Give what others need, not what we want

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 20, 2006

My husband is getting me a wheelbarrow for Christmas this year.

Well, not exactly for me, but for a deserving child with World Vision in a country where the common yard tool carries a vitally more important purpose.

Thanksgiving taught me an important lesson this year. My parents and I celebrated Christmas with the feast this year (Christgiving), and I of course emailed her my long list with things I wanted, detailed even to the exact name, product ID number and size on it.

Well, mom couldn&8217;t find the things I wanted, just had to have, so she bought me other gifts that were, well,


I arrived home with all these nice things that I didn&8217;t like

or need and now had to exchange or make room for.

I felt shallow and ungrateful for not appreciating the hours of shopping she did to try and find the gifts, and even when replacing the unwanted items I felt no satisfaction.

Fortunately, since then I&8217;ve had more time to reflect on what I truly needed this Christmas. I didn&8217;t take long to discover it was only a new pair of tennis shoes, and I hadn&8217;t even asked for those. I WANTED boots.

I don&8217;t think it would be far-fetched to say I bet I&8217;m not alone in this kind of realization.

Many of us have so much and we don&8217;t even realize it. We turn on the TV or walk through malls and the millions of things for sale make us assume we don&8217;t have enough and that we need more.

These things we &8220;need,&8221; we really just want, and next Christmas or birthday the things we thought we had to have and got will be pushed aside to make room for other things we &8220;need.&8221;

So for all you last minute shoppers, don&8217;t get sucked into the hype this year.

Instead, give those you

love the gift of helping others. Honor them with a donation to a favorite charity or giving Christmas to a less fortunate family.