Monday, December 9, 2013

The Gift of Giving

The Gift of Giving

I can’t believe we’re down to the last days of December! As I’m posting this, there are only 15 shopping days left for me to buy all the presents needed for all the special people on the “Nice” list this year.

The Farmer and I have decided that we are not going to spend as much as we have in the past. With nine children, their spouses, our eleven grandchildren, his mom, my parents, siblings, secret sisters, missions, charities, and random strangers—the spending had gotten so out of control, it looked like the national deficit! (Before 2007)

Although we have never had a need that has gone unmet, we are far from having untold riches within our reach. Every year, with Christmas looming near, our financial belts always seem stretched to the point of snapping. Nevertheless, each year, as we watched our children rush to their stockings and then to the tree to unwrap their gifts, the financial sacrifices we made seemed all worth the strain…but then came the aftermath. And I’m not talking about the mounds of wrapping paper and mountain of boxes that had to be cleaned up and taken to the burn barrel (after closely examining for any stray “important” piece of someone’s toy). Or the assembling of the Barbie house, or the new bicycle, or the new whatever electronic contraption was popular that year. No…the aftermath was the financial devastation that our monthly budget suffered until the spring thaw. I guess that is one way to make the Christmas season last longer!

However, overspending, stretching the budget, or strapping our finances does not only cause us a hardship, but it also makes us careless stewards of God’s rich blessings. God has called us to be stewards, or caretakers, of what he has given to us, so he can use them for his glory. Our material possessions are not eternal, but what we do with our money and time here on earth will someday be taken into account in Heaven. As Christians, we are responsible for what has been entrusted to us.

 “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen”. Romans 11:36

Everything belongs to God, and if you are a Christian, He has entrusted you with earthly possessions that He desires for you to use to share His love. And in this world of entitlement, there are lots of opportunities. Nevertheless, here is a list of things I consider (and hope) are legitimate.

Goodwill is all about putting people to work. Every item sold and donation made to Goodwill helps fund job training programs and employment placing services for people with disabilities or employment challenges. Find out how you can make a difference >>Here<<
I just went shopping there and found 2 blouses for $3.00 each.

I donate often to The Ronald McDonald House, mainly because I give them my loose change every time I stop by McDonalds to get a burger. My granddaughter spent the first seven weeks of her life in ICU, and I saw what a hardship it was on her mom and dad traveling back and forth to be with her each day. This charity makes it possible for families to stay close by, often at no charge, while their most precious possession is getting the care they need.

Salvation Army 
It's super easy to donate to this charity, they are the ones standing outside WalMart and other retailers, ringing their bells and making it impossible for you to walk by without feeling a little guilty. I always make sure I have $1.00 ready when I walk out, just to quiet my conscience.

Give the gift of life…donate blood through the American Red Cross. And I saw on their website that when you donate your blood, the Keebler Elves will bake a cookie just for you!

Toys for Tots collects new toys from October through December, and distributes them to the worthy children in the local communities in which a Marine Corp Reserve Unit is located. These are easy to donate to, also. Just buy a new toy in a store that supports Toys for Tots and drop it in their box on the way out.

More personal ideas on giving:
·        Give a secret gift to a less fortunate family who you are associated with
·        Help an elderly neighbor with yard work or household duties
·        Spend time with someone who has no close family nearby
·        Encourage your kids to donate their toys (especially before Christmas)
·        Bake goodies for special people in your life
·        Give your words through cards, phone calls, and personal visits.

Got any ideas on other ways we can share God's gifts?
Leave a comment and share them with us all. 


Mark Hockenberry said...

Great post! Your words are very inspiring. I'm not sure what more I could add other than just giving that of ourselves. Looking forward to your next post! Thank you,God bless, and have a Merry Christmas!
Mark @

Enloe Farms said...

Thanks, Mark. I agree. Sometimes it's easier to throw money at something instead of giving ourselves. I enjoy your writing over

April @ 100lb Countdown said...

I spent 6 weeks in the Ronald McDonald house and it was the only way that I was able to see my son in the NICU. Thank you for spreading the word. Thanks for sharing and linking up with Countdown in Style!