Christmas Shopping

It’s that time again. Black Friday is tomorrow. It’s time to go shopping and get all those presents for everyone on your list. It’s the same in Panama. Christmas is a big deal and there is lots of shopping, and they have even started Black Friday here. Rather than going nuts with the shopping, I hope we can all be very thoughtful about where we spend our money and use it to do the most possible good.

I ran across this today, a possible good gift idea. These beautiful earrings are hand made by Syrian refugees and can be yours for $15, or less if you buy a quantity. You would be helping these refugees earn money and rebuild their lives for themselves and their families. Here is the website. This is a screen shot from their website to entice you.


And here is a video telling a bit about the business.

I have other ideas also. Make a donation rather than buying something.

HEIFER INTERNATIONAL  These people are working to end hunger and poverty around the world. You can buy a goat, a pig, chicken, beehive, or a share of a cow or water buffalo to help lift up a family who can use it for breeding, for income, for work, and/or for food. It looks like they are also getting much more involved in the US because there is a lot of need and poverty at home as well as abroad.

MICRO LOANS  You have an idea to make sandwiches, to raise chickens, or cut hair. It could be anything but you are poor and you don’t have the money for the supplies you need to get started, so you are stuck. This is where a micro loan can make a huge difference. I especially love micro loans that support women because when you help lift up a woman, you help her whole family and her community. There are a number of organizations so rather than post links, use google to research and choose one that feels right to you.

Speaking of women, I remember Half the Sky, a book about women beaten down and abused, but also rising up and building lives. It’s a very powerful book and it has started a movement to help women and girls. Their website is HERE, and they also have shopping ideas that will support women.


Myself? I don’t do Christmas. I stopped sending cards 40 years ago and didn’t lose any friends because of it. I don’t remember when I stopped with the gifts, but that also has been many years and I haven’t lost any friends because of that either. In my opinion holidays are for people. Get together with people you care about, or call on the phone, or send an email, however you can connect. I certainly don’t need any more “stuff”, and I’m not going shopping just because someone else’s religion marked a date on a calendar. Bah humbug.

It’s still raining here so I’m not able to do some of my usual activities. This gives me more time for writing and blogging. I’ll get away from my desk and stop bothering you all so much soon 😀

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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8 Responses to Christmas Shopping

  1. oldsalt1942 says:

    Isn’t it weird that they acknowledge “Black Friday” here without the preceding Thanksgiving?

    AND I saved a ton of money by not getting anybody anything for Christmas this year….


  2. Hi Kris,
    A few years back our family decided to end Christmas gifts. Instead we gift when there is a need. Christmas here is a family get together and a big meal with lots of fun and laughter. Both myself and one of my sisters and brother in law (they are going to Florida) will be away so we will be leaving it to my other two sisters to carry on the tradition.

    You mentioned Heifer…which is my favorite charity. The whole idea of giving a living gift that will support a family and allow them to develop greater self sufficiency seems like a perfect solution to me.

    I worked in retail most of my life but since I traded in my commute for a business at home, I’ve lost track of the Christmas madness. The other day I went to my favorite bookstore to stock up for my trip to Panama, and couldn’t figure out why the packing lot was full and the line up at Starbucks was huge and no table to sit and read my new purchases. Then I remembered. Yes it’s almost Christmas.
    I’m only eleven days from Panama City now. That will be my Christmas gift to myself.
    I am so excited… it’s like…well Christmas when I was a kid.



    • Hey, you will be HERE for Christmas! Trust me, you won’t want to go shopping here either but otherwise the holidays are a lot of fun and of course there are fireworks, and then more for New Years. One must have fireworks. This is Panama 😀


  3. jim and nena says:

    Hola Kris,
    First, don’t you dare stop bothering me. I enjoy opening this window every morning and seeing what is happening in David and Panama. 🙂

    The whole Christmas thing is, like most retail, out of control. The only part that I enjoy is the grandkids faces when they open gifts. Most of our shopping is on line so we avoid the whole mob scene in the stores. The exception was when we would visit family in Panama at Christmas time. This was before Black Fridays but the stores in Panama City were still packed. We would have 6 or 7 of Nena’s family with us and my job was el faro. I stood in the middle of the store to mark the gathering point for when everyone finished, sort of an under the Waterloo clock thing. Then there is the whole check your bags at the next store thing, organized insanity. Nope, don’t miss that at all.

    PS, don’t forget Mother’s Day is Dec 8th. MORE shopping!
    PPSS, crime is at an all-time high during the season. Be safe.


    • Yes, Christmas gifts for kids, I can get on board with that.
      There is a large shopping area down the road from us and I have seen what happens before Mother’s Day and Christmas. Today is Black Friday and we are definitely not going down there today. I remember last year. You couldn’t get anywhere near the parking lots.
      Thanks, I’ll do my best to avoid trouble.


  4. Nancy says:

    I agree with you on the gifts and cards. I have asked my few remaining family members to contribute to a charity or volunteer instead of spending money on us. As you say, we no longer need “things”. Time spent together is more meaningful than any gift they could buy.


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