I’m working on the Pentecost 2008 edition of Congregation Connections, the 12-page biannual resource that links ELCA World Hunger, worship and congregational life. A two-page spread in this edition looks at ways to help congregations, families, and individuals make plans in the summer in order to enjoy a simpler and more meaningful Advent and Christmas. This will morph into a summer article for Seeds for the Parish.
A big part of that planning centers on Christmas giving viz-a-viz Christmas presents. Please share your alternative-giving ideas, suggestions, and experience with me by commenting here or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are snippets from the Congregation Connections for a
start. The sentences in bold signal where I’m especially looking for
comments. Rest assured that ELCA Good Gifts (World Hunger and beyond)
and LWR Fair Trade Projects are lifted up as key alternative-giving
God bless us, everyone! Sue
UNWRAP YOUR PRESENT THINKING
Help participants initiate conversations about Christmas giving and share their plans with family and friends.
“I WANT SOMETHING TO WRAP*” GIFT IDEAS (Please share your alternative gift ideas…whether they can be wrapped or not.)
Light a candle and say a prayer for your gift recipient(s), then wrap up the candle and a copy of the prayer.
For ELCA Good Gifts, wrap up a representative stuffed animal for the youngest member of the family to receive your gift donation to God’s Global Barnyard. Likewise, wrap small-and-useful representations of other gift donations (e.g., a dust pan for a gift donation to ELCA Disaster Response).
Box and wrap a card or hand-written letter to announce your gift donation.
Wrap up consumables, something that can be readily eaten or used (e.g., Fair Trade chocolate and coffee, homemade treats, postage stamps).
Give pre-owned or no-buy gifts: share a gift from your home (e.g., dish, photo, ornament); personalize free calendars with important dates; wrap up garage-sale finds.