15 December 2008


a couple months ago, i stumbled across the story of stuff while browsing my friend dane's blog. and then yesterday morning, i was hit again pretty hard.
do you ever get excited about something? convicted about something? maybe something you feel you need to change... but, it doesn't make it past that feeling stage? well, yesterday was a bit different. yesterday moved past that feeling for me.

you see, i was faced with a couple of staggering stats in regard to our consumeristic identity, like: the usa spends about $450 billion per year on christmas, and the usa has consumed more goods & resources since 1950 then the entire world has consumed from adam & eve up until 1950, and it would only take $10 billion to make sure every person in the world has access to clean drinking water. but the stats weren't convicting enough. what was convicting was that i realized i was part of the problem.

the story of christmas, the spirit of the season, is not about stuff. yet, i make it about stuff. i feel good when i give & receive. i feel bad when i don't. but again, that's not what its about. so, carlie & i have decided to change.

this year we are focusing on single-gift giving. instead of the usual barrage of meaningless gifts that end up in some landfill by the following christmas, we are looking at giving gifts to our family that will help bring the family together. and since we are limiting the number of gifts, we are forced to be more intentional in our purchasing and giving.

with this kind of giving, even in a down economy, that leaves some unspent money on the table. and carlie & i have decided to give away three times the amount we have spent on gifts, to organizations that are solving real problems: thirst, aids relief, and education. please don't hear me wrong... i don't say this to give a righteous impression. in fact, our giving, dollar wise, won't really be that large. but, we are committed to share what we are doing, because...

...what if a couple other people changed their perspective on christmas, before the rush of the season is over, and actually acted on it? maybe, just maybe, we could learn a little more about that cliche "true meaning of christmas" and at the same time, make our world a better place.



  1. Amen. I couldn't have said it better myself. You guys are amazing.

  2. right on. you should check out adventconspiracy.org too. also good stuff.

  3. I love this. YAY.. You can get people TOMS shoes..especially the tiny toms (for kids). They are doing a shoe drop in Ethiopia this time around!


    As we talked about at the KISSmas party..Ethiopia is close to our heart.

  4. not that we are perfect, but we donate to 2-3 charities in our friends/family names. This year it is Operation Troops, Toys for Tots & Cancer Research. We send cards out saying who we donated to in their honor.

  5. very awesome! i am trying to give second-hand or hand-made items as gifts this year! :)

  6. Only if everyone could think like this :) Happy Holidays!

  7. check out Living Water, Hope International, Five for 50, In HIs Service (Lana works to keep baby boys from being kidnapped/sold into slavery to be used as camel jockeys!), and, of course, your local orgs. Your words are so true...we have been blessed but we have hoarded those blessings. If we would all live with less it would allow others to simply live.

  8. We're totally on the same page too. I've really started to pay a lot more attention to my consumer habits this year. You should check this out too: http://www.newdream.org/about/index.php
    Happy Holidays!!

  9. Word. Sounds like we got to hear the same message on Sunday. Thanks for spreadin the word. it's truly awesome to think that we can make a difference and it completely changes the way we look at Christmas.

    merry christmas guys!

    love, Molly

  10. I Love this! I have been on the same boat this year idea wise , then at church this past weekend it all really hit home with the same statistics (Do you go to RH by any chance?), and I got so emotional about it! It’s pretty insane how Christmas is really looked at as a splurging gift giving holiday when really, we all know that’s not what it is all about at all. We defiantly are going small this year, and I am doing lots of baking :) .

  11. I hope you guys are doing good and a full and meaningful Christmas! :)


  12. Makes me adore you two a little more. :)

  13. http://www.vimeo.com/2283546

    I think this lines up with what you're talking about.

  14. hi blair!

    yes, we do attend RH... and the message two weekends ago was life changing for gabriel and i!

  15. That's really awesome that you're doing this! I spent some time in an orphanage in Africa this year and I had my family donate money to sponsor one of the children there that I know instead of giving me gifts. I think he'll appreciate it a lot more :).