So, I’m thinking about Christmas. I blame Josh, because last night he came out of his office beaming with pride and reported that he had e-mailed me his Christmas list. (We usually start getting pressure from family for a Christmas list around Halloween. We usually have a Christmas list around Thanksgiving.)

The pictures to follow have nothing to do with Christmas. They are simply pictures that have been uploaded to Photobucket and therefore must be shared.

Now because of a tight budget, the majority of my Christmas presents to those outside of our immediate family are a mixture of baked goods and DIY projects. That’s just our reality. (And don’t get me wrong, I enjoy baking and helping the kids make things…most of the time.) However, if we were not on a tight budget and I could just go and spend money on all the people that we want to give a li’l somethin’ somethin’ to around Christmas, I would really love to purchase gifts that also help those in need. As in, the money used to purchase the gift goes to help an orphan or widow or someone else who would otherwise be stricken with poverty if not for the support of such-and-such organization. That’s apparently a big trend in the Christian blog-o-sphere right now. And it’s a trend that I really like.

Because of the reality of our budget, I will probably only be able to afford a few, if any, of these items this Christmas. So I thought that if I would share a list of organizations/gifts that have caught my eye, maybe that would help you make a decision for one or two of your Christmas gifts. Which would help you not to have to search all over the internets for a gift, and would help widows/orphans/others in need at the same time. If nothing else, it would help me, later on, to have this list for when I can afford an item or two. So, the way I see it, this is a win for everyone!

The dog gets clean and the kids have fun at the same time. My hubby is a genious.

1. freeset Bags. I was introduced to freeset at the conference I just attended. In a nut shell, this organization saves women in Kolkata, India from having to sell themselves for sex to make a living. They make the bags, which are sold all over the world. And everyone that attended the conference received one of the bags, so I can tell you personally that they are very cute and functional – I’m using mine as my current diaper bag! (I think, in particular, that the Hope bag would make a great gift!)

2. Third World Symphony by Shaun Groves. From what I understand, Shaun is putting all the proceeds he receives from selling this album into Compassion International. And, thanks to the Sound Cloud feature, I can already tell you that the music is good – like, Christ Tomlin meets Glee kind of good – and it’s probably on my personal Christmas list, too!

3. Mercy House Shop. MckMama introduced me to the Mercy House, a ministry in Kenya also saving women from human trafficking, last year, and I purchased my mom a necklace from their Etsy store. Now they have their very own internet shop, with all sorts of cute t-shirts, jewelry, and home decor. I also follow them on facebook, which is a neat way to see the challenges they’re going through and pray for people living on the other side of the world! (Learning about Mercy House also brought my attention to Micah 6:8, which has become an unofficial theme verse for me this year.)

Ava putting the musical alphabet in order as a part of her piano lesson.

4. Toms Shoes. This one is pretty famous. I have no idea if this organization is faith based or not, but for every pair of shoes you buy, a child in need receives a pair of shoes. And they’re cute!

Another genious hubby invention: truck at the end of the driveway to keep the kids from going into the road. I am SO pinning this!

5. Let it Shine Photobook. You can read Big Mama’s more detailed description of this. The proceeds go to helping the children in Zambia. I’m thinking this would be a great thing for any family wanting to raise awareness with their kids about third world coutries, or a great supplement for missions education classes. And, although it’s not a holiday book, the title alone makes it a good Christmas gift.

So excited to be able to pedal like sissy now!

6. Ornaments4Orphans. Pearl Ministries had a booth at my conference, and I purchased ornaments to bring home as gifts for Ava and Izzy. These are made by Ugandan orphans and the proceeds go to supporting them. (They also have hand-made nativities, and, as I am in the market for a new nativity, that is something I am considering! )

“New” bike found by the dumpster right before we moved out of our apartment!

7. Kanzi. Also run (or supported by?) Pearl Ministries, these are all sorts of jewelry, bags, and other cute accessories made by east Africans!

Yes, she dresses herself. Why do you ask?

So there you have it – if I had the money to purchase Christmas gifts for everyone this year, that’s where I’d be buying them from! What about you – do you have any causes that you support or wish that you could?


One thought on “

  1. What a good idea! I love all these organizations. We are big fans of World Vision around here, and this year hopefully we’ll be able to give Jesus a gift this year. Most of our gifts are DIY too, and *guess* who makes all of them? Yes, it is stressful. But it’s nice to be able to give something. I am knitting all the children gifts again this year and home-making the rest of our gifts. If you want to commisserate or complain to a sympathetic ear please message me. Also I will totally give you a pep talk if you need one.

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