No electronics for Christmas may sound a little strange for someone like myself who is so passionate about technology. My wife and I discussed this a few months ago, as we began to realize the amount of stuff our kids already have. I am one who feels it is very important for kids to learn as much as they can about technology, because without it, they will be left behind in this fast paced world, which depends so much on technology for just about everything.
The reason we decided to do this, is to open our children’s eyes to just how fortunate they are to have the things they have and live in the greatest country in the world. I want them to see how many people around they world live each day with next to nothing, how they wake each morning, not knowing where the next meal will come from. My kids take a lot of what they have for granted, and I am guilty of allowing them to become that way. Christmas is a great time to reach out to those who are less fortunate and doing it together as a family will create a teachable moment as well. We plan to review some photos and other resources that I think will help them better understand where these countries are and the conditions in which these people live each day.
We still plan to buy our children presents, just simple, practical presents and no electronics. In addition to their presents, we will give as a family to people less fortunate.
Heifer International: Allows you to provide for a family in many different ways, you can even purchase an animal for a family. Our family wants to purchase a goat for $120, this will give a family milk and the ability to sell it if needed. There are many other ways to help and several animals you can purchase. www.heifer.org
Charity Water: Provides clean drinking water for people in need. There are nearly 800 million people without clean water still today and we waste tons of clean water everyday. www.charitywater.org
Pure Charity: Offers so many opportunities to impact the lives of those less fortunate. You can receive shopping rewards from a lot of great places that you already shop from everyday and use them to impact lives. You can follow projects and share them with your friends via social media. The categories include: food, water, freedom, health and relief. www.purecharity.com
Kiva: This is not a charity, but a site that allows you to loan as little as $25 to someone to help them buy agricultural equipment, livestock,building supplies, etc. They money is paid back on a schedule and allows people in other countries to obtain small loans to grow their business. Not sure if there is a way to just gift a donation without repayment, but that’s what we would want to do. www.kiva.org
I hope this will create a lasting memory for my children and allow them to have at least a little better understanding of how fortunate they are.