I’m going to be honest with you: I love Christmas, but I’m not good at it. My wrapping skills are mediocre, my baking leaves something to be desired, and regardless of my best intentions, I’m usually scrambling through the Target aisles on Christmas Eve. However, what I lack in homemade magic, I make up for in memories.
My daughter and I still laugh about the time our Christmas cookies turned out to be a total fail (there was no way we were going to share those with our neighbors). Then Dad thought we should sync the Christmas lights in our yard with music, causing traffic jams for an entire month. We could literally spend hours on Christmas laughing about memories from last Christmas. That’s the kind of homemade magic I love.
Because these memories are what we enjoy most, we always try to do our part to make sure children in need can have a similar Christmas — not perfect, but wonderfully memorable. We sit down together (usually over poorly decorated cookies) and decide on how much money we can give to Compassion’s Christmas Gift Fund. It’s the one thing we know we can get right during the holidays. (If you want to nail generosity this Christmas, trust me, you can go ahead and just check out the gift fund).
I help my daughter understand that we aren’t just giving money to a child in poverty, but we are helping them create Christmas memories in special ways — like we do. That way, she realizes that these amazing kids aren’t much different than she is. Because every kid loves these three things:
All platitudes aside, gifts are awesome. Every kid loves getting a gift. For many children in poverty, the first gift they ever receive comes from the Compassion Christmas Gift Fund. We love that our money is pooled with thousands of other donations to make sure every child in Compassion’s program gets a gift. No one is left out — ever. Each child receives something they really want or need, hand-picked by a local staff member who knows them personally. This gift is a tangible reminder that they are seen and loved. That’s a Christmas memory that will outlive the gift — and that’s priceless.
After we take a second to give to the Christmas Gift Fund online, my daughter gets to work on her Christmas letter for our sponsored child, Maribela. (We always give online and send our letter in October so there is plenty of time for her to get it.) We know that the words that accompany her hand-picked gift are what infuse the package with life and hope. We are thinking of HER. God was thinking of HER when he sent Jesus. He is the greatest gift she’ll ever receive. These are words Maribela will carry with her forever.
The Compassion Center Christmas Party is the highlight of the year for sponsored children. Even during a pandemic, Compassion staff and partners work hard to provide socially distanced parties that meet tangible needs and foster lasting memories. Parents and children safely attend, hear the good news of Jesus, and go home with their special gift. Last year, many centers gave food packages to parents so they would have a chance to make Christmas dinner at home. That kind of memory — a family dinner on Christmas Day — is only possible for many children in poverty because of The Christmas Gift fund.
Make It Count By Gifting Memories
So, maybe you’ve been making Christmas crafts since July. Or maybe you are like me and feel like you are barely making it during the holidays. Whoever you are, you win when you do something that truly counts — like gifting a child in poverty amazing Christmas memories like these.