Christmas Shopping

It just occurred to me that it actually 'tis the season...I've lost all concept of holidays while away from home.  This will be my first Christmas away from my family and America, and I'm finding it to be quite a relief, honestly:  Holiday sales.  Malls.  Parking.  I'm twitching thinking about it all.   It's really, really great to be away from the stores and the shopping and the madness that is in full swing in 'merica right now.  This process has all been feeling sillier and sillier to me over the past few years, but there's been no escaping it until now.

I'm no Scrooge...I totally dig the spirit.  It's effing cooooold here, and that means winter and holidays, right?  It's so cold I curse every 2 steps of the way outside, but those curse words are totally full of holiday cheer (ohmygottsitssocoldiwanttobreakthings).  And, I mean, I stopped tonight for hot chocolate and played Christmas carols for my students while they made adorable holiday cards.  So what up, holidays, mama got-chu.  Without the malls and shopping and commercials and screaming.  Boo-ya.

All of this to say, I feel Christmasy, but without all the overwhelming commercial pressure.  I actually couldn't think of anything to add to my family's annual "Santa's Wishlist."  There is not a thing in the world that I want or need right now...and let's be honest, I am pretty silly and frivolous and can always think of something.  But this year?  I'm coo'.  Must be growing up.

This got me thinking.  *I* don't need anything.  But many others do.  Many others need and want things that I would never consider needing and wanting in my life.

Remember earlier this year when I volunteered with the International Rescue Committee?   I liked it a lot.  It's a great organization.  I wish I could still volunteer.  But I can't right now, so I've decided to support them in a different way for Christmas.

This year I'm giving sustainable gifts to refugees in honor of my family and friends.  You should too.  Everyone should.  Go to their site and fill up your cart with mosquito nets, school supplies, emergency food for children, temporary shelters...the options in their catalog are endless and more than affordable.

The Rescue Gifts items in this catalog represent many of the programs, projects and tools that compose the IRC's work every day around the world. Allowing us to deliver comprehensive and holistic help to uprooted people, your gift will be used where and when most needed. And, when combined with those of other donors, your Rescue Gift becomes a powerful means to survival, recovery, and the restoration of dignity and self-reliance for those uprooted by conflict or natural disaster.

Take my word that this organization is well worth your gander.  I met and worked with a small sample of the people these gifts help.  "Restoration of dignity and self-reliance" means the world to those who have been broken down by unimaginable circumstances, something anyone reading this post from a warm, comfy chair in front of a computer cannot fathom.

Give a good gift this year, one that matters and one that will legitimately make a few lives in the world a little better.  I think.... I think that is what is important and what we are really supposed to do during the holidays.  Give.  Like, for real give.


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