i heard my first Christmas jingle last night. shawn and i made a quick run to babies r us to get cohen a halloween costume last night after we had dinner with my cousin, aj, and the girl he is dating. it was a really great night… we got to see the house aj is flipping (it looks RAD…if anyone you know is wanting to live in dayton, ohio- give me a hollar!) and then he picked up allison from her grad class and all five of us went to thai 9 for dinner. it was a great night full of wonderful surprises! my tom kah gai soup (my thai fav!) was unbelievable and the sushi was delightful! who knew dayton had such good asian food!??! allison- well, she got my stamp of approval. we were the first family members to meet her and so honored. and even cohen was in a good mood and happily (and almost quietly) flirted with the waiter and surrounding tables. it was a good night.
we jetted to babies r us just 30 minutes before it closed..which, i hate to do to the workers. i worked retail in college, i know how awful it is to see people walking in while you are trying to close (early, if at all possible). BUT there is nothing of the like in bellefontaine and we desperately needed to get his halloween costume since trick or treat night here is thursday. we walked in and saw the perfect costume immediately- i am going to keep what it is a surprise- but i will post pics on friday. it will be a plethora of cute kiddies…
ANYWAY when we were in babies r us drooling over all of the adorable clothes, shoes, coats…i heard my first Christmas music of the ‘season’…my first thought was ‘are you kidding me?!?! Christmas music before halloween?’ i used to get upset when i heard it before Thanksgiving, but now that’s an accepted practice, but before halloween? can anyone say ‘marketing machine’?!?! that was my entire thought process as we rushed in and out of the store.
but today i got thinking about it… about Christmas and what it has become. you know i think holidays are just days and pretty much what you make them. we weren’t allowed to trick or treat as kids but i don’t personally have a problem with the way we are doing it this year…taking the kids to a nursing home where they can bless the residents, get dressed up, and enjoy some candy. i actually have more of a problem with Christmas… growing up we were poor enough (so many kids) that we never experienced that HUGE SPENDING/UGLY CONSUMERISM that gets talked about on the news. my parents never went into credit card debt to give us everything we wanted and it never took more than an thirty minutes for us ALL to open our presents. i didn’t realize until the last few years that credit card debt for Christmas is actually quite common and that many parents feel pressured to give their kids everything they want…i didn’t realize our economy actually depends on Christmas- that analysts start hoping for big spending months in advance…
and honestly, it makes me sick. last year, when shawn and i decided not to do the ‘big gift thing’ and just agree on some gifts we both wanted… he got a camera lense and upgrade and i got maternity clothes- and we still spent a ridiculous amount.
so this year, we (along with my parents and siblings) have decided to give gifts to those in need instead of each other and we couldn’t be MORE EXCITED about it.
we might be a little extreme and i certainly don’t think everyone has to follow suit here, but i DO think EVERY PERSON should consider giving a gift to someone who truly needs it. it could mean participating in Angel Tree (angeltree.org) or serving at your local food pantry or shelter or even giving a gift to a child overseas. we have decided to do the latter.
there are lots of good organizations out there, but i want to highlight WORLD VISION because i ahve seen with my own two eyes the good that they do. when we went to africa i couldn’t believe the difference $35/month could do. the ONLY kids at school with books or shoes were the sponsored kids and the only families with animals and seed to plant were families with sponsored kids.
world vision has a gift magazine with hundreds of gift ideas ranging from $35 to $5000! most of us could certainly spare $35 around the holidays… if you are interested AT ALL, please click on the picture below to see the gift ideas at http://www.worldvision.org and pray about adding a needy child or family to your Christmas shopping list… i promise that it will be money well spent- money planted into the Kingdom of God- and something you will never regret doing.
happy (very) early Christmas, friends.