As Christmas quickly approaches and black Friday is right around the corner, I thought I’d give light to the power we have to spread the Christmas cheer and a few tips on how to be diligent in our Christmas spending.
There is obviously a lot to be said about the consumerism we have placed on the day of birth of Jesus Christ. Although the spirit of giving is not bad, we need to evaluate who are we giving to and what are we giving. The facts remain that there is power in our money beyond just acquiring goods, there are people in need who have far greater needs than the luxuries we are spending on, and there are ways to spend diligently and responsibly.
My goal is not to say we need to stop giving at Christmas, rather I would just like us to ask the questions behind our giving so that we avoid taking away life and dignity of others, even in the good heart of giving.
There is power in money.
This is an inevitable fact, one that can not be denied or changed. The power in money does not have to be a bad thing, but unfortunately has a long history of fostering greed and selfishness which has created a demand for cheap products. We have the ability to use our money to give to those in need and to support people who are helping those in need as well. We live in culture of vet materialism with the stigma that more is always better. This in fact is not true. Beyond the fact that there are people in need in whom we could be spending on, we also need to make a rational decision about the amount of goods that are actually necessary for a happy life as well as separating our possessions from our identities. What we have does not define who we are.
This takes a large personal adjustment. This is more than just giving the leftover or the extra. It is making sacrifices and lifestyle changes in order that you have more to give. Hebrews 13:16 states, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” It is easy to give a dollar to the ‘bell-ringing’ Santa outside of Walgreens but how much more powerful would it be if we donated even just half of our Christmas spending budget to a more meaningful cause that is helping people acquire actual necessities?
The Christmas season does empower a generous heart and can develop a cheerful giver mentality. So we should use this time to really learn how to give to those in need ‘not reluctantly or under compulsion’ (2 Corinthians 9:6), without expecting anything in return.
Like I said, I am not against gift giving at Christmas, even to those who don’t really need anything. But we need to evaluate how much we are putting into it and how much we are falling God’s demand to give to the needy. We also should be evaluating and looking at where the products are coming from and who is making them before we buy in order that we do not steal life or happiness from someone else in our ‘good hearted giving’.
Below are a few companies to look at and to consider supporting in the Christmas season when giving to our friends and family. I encourage everyone to read about the companies and to know what it is and where your money is going when you purchase from them. I also encourage us all to ‘not just give to our friends and family this Christmas season but to the poor and the needy who cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteousness’ (Luke 14:12-14 Adapted).
BOLD SOCKS: intentional supply chain, giving back proceeds
TINY PANDA THREADS: Profits to OneSky
WAR CHEST BOUTIQUE: Helping Women at Risk to get out of trafficking
LOVE YOUR MELON: giving proceeds to help fight pediatric cancer
THREADS FOR THOUGHT: producing sustainable and ethical clothing
DIVINE CHOCOLATE: Supporting Ghanian cocoa farmers
CHARITY: WATER: giving all proceeds to provide clean water supplies
ROOTED BEAUTY: getting women out of extreme poverty and trafficking
SACKCLOTH AND ASHES: Each blanket purchased they will donate one to your local homeless shelter
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For more ideas!
Written By: Katelynn Behrens