I revel in the holiday season. I take some type of weird comfort in the more-than-your-average-amount of hustle and bustle during these December days. This week, though, I watched my wife mail out cash gifts to her nieces and nephews, check a few metaphorical boxes in her mind's eye, and go on her way. It made me feel kind of empty.
These middle-school relatives have stuff, lots of stuff, and that made me wonder: are they aware of how many people alive today actually don't?
This is a little disingenuous. When I was a 13-year-old, I can't say with any veracity how tuned-in I was to the plight of the homeless or the hungry. But I may have been open to learning more about how people around the world live were I shown examples first hand.
Gifts from Heifer International, Kiva, St. Jude's, WWF, and organizations like them don't arrive wrapped with a tear-me-open anticipation. And no way, no how do they hold a candle to the glamour of a new iPad or the allure of cold hard cash. But if the genesis of this season is really found in the act of giving, then these types of gifts might just keep on doing that for a lifetime.