Gifts are special…..when you’re poor.

Last night on the news there was a story about “decadent” gifts for the “hard to buy for person.”  Included were a $115 bottle of beer~ only 70 made in Canada each year, a $700 Bottle of Irish Whiskey and a $20,000 diamond studded iPad.

It got me to thinking what the “rich and famous” do for gift exchanges.  If you have everything money can buy and you can get anything you want for yourself then where is the delight and wonder of receiving a gift from a loved one?  It’s actually kind of sad.

I don’t consider us poor, but we’re not rich.  And I’m thankful for that.  At Christmas, part of the anticipation for me and for our kids is figuring out what to get based on what we can afford.   There’s thousands of things I’d love to get them but realistically, we can’t afford most of them.    For the kids, they are so excited to receive anything because they know that it likely wouldn’t happen any other time of year.  Sure, we buy them stuff and we do give them money periodically to go shopping but the big ticket items or frivolous items are off limits for all of us….until Christmas.  I’m glad that this year, as tight as money is for us, we were able to get the kids 3 items each: practical, pure fun and something personal to each of them.    We are blessed.

I received an e-mail from Focus on the Family this morning talking about a “Santa’s Anonymous” program in the US that receives letters from children and often there is so much need in the letters that they are passed on to agencies who can help fulfill some specific needs.  Imagine a little girl who asks Santa only for new socks and underwear~ what must her life be like?   Or another child who asks for his mom to not cry anymore….heartbreaking.   The need is great and this morning on the news I was reminded of it again as I watched the devastation in California as peoples’ entire homes and lives were washed away in mud and raging waters.  One mom was crying as she told how she had just put her kids’ gifts under the tree last night~ it was all they could afford and now they have nothing.  And no flood insurance.

Be thankful for what you have but think about those who have less and give to them too.   It isn’t too late to give to a relief agency like Samaritan’s Purse or a front-line charity like the Sally Ann.  God has been good to us, let’s share.

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