A more meaningful Christmas

Photo by flickr user Steve A Johnson

 John and I are leaving in 6 days and our little man is coming home in 13 days. When we get back from Russia it will be time for the holiday season. Woah on both counts.

If you've liked my facebook page you probably saw my combination happy explosion and panic status a couple days ago.  More than a dozen of you told me this combination means I'm nesting so I guess I'm glad its normal but I would love it if you could also inform my blood pressure of that too!

Normal or not my nesting has taken on an interesting form: a new and passionate interest in minimalism.  Turns out, a family of three does not need 23 everyday mugs, 12 good china cups, and 14 company coffee mugs. Nor do I need 4 sets of dessert plates.

You certainly won't come to my house and call me a minimalist, but these you won't see very much clutter anymore either.  Fewer dishes, simpler wardrobe, about 50 fewer old cosmetics I'd been storing. It feels so good!

While the energy behind my minimizing has come from my nesting instinct, I've been gathering my inspiration and motivation from a few different fields of wisdom.

Pinterest.  Of course. 

The Year of Less blog writer (who just announced her partial retirement from the blog).  Over the past few months I've been storing her simple living ideas in my heart.

The bible verse about storing up treasures in heaven rather than earth has also written itself firmly on whatever brain lobe is responsible for songs that get stuck in your head. Thank you Nichole Nordeman for the lyrical verse, "an accumulating trinket in a treasure box where moths and rust, theives and such will soon enough destroy" (from the song Legacy).  I want fewer trinkets and a greater life legacy.

Finally, I was profoundly impacted by a recent anti-human trafficking expo I attended as a (very appreciative!) guest of one of my amazing girlfriends who was sent by her company. I've posted before about how this issue is close to my heart because (but not limited to) the way it impacts adoption.  Donald Miller was the keynote speaker and gave a message which seemed to be very inspired by his book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: how I learned to live a better story. If you haven't read this book can I just take a couple sentences to implore you to do so? One of my daycare dads recommended it to me and said it changed his life. I was pretty sure it wouldn't change my life (dramatic much?) but in the end- it truly did. I will never look at my life the same way, nor do I think I will ever give into the temptation to live a boring, status-quo, legacy-less life again.

But back to my regularly scheduled post- this expo by Women At Risk International showed me how stuff can be meaningful. A scarf can be $15 Target purchase, or it can be the gift of dignified work and provision for a woman who has come out of modern day slavery.  It just depends on where you buy it.  Same with finger puppets, jewelry, soaps, housewares, and coffee beans.  WAR isn't the only not-for-profit who works like this either. A little googling will get you to a host of options for meaningful purchases.  Personally I put a couple $1 chickens from my church denomination's gift catalog on my stocking stuffer list this year.

So while I've been nesting by minimizing, I've also been purposing in my heart to be more intentional about stuff- the stuff I bring into my home and the stuff I'll be giving for Christmas.  Maybe you're not like me and your over-abundance of mugs doesn't clutter up your head and your heart and you don't need to find freedom from your dishes.  But I think everyone can identify with the emptiness of holiday consumerism, can't we?  I know not every gift can be bought at a place like a WAR boutique, but many can.  Stocking stuffers for your kids, gifts for your kids, presents for the pull a number gift game you play at the office.  It all adds up to a much more meaningful Christmas.

In honor of both the upcoming holidays and Adoption Awareness Month, I want to provide my readers with the opportunity to put a little orphan care and adoption love under their trees this year.  You'll remember that we raised money for our adoption by selling my hand-stamped necklaces, coffee, as well as t-shirts my family members designed.  Many adopting families are doing similar things to bring their little ones home.

So here's your chance.  If you are raising money for your adoption with a sell-something fundraiser, it's time to share it!  Chocolates? Knitted hats? Candles? Jewelry? Iguanas? Whatever it is- click on the form below, follow the prompts, and use this space to share your online fundraiser! If you share your fundraiser here, I ask that you also share this post on your blog or other social media (FB, twitter, etc). Whether you're adopting or not, take some time to check out the items posted below and see if any of them fit your gift lists.  Give HOPE to an orphan and an adoptive family when you give your gifts this year!

Please share this post with anyone you know who is fundraising and spread the adoption love around to anyone who might buy something on the list.  This list will be open until Christmas Day. Happy meaningful gift giving this year!


  1. I will always admire you for walking the talk.

  2. We already got a sale! Thanks, Jill! This was the icing on the end of a great evening!

  3. Love this idea! Thanks for sharing it!

  4. Thank you so much for adding these businesses! It is so important that we support one another:)


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