Last Christmas my sister, brother-in-law and I decided to change the way we "do" Christmas. It wasn't that we weren't grateful for all that we had and all that we were given but we don't need any more STUFF! I am on a mission to decrease the amount of STUFF I have around the house and have been making good progress. There are actually empty shelves in my home now but I still have much more STUFF to get rid of.
(My goal is to have my possessions down to two suitcases full by the time I retire! Goodbye silverware, goodbye books, goodbye useless clutter!)
I told Lannie and Jim about the money my class raised to purchase 6 baby goats for people in Sudan and how good that made us all feel. So the three of us decided that instead of giving each other gifts this year we would donate to a charity instead and let family members know that instead of giving us gifts they could make a donation on our behalf. The charity we chose is the World Food Programme - a part of United Nations and the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. A mere 25 cents will feed a child for one day. (http://wall.wfp.org/ ) The donation my family and I made will feed 4 children for a year. That sure beats the stuff I got last year for Christmas - I'd tell you what I got but I honestly can't remember - that's how unnecessary it was.
You can't imagine how freeing it is to get rid of stuff along with the desire to accumulate stuff until you actually do it. It clears out a lot of space in your BRAIN too so that you can actually spend time thinking about what is important in life, such as helping others less fortunate than ourselves, and there are SO many that need our help.
I encourage everyone to take part or all of their Christmas shopping money and donate to a worthy cause this year. It feels so good to give and you'll be so glad you did. Let's spread out the wealth in the world a little bit more evenly so that everyone can at least eat on Christmas Day.