Have you started thinking about Christmas shopping? Did you know there are only 10 Fridays until Christmas? (and the 10th one is Christmas Eve!) It's probably time for those of us who haven't already, to start making lists and planning our gift giving.
Would you like to buy gifts that can bring the hope of Christ to a hurting world? If so click here: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/
Through Samaritan's Purse you can feed a hungry baby for a week for $9, or rescue a child from exploitation for $75, or provide specialized instruction, basic obstetric supplies, or even antiviral medicine to protect newborns from contracting HIV from their mothers for $35. You can help with wells, or missionary hospitals, or hot meals, or life saving mosquito nets, or a host of other things! Another fun way to get involved is through Samaritan Purse's Operation Christmas Child, also known as the shoebox ministry. This is a great family project that children love helping with. Instructions can be found on the website. This is a great way to share the joy of our Savior's birth with the world's poorest children. I encourage you to take a look!
For other shopping ideas, here is a short list of some of my favorite places to shop.
To get started with my planning, today I'm going to make a list of everyone we are buying for. This is step one for me. I usually make up a Christmas notebook starting in October and that helps me keep all of my lists and other stuff in one place. I tape an envelope inside the cover to put receipts in. I keep the notebook with me all the time during October, November, and December and jot things down as needed. I have a list of names of who we are planning to buy for, as well as the kids' wish lists, a page where I write down everyone's sizes, an idea section, a place to write down prices that I'm comparing, and a section with recipes I'll be making and the necessary ingredients. I have a section where I can plan for company we are having (like meals to serve, etc) and a section for planning any traveling we are going to do (like when we're leaving, where we are staying, and what to pack). Having everything in one notebook has helped me to stay organized during the holidays. You can pick up an inexpensive spiral notebook at the store and tape a regular business size envelope inside the cover and you are ready to go! It's not fancy but it is helpful for staying organized! For fun you could get a red or green notebook and pick up some Christmas stickers and let the kids decorate the cover. That's what I'm going to do!