December 18, 2010

Remembering the Reason for the Season.

I usually love shopping this time of the year.  There is something about throwing on a good pair of boots, grabbing a nice Refresh Mint Tea and Cranberry Bliss Bar from Starbucks, and hitting the stores.  The Christmas music and decorations at the mall are almost satisfying enough to make me forget about the throngs of people all squeezing in some last minute shopping.

This year, it has taken some real effort to get into the gift giving mood.  For about a week I stressed over what presents I was going to buy for my family.  I spent hours browsing through online stores trying to find just the perfect present for each person.  To make a long story short, I couldn't come up with anything.  In the midst of my frazzled state of mind, I had an epiphany.  Christmas has nothing to do with how good of a gift you get someone.  IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH JESUS!  His birth, His life, and the freedom that He gives us from our sins.  How could I forget that?   And so I took a deep breath and got to thinking...

This year I want to give gifts that really make a difference.  I want to share Christ's love and give people hope.  My gift to my parents is a donation of two chickens to a family in need through World Vision.  The family can eat the chicken eggs and sell the extra ones, providing them with basic nutrition needs and a steady income.  I love World Vision because you can give gifts that are applicable to the person whose name you are making the donation in.  Chickens were perfect for my parents because they have enjoyed owning chickens over the years.  Other gifts include soccer balls, art and music lessons, and clean water.

Here are some other ideas for meaningful gifts...
TOMS motto is "One for One."  For every pair that you buy, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need.

Nesting Basket Set from A World Away. 
"A World Away promotes Fair Trade practices, partnering with organizations that are committed to providing vital and fair income to Third World artisans and farmers by marketing their handicrafts."

Burlap Coffee Tote from Heavenly Treasures.
"Our mission is to equip and assist people in developing countries to break the cycle of poverty through their handiwork and creativity.  We focus on handicraft projects that allow the development of a micro enterprise, leading them down the path to self-sufficiency."  

December 15, 2010

I'm Back.

I have a whole new respect for all of my creative blogger role models who are dedicated enough to post every single day! You ladies are real rock stars in my book! Finals week and anything besides sleeping, eating, and studying just don't mix well.  Now I am off for Christmas break and all the creativity that was suppressed by college is now overflowing.  On a side note...   
The Gustin Family wishes you a very Merry Christmas!