Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Two Things You Can Do

Well, it's Christmastime and let me first say that I love Christmas just as much as the next girl, but let me also say that 1. My tree is still in the basement and 2. I do not like Christmas music. There. I said it. Are we still friends?

I'm feeling a bit troubled this go-round by lots of different feelings, tangled up like the notorious ball of twinkle lights at the bottom of the box. I just can't shake the feeling that we don't need all of this stuff. And at the same time, I'm wanting to enjoy and celebrate and inspire wonder and worship in the hearts of my wee peeps.

For now, I'm dealing by giving myself time to chill. My tree may not make it up until the end of this week and don't alert the Grinch Police, but it may even pop up in the late-night hours, without the help of Sister Friend, Mr. Lee and Pie Pot. Who's to say? Who's to say.

This year, our gifting is trimmed to an all-time low, and I like the feel of it. A couple of needs, a want or two, quite possibly scored second-hand on Ebay. We will bake up a storm and drink tea by the glow of the artificial tree, just like we've been known to do.

I'll tear up over the desperate anticipation in the lyrics of Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel. (I do like the Christmas hymns. I'm not a total weirdo.)

But aside from the sparkle and the fun, I want to be reminded over and over and over again that there are people all around who need us to step away from our havens and our stuff and meet them. Hunger and poverty and sickness and loneliness do not retreat for this Happiest Month of the year.

I recently attended a home jewelry party for Starfish Project, and walked away with a beautiful necklace, hand-crafted by a Chinese woman who had not long ago been trapped in the grip of exploitation and abuse. Now, she lives in a shelter where she makes art and earns an income while she heals. She is educated and Loved and cared for, and she when she walks back out to the world, she will be changed.

Buy a necklace for your sister. Buy earrings for a teacher. The jewelry truly is beautiful and it's impossible to shake the story woven through the beads. 100% of the proceeds go directly back to the Starfish Project shelter. Do something good and something fun at the very same time.

And when you're done shopping, have a big bowl of cereal! That's what I would do.

It's no secret that we are big Cereal People. 3 boxes a week, people. And you think I'm joking.

It thrilled me every which way to recently discover an opportunity to put all of our empty cereal boxes to good use, and all we have to do is flatten them and ship them. They will end up in Haiti, where they will be crafted into jewelry that will change the course of someone's future.

Read this post for all of the details. Then, read this post for details on how to get the boxes where they need to go.* (Then, sit back and read the rest of the blog, because it's inspiring to the nines.)

A trash can vs. A future? It's a no-brainer.

Merry Beginning of the Christmas Season! Let's make it legendary.

*We have a pile stacking up as we speak and if you live locally, let me know and I'll happily add your boxes to ours when we're ready to ship.