I remember well the days of my youth when the Christmas catalogues would arrive from Sears, Eaton’s, and The Bay. Pouring over those catalogues and circling our most-desired items was a cherished tradition during the run-up to Christmas, when visions of cars and trucks and G.I. Joe and helicopters and spaceships and chocolate and “Christmas oranges” would dance through our heads before a background of tinsel and baubles and bubble-lights hung from a sparkly tree. And in case anyone’s wondering, the 1904 catalogue was a bit before my time ;^) …the ones I recall were much glossier than this.
Times have changed though. I’m now more entranced by catalogues from Lee Valley or Christian Book Distributors or Amazon, and I’m more likely to view them online rather than stretched out on the floor with a pen in hand to circle the items of greatest desire. In fact, Eaton’s no longer exists and The Bay stopped printing their catalogue years ago. Our kids have modest wants, including many practical ones, and have made a few of them known. Their eyes don’t glaze over when the toy catalogue arrives in the mail, but this year they are pouring over catalogues of a different nature.
This year the kids in our home church / missional community want to raise funds to purchase animals from the World Vision catalogue. Their Christmas campaign is a great way to teach compassion, empathy and awareness among our kids, and is a practical way to help other children and families around the world respond to their challenges. The gifts make a lasting difference in those lives as well as an impression on our kids, who are pretty gung-ho for this project. Our eight kids range from age 3-10 and are planning to put on a dinner with entertainment and to sell crafts as well as accept donations and look for chores from which they can earn money for their cause. We have set up an online donation page at World Vision and listed a few of the items they are considering — after discussing it among themselves, they are leaning toward food items and animals used to produce food and generate income. They shied away from purchasing rabbits, as cute as they were, when we suggested that they were used for food. With kids, there’s some kind of animal scale that ranges from “cute” on one end to “food” on the other. Piglets, I learned, are also too close to the “cute” end of the scale. So far, they’ve raised about $25 and gotten the craft supplies donated, so it’s not a bad start for them.
Their goals are fairly modest, but we hope to see them not only met, but exceeded. If they do really well, they still have visions of alpacas and dairy cows dancing in their heads. Anyone wanting to throw a few dollars their way can do so either by using our donation page at World Vision (tax receipts are issued for donations over $15) or through PayPal using the “soup link” at the end of this post. By doing so, it’s not only our kids you make happy. And let me just say that I’m proud of them for latching onto this initiative so well.