I can’t believe that March is almost over. I’m glad though, really glad. Once March is over in Minnesota we can be sure that spring is ALMOST here. This year we’ve had days that tease us into thinking that spring is here and then *poof* it’s below freezing again. Spring WILL come, though, it always does.
Just as I was ready to give up on the whole idea of a Christmas Sanity Plan an opportunity fell right in my lap. I received an email from Children’s Cup, the organization that John and I worked with on our first mission trip to Africa. They are in the midst of taking kids to camp. (Remember, it’s the end of summer in Africa.) These kids live in some of the worst conditions, have had at least one parent die from AIDS, and would never have the joy of going to summer camp were it not for organizations like Children’s Cup. For only $13.50 I have the privilege of sponsoring a kid for a weekend of fun, great food, games, and the chance to just be a kid. You can read all about it on the Children’s Cup website.
Every year we exchange “gifts” with another family taking the money that we’d normally spend on each other and using it to do something for someone in need. We started this practice many years ago and it’s been fun to find creative ways to bless each other. This year, my gift to our friends will be to send two kids in Swaziland to camp. In their card I’ll enclose the picture below as a visual reminder of the gift, and as a reminder to pray for the kids who will benefit from it. I hope they like my gift. If they read my blog, it won’t be much of a surprise, of course, but I don’t think they’ll mind.
If you are participating in my Christmas Sanity Plan this would be a good time to find an organization to support instead of buying another tie for Uncle Mike. I’m sure he won’t mind. Children’s Cup is only one of the many great organizations from which to choose.
In addition to getting this “gift” for our friends I also did ONE other thing today in pursuit of Christmas sanity. Each year our church donates gifts to Inner City Christian Ministries. These gifts are given out in the community to people who would otherwise not have much of a Christmas. This year, after Christmas, I found some great deals on some fabulous gifts, including a $69 watch, with interchangeable straps, for only $6.00! So, on this cold, windy, March afternoon I sat down and wrapped gifts. Everything is now ready to go, covered in plastic to keep them fresh looking, and stored in a safe place until it’s time to deliver them.
If you’ve got gifts already purchased for next year, why not wrap a few this month? You can even watch a Christmas DVD while doing it. Oh, and if you don’t have any Christmas wrapping paper, try using plain brown mailing paper tied with a red bow for a gorgeous, simple look. If you are really crafty you can even stamp some fun images onto the paper. The important thing, of course, is not to forget where you store them once they are wrapped! Be sure to tell someone. Two heads are always better than one!
I am excited to tell you about my plan for next month. It’s a fun one!