Can you keep a secret? True confession here. I’m a terrible shopper and the holidays make me nervous. I mean, I love all the coziness of a winter’s warm blanket and the beauty of sparkly lights in the dark – but I usually have no idea how to buy gifts for the people I love. And holidays seem to be the season of feeling über-obligated to buy gifts because if you don’t, you’re a schmuck, right?
I’m not trying to get all Scroogey on you, but I seriously feel overwhelmed with expressing love by exchanging a material item. (Although, I admit my longing to unwrap a brand new iPad.) I think my problem is three-fold: I can’t afford to spend the amount of money that would properly honor my friends and family. I’m not creative enough to think up extra personal gifts. And I’m not talented enough to craft hand-made gifts. In other words, nomatter what I give, it will be lame and I’ll feel bad.
So this year my husband and I are trying something different. (Spoiler alert to friends and family: I’m about to divulge what you’re getting for Christmas.) I’m going to provide food for two families for a week. Or give ten cans of formula to a baby. Or 100 teenagers breakfast. Or help out with a monthly heating bill for an elderly couple. Those are some of the things that can be done with about $100 donation to the DMARC Food Pantry Network and other DMARC programs. And we’ll let my friends and family know we did this by enclosing this little acknowlegement in our holiday cards. And if they’re lucky, maybe they’ll get our family picture too. (Now that’s a gift I’m sure that everyone will be looking for.)
You can do this too! Just go to shareblessings.org. And if you’re the person who has everything — unlike me who seriously needs an iPad — you could even let people know that your holiday wish list can be found on shareblessings.org. Just an idea.
But you are probably way ahead of me and have all your shopping figured out. You already have the perfect gift for your boss, your colleagues, your neighbors, your party hosts. I admire you.
One day I hope to be more fabulous in how I do holiday shopping, but in the meantime, I’m taking the easy way out and I feel the calm already. Shhh, but don’t tell anyone. It’s a surprise.
Terri Mork Speirs is the communication manager for the Des Moines Area Religous Council, lead-agency for MovetheFood. She can be reached at tspeirs@MovetheFood.org