Colossians 3:1-2 reads, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (NIV).”
This is the scripture that I reflected on as I wrote the article The Deception of Christmas Gifts recently published at ThinkChristian.
I am reminded that the Christmas season is not supposed to be a time of stress, anxiety, pressure, and rush (at least not for the Christian anyway). Instead we should take advantage of this opportunity to reflect on Emmanuel, the very presence of God who came to dwell with us in the body of Jesus and what he has accomplished on our behalf as a result. We reflect with praise, worship, and thanksgiving. We reflect with the questions, “How can we bring God’s heavenly glory to earth? And how can we be transformed into the very image of his son, Jesus Christ?”
In short, we are to love as he loves. As God’s money managers, we are to invest where he tells us to invest. Somehow I do not believe that means senselessly buying more stuff of no value for people we do not need it. This can be a wonderful time of giving to those who are honored and treasured in the Bible: widows, orphans, children, and the poor. Consider giving gifts with a purpose.
Here are a few shopping considerations:
The Samaritans Purse Gift Catalog. Through the catalog you can purchase gifts to help orphans, food to feed a hungry baby, farm animals for help a poor family earn an income, just to name a few options.
(Red) Products. Proceeds from these products help to fight against AIDS.
Soap Hope. I love their products! All, I repeat ALL of the profits from your purchase go to provide opportunity to women in poverty. Their gift bags make beautiful gifts any time of year.
Three Avocados Coffee, for all of you coffee drinkers out there. 100% of net proceeds provide clean water in Uganda, Africa.
Why not give a gift with a purpose? Any other ideas for us to consider?
7 thoughts on “Gifts With a Purpose”
An Amen & Shout Out to Soap Hope! The founders are the real deal—amazing men helping women! love the model.
World Vision has a gift catalog, as does Heifer.org and Feed My Starving Children. Katie Davis’ ministry in Uganda, Amazima Ministries, sells handcrafted Ugandan jewelry that helps lift impoverished women out of poverty and also helps to support the ministry to feed more than 1,500 children there. (http://www.amazimastore.org/) Just a few ideas for you and your readers! =)
Thanks for sharing all of these, Helen. Much appreciated! Will be checking these out.
Such a wonderful reminder. Tonight my kids and I went to get our Christmas tree…we ended up selecting the largest possible tree that would fit in the room. What a mistake…It took us four hours to get it put up, during which we ended up shouting at each other several times (this is me, my 9, 11 and 12 year old boys attempting to set up an 11 foot tree together). Then when all was said and done I made a mental note…”I never want to have this experience again…small tree and love is much better than a big tree any day!”
When we were shouting at each other when the tree was falling down for the seventh time, my nine year old said pleadingly from across the room, “Stop shouting, Jesus came so we could love each other not shout at each other!”
Anyhow, thanks for the great reminders and ideas!
Another excellent organization is Trade As One, which employs women to help them escape poverty or the sex trade. they make beautiful jewelry, scarves, wooden objects. they also sell Fair Trade coffee, chocolate and other products. Each gift comes with a little card that explains how it is helping the woman who made it. Their website is http://tradeasone.com/
Another great organization is Bead for Life, which is a partner in the ONE campaign. they give women in Uganda the chance to earn a living wage by making jewelry. their website is at http://www.beadforlife.org/. The products are very cool.
I have friends that I love to buy for, this year I am buying all Fair Trade stuff for everyone on my list.
Thanks so much, Keri. Will be checking these out.
I see that International Justice Mission also has a catalog. Give the gift of freedom this Christmas.
Here’s the link: https://secure3.convio.net/ijm/site/SPageNavigator/HGC_Home.html?JServSessionIdr004=bceqb93tu2.app304a