Holiday Giving

We probably all understand the delight of giving gifts to kids and playing Santa. But, for us adults, is it necessary? I’ve seen so many people stressed trying to do everything on their agenda for the holidays, and spending money that they couldn’t afford, all to buy other adults things they may or may not need or enjoy.

Years ago, so long I don’t remember exactly when, I decided to quit with pretty much all things Christmas, including gifts. Some thought it was a bit odd at first, but no one has ever been upset or stopped talking to me. Yes, this also means I would prefer that you don’t buy me gifts either. I have everything I could possibly need and want.

But, there are many in the world who struggle just to survive. Would Christmas giving be better directed at some of these people? One of my favorites is Heiffer International. They give animals, chickens, bees, etc to families along with training on how to care for them. Raising them gives the family a way to feed themselves, have products to sell, and donate to another family.

Another idea I really love is micro loans for women like Womentum. Women are tasked with raising children and keeping the family going, so they are more likely to use their resources for the family rather than personal pleasures. This interesting article talks about this, and also mentions some other excellent organizations.

I also ran across this article about an organization that evaluated charities and picked 9 favorites who may give you the most benefit for your money. They mainly focus on tropical diseases like malaria and worm treatment for children. These may not be the first things that come to mind when thinking about charity, but sometimes what we could consider not much money can go a long way to relieve the suffering and death of many others.

So here’s just a few ideas, but these are certainly not the only worthwhile charities. Do your homework though, and be sure a significant portion of your money actually goes to the people who need help.

Back to kids and Santa, I LOVE this article and this idea! What a beautiful way to explain the real meaning of Santa.

In my opinion, this is what holidays are all about, any holiday, all holidays. It’s time to appreciate the people in your life and spend time with them if possible. I’m not going to buy you a gift because the calendar says so, though if I see something that you might like you might get it on any random ordinary day. But, I will appreciate that the calendar reminds us to cherish people. I am good with that.


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 Holiday Giving

  1. It is not about stuff. It is about life experiences!


  2. Excellent, Kris! I totally agree. We stopped exchanging gifts after Cory left home. I usually make gifts of food for our neighbors. This year we have an abundance of bananas so I am making banana bread for everyone. I leave my lights up year round on my porch. No decorating, no stress, and life is good in Nicaragua. 😘


    • I love your lights. We leave ours up year around too.
      Banana bread though? Oh yes, that’s good for Christmas or any day just because it’s yummy. We slice and freeze extra bananas and they are good for smoothies, a sweet frozen treat, or banana bread. Maybe I should make banana bread too, before the next batch ripens while we still have too many frozen. Thanks for the idea.


  3. jim and nena says:

    Hola Kris,
    We mostly moved our focus to gifts for grandkids once our kids were grown. They are all primary school age now so they have definite interests for gifts which makes them appreciate it more. As for everyone else, we try to keep the Christmas spirit year around. Nena makes food snacks for the clerks we see in our favorite stores. She crochets hats for EVERYONE when the temps drop. I hand out fruits and snacks and bottled water to our trash truck drivers (we have 3), mail lady, and delivery guys. The delivery guys especially appreciate apples and oranges at this time of year when they get slammed with bringing everyone else’s gifts. No time for breaks.

    I used to do Habitat with my old work group but retirement and age and home projects have kept me away from that lately. Maybe they have a Habitat Lite for old guys?


  4. Christmas spirit year around? Yes!


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