As Christmas gets closer I feel a tinge of stress and excitement. For the second time in 3 years I get to celebrate a baby's first Christmas and at the same time this will be the first Christmas my 2 year old will really be aware of what is going on.
I am stressed over trying to make it perfect for the kids while not increasing my family's debt load, a problem most mom's will face this season.
I know how fun it will be to see my little girl's face when she sees the tree for the first time on Christmas morning and the awe in my son's eyes when his 8 months of wisdom try to figure out what all the excitement is about. Even if I think that there is not as much under that tree as I wish there could be, I try to remind myself about the purpose of the holiday, which can be pretty hard when walking through the stores at this time of year! Yet I know my kids will be happy with the fact that there are gifts of any sort, as they are not at the stage of expecting certain things and in certain quantities.
However, I did have things put in perspective the other day when I received a Christmas catalogue, not from a retail outlet, but from a charity. The gifts included livestock, food, medication, and other necessities of life. The organization, Chalice, is a Canadian Catholic organization that provided live changing items to people in developing countries. No matter what your budget (there are items for as little as $10, one even $5) you can make a purchase that will help improve the life of a child, family, or community.
The first thing I did when looking through this catalogue was what most do, wish I could help then move on to whatever else I was busy doing at that moment; then I picked it up again to recycle it but I stopped. I looked at it and saw that there were items I could actually afford to donate (and I am on a very small budget), I spoke to my hubby that night and we decided to purchase a couple of items in the name of some family members for Christmas. We want to make a difference in whatever way we can, instead of buying another mug for someone who has a hundred already or a box of chocolate for someone who doesn't eat candy, the recipient of the card knows that their gift (made in their name) is going to make a difference.
After checking out the website http://www.chalice.ca/ I thought to myself ... how can I worry about how many gifts I can buy ... when I should be so thankful that I can get gifts for them. I am so thankful that I am not worried that my kids will contract Malaria while they sleep tonight. I am so thankful that I can pour my daughter a glass of water and know that it is not contaminated. I am so thankful that my big baby can drink all the formula he needs to satisfy his big appetite.
So if you are getting stressed over the holiday season do a quick Google search for charities that you may be able to help out this holiday season. Whether you can donate money, items, or even some of your time through volunteering; you'll remember what is really important in life!
Until next time,