of time by volunteering in your community.
Stuff. Go through all of your stuff and donate something of value to local charities that help the poor. Many local organizations collect furniture, toys, bikes, cell phones, clothing, etc. that is given directly to people in need–not sold in a thrift store.
Make your three gifts, and then on Christmas Eve dinner, gather as a family and talk about your gifts, why you chose them, and why they were important to you.
Decide together that you will only purchase gifts from companies that give back to communities or families trapped in extreme poverty.
For example, you could purchase handmade gifts from people trapped in extreme poverty. In a few weeks, HopeChest will be publishing a full list of partner organizations where you can purchase these goods at a discount to you AND create a donation back to HopeChest.
Using this guideline (or others you come up with), and you’ll be giving a gift that creates double benefit. And, by focusing your shopping efforts so narrowly, you’ll also learn much more about how poverty impacts families around the world.
Start a fundraising campaign for orphans. Change Their Story is a campaign to empower you to raise support for children in HopeChest programs around the world. There are millions of children who live in the grip of extreme poverty and need protection from sex trafficking and forced prostitution.
We’re inviting YOU to join our team of fundraisers across the country who will raise money this Christmas to benefit orphans.
Americans are projected to spend nearly $600 billion during the holiday shopping season. Instead, what if some of us decided that we’d ask our friends and family to pool their resources to help orphans?