By Debbie Kaufman
Tis’ the season. Okay, I can say that now that Thanksgiving is officially over. Typically I refuse to think of any other holiday until the turkey is a vague memory. But, once the last slice of pumpkin pie has hit my thighs, I start in on my Christmas gift-giving list. This year I’m slow off the mark since it is my release month and somebody still expected dinner and all the trimings.
Whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of year, you’re probably like me and tasked with a lot of the buying. Every year I struggle with the gift-giving for the same two people. And, like me, I’m betting you too have at least one difficult person to buy for every year.
The first is my younger son. The problem? He has no dependents, disposable income, and a strong impulse to buy what he wants when he sees it. Oh, I know what he likes and would want, the problem is that he’s already bought it. Heaven forbid I should buy that new video game and put it under the tree cause its twin is already in one of the game consoles before my credit card has finished the full swipe. Gift cards are my friend.
The second is my husband. He has most tools known to man, and even if he didn’t, I wouldn’t know a useful tool if it threatened to ratchet me. The other problem is he doesn’t want anything for himself. Problem solved, right? Wrong. Apparently I can’t handle him not having a present to open when all the rest of us are busy ripping paper.
So, I’ve found a compromise that makes both our hearts happy and gives back to others at the same time. Perhaps it is one you can use too. I give my dear one a charitable donation every year in his name. I can’t begin to tell you how excited he is to know that some village somewhere got a goat or a chicken or a sewing machine in his name. He lights up like a kid who just saw Santa’s sleigh fly off the roof.
There’s nothing wrong with toys, books, clothes, electronics, etc. on your gift-giving list. However, if you have a difficult person to buy for or someone who is devoted to a particular cause, giving a gift in their name might be the solution. My husband feels he has
enough stuff and would much rather I spend the money where it would do some good. And it follows along the family devotion to missions and outreach (www.debbiekaufman.com/missions )
I haven’t decided what barnyard animal he’s giving or what missionary might receive a lantern or a bicycle in his name, but below are a few of my favorite donation sites. Feel free to share yours. Or tell us what you do for that difficult to shop for person on your list.