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leftofcool (profile) wrote,
on 12-23-2004 at 10:47am
Throughout my life, this time of year has been associated with Christmas, and the thoughts of receiving plenty of gifts, being able to gorge myself with my mothers cookies, and spending time with my family. These are all truly wonderful thoughts, but I have begun to reevaluate what is important to me during this time of year, and the "season of giving." The holidays are truly a time to reflect on what we are grateful for (if you need help on this point, try thoughts of family, friends, a roof, food, pets, etc.). If you are at all like me, you will have that relative that is impossible to shop for, because they don't need anything, or they just want to spend time with you.

I am beginning to realize that I too do not need anything, and I am only 20 years old. I look around and take inventory of everything that I have, only to realize that most of it is “stuff” that I don't need. Don't get me wrong, most of it is stuff that I thoroughly enjoy, and most of the other stuff is in boxes ready to be donated to some sort of charity to make room in the house, inevitably for more stuff. I have been poised with the question (as always during this time of year) of what I want for gifts during this holiday season. It has truly been hard for me to think of anything that I need. Of course a plane ticket anywhere would be nice, and maybe a book or two, but what I have discovered (discovered might be a bad word to use because we have all known this to be true) is that there are so many people around this planet that are in dire need, even people a few miles away from our homes that beg for pocket change to survive.

Here is the conclusion, since this is getting longer than anticipated: we all have plenty of things to be grateful for, both tangible and intangible. Let us focus on the intangible jewels in our lives this season and not spend fruitless hours shopping around, getting stressed out and upset in the malls, filling our lives with stuff that we don't need and that will eventually fill an empty cardboard box to be sent off to a charity, or worse, the dump. I propose a solution. Take the money you were going to spend on this holiday‘s "stuff" and make a donation to provide food, clothes, shelter, training, water, education, medical assistance, animals, farm equipment, etc. (the list could go on and on) to the truly needy people of this world, people that are humans just like you and me. You can make this donation in the name of someone and they are even tax deductible. I’m not advocating only making donations as gifts, but a part of the process. It is easy to give gifts just because they are expected, so give meaningful gifts, make donations, and give of your time to not only write a check handing out a donation, but also to volunteer locally.

Please just sit down and truly think about the state our planet, and its people are in, and the every day hell that people have to live in. Give locally or internationally. I have provided some great websites, both are international though, where you can donate to aid world hunger (a UN project) and also another website where you can give anything from rabbits, to goats, pigs, oxen, seeds, training, etc. to the people of the world. My personal opinion is that with a gift of an animal to a community, it is a sustainable resource that provides it owners (and what’s left over to the community) with milk, cheese, offspring to go towards meat, etc. for the community, is a great gift. There are many options out there, these are just a few, go and explore.

Have a great holiday season, and know that I am truly grateful to have had you as part of life at one point in time or another. Thank you for listening to what I have had to say.

http://worldvisiongifts.org (Website to donate most anything you can imagine someone might need)

http://donate.wvus.org/OA_HTML/xxwvibeCCtpSctDspRte.jspsection=10047&xxwvNavItemId=0 (Website to give specifically animals, really cool, check it out)

http://www.wfp.org/ (UN website)
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