Saturday, November 13, 2010

From Generation to Generation

Marcia Koenig is a member of our Gifts of Hope team here at Ascension.  In this article she tells the story of how she made a joyful connection with the idea of giving alternative gifts for Christmas and how that idea has caught on.  By the way, our Gifts of Hope fair beging at Ascension this weekend and will be open in Founders Hall after each service. 

As we dried dishes after our family Thanksgiving dinner a few years ago, my sister-in-law and I jested about the unpleasantness of holiday shopping in crowded malls and about what we did NOT want for Christmas: more sweaters, more gadgets, more casserole dishes, more etc.

From our playful banter emerged some thoughts: Our gracious God gives to us abundantly. We give Him thanks! He also raises before us brothers and sisters who suffer poverty and the diseases of poverty. How can we not "be openhanded" (Deut. 15:11)? How can we not provide others justice and hope?

I told my sister-in-law about Ascension's alternative giving project: Gifts of Hope. And we made a pact for Christmas future: instead of exchanging the usual presents, we would give thanks by giving hope to others.

The two of us initiated this tradition, sometimes adding a book, like The Fever to share information about malaria, or a fairly traded coffee product or craft item from the Gifts of Hope Fair, for members of our family. In the last two years, several of our nieces and nephews, the "younger generation" families, have embraced the idea and joined our pact -- heartwarming indeed! Give thanks. . . .

Marcia Koenig

1 comment:

  1. We all know that the holiday season turns in to a season about "retail." So much more gratifying to give gifts of hope and blessings. I would also like to add that if we truly embrace Thanksgiving and the entire holiday season, we must celebrate ALL LIFE and extend our love and blessings to our animal neighbors who share this earth with us and whose presence make our own lives richer and happier with the love that they freely give. This Thanksgiving, save the life of a turkey!! Don't serve it for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Animals are SENTIENT BEINGS. Blessings.


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