Each Christmas season, our family looks through the gift catalog and selects a few gifts. We have four girls and a boy (and one more child due on Christmas!) who love to give. This is an opportunity for them to see how our gifts can make an impact in others’ lives. We love flipping through the gift catalog and imagining how the recipient’s life could change with a farm animal, seeds or school supplies. Our family sponsors 5 children between Haiti and Ethiopia, but it’s neat to know the gifts we give through the gift catalog will help children in all of the countries FH works in.
As we prepared for the holiday season this year, we made a few changes in how we celebrate. How we give to the gift catalog will be a change in our attitudes and how we perceive gift giving. This year we’re going to have 8 days of giving from December 9-16 (The Festival of Lights) – and we’d like you to join us!
The Festival of Lights is also called the Feast of Dedication. What awesome imagery! In Matthew 25:40, Jesus tells us “truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” There is no better time than now to show our dedication to helping the poor and hungry. During this holiday season, we need to feast at the table of dedication.
We’d like your help to achieve 800 gifts during these 8 days. Will you join us?
8 Reasons to Give to Through the Gift Catalog
In anticipation for these 8 days, we’ve asked each member of our family (8, if you count the baby to come) to think of a reason to give to the gift catalog. We’ll do this countdown style starting with the oldest first.
#8. It’s a big impact for a small donation. (Jeremy)
Each year, we put in a vegetable garden. We have four large above ground garden boxes that we built several years ago and design a different grid of vegetables each year. It’s amazing how much a little seed can produce. When I look through the gift catalog, I’m always amazed about how far the dollars we give are stretched, just like those seeds. $350 for a cow? That cow will provide milk, fertilizer and work on the farm, increasing nutrition and health for that family. I like to give to the FH gift catalog, because our small gifts make a huge impact on the life of the recipient.
#7. Because I don’t need more plastic. (Jennica, my wife)
I’ll paraphrase Dave Ramsey, do you really need to spend more money on more plastic toys? I don’t need any more plastic. We’ve been blessed with far more than we deserve and giving a little of it away each Christmas season is a simple way we can bless others.
#6. Because it helps them. (Emily, age 10)
Emily is our analytical child. When we asked her why she wants to give gifts from the gift catalog, she cocked her head and said “Because it helps them, Dad.” I think she might have been a little surprised at the question – this is one of her favorite holiday traditions.
#5. It provides food and a way to make money. (Evie, age 8)
Evie is drawn to the farm animals in the gift catalog. Her favorites are the chickens and the cow – she’s excited about giving a gift that keeps on giving. She explained how the animals will help families eat and make money.
#4. Because it will make someone happy! (Julia, age 5)
Our 5-year-old, Julia, has one of the sweetest spirits of any child. She thought about why to give a gift to someone and she exclaimed, “It’ll make them happy, Dad!”
#3. I want to do it. (Ellie, age 4)
Ellie fulfills the role of headstrong preschooler. When I asked her why she wants to give to the gift catalog, she grinned and responded, “Because I want to do it, Dad.” Ellie told me how excited she is to give farm animals – not because they’re cute. Not because of how much money the animals could earn the recipient. Ellie told me she wants to give animals because they’re good food!
#2. Milk. (Elijah, age 2)
I may have to extrapolate a little from what Elijah said. He just turned 2, so his vocabulary isn’t as developed as his sisters. Elijah wants to give a goat or a cow to help provide other kids milk – his favorite drink.
#1. The gift can make an eternal impact. (Josiah, due 12/25/2012)
The gifts we give – and the work that we do at FH – is more than just about solving physical hunger. It’s also about solving spiritual hunger. We are blessed to be due with our sixth child Christmas day and believe Josiah will want to give a gift that makes an eternal impact.