Halloween is not here yet, Thanksgiving is over a month away and we have 70 days until Christmas. But today when I went to my mailbox, I found two Christmas catalogs. As I looked at them, I was struck by how different these appeals for my shopping dollars were. One was from American Girl and one from Compassion. Each showed pictures of children receiving gifts. The gifts received were worlds apart. As I looked at the gift selections from both magazines, I realized that I needed to really think seriously about where I would spend my Christmas dollars this year.
On the one hand, I could go to American Girl and order a doll for my granddaughter for $115. Or, I could go to Compassion International and for approximately the same amount I could help provide a village with safe water for life and provide a family with livestock that could help them become self-supporting.
Now I don’t mean to be Scrooge or suggest that we are wrong to buy dolls for our granddaughters. I have spent many a dollar on my grandchildren and plan to continue to do so. Grandchildren are such a blessing and gift from God. If you have grandchildren, one of the joys of life is to give them gifts, especially at Christmas, and to see their eyes light up with happiness. But as I look at the children in the Compassion magazine who need clean water, food and basic clothing, I find it harder to spend so much money on grandchildren whose toy boxes are running over, whose CD rack is full and who sleep every night in a warm, soft bed with a full stomach after taking a bath with hot clean water.
We Americans spend so much money on “things.” It is amazing the money spent on Halloween alone.
Don’t mean to suggest that we should not buy gifts or enjoy our blessings as Americans. Just asking us all to think a little bit about our spending – and maybe use some of our money to help those who are so desperately in need this Christmas.