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Tuesdays are “Vinyl Tuesdays” on my radio station, the day they play classics from the ‘70s and ‘80s from records (clicks and pops included). And since Tuesday is my first day of the work week, it feels like Monday and I need to crank the tunes on my way to work. I usually turn it down when the ads come on, but I was moving slowly so I heard the Christmas ad for a large department store. And it disgusted me.

(paraphrase)

Whiny girl declares “I want a new baby doll”. Mouthy big brother pipes up, “I want a new ipad”. Whiny girl child counters, “I want more decorations for the tree”. Mom chimes in cheerfully, “I’m so glad you kids have got the Christmas spirit! Let’s hop in the car and go to [insert name of department store]”.

As I pondered this, my ears zeroed in on the tagline for the next ad: “Invest in yourself”.

I turned the radio off.

In what universe is “I want…I want…I want” the “Christmas spirit”? When did the holidays become about investing in ourselves?

Only last Friday, I witnessed a large investment by a large group of people, in a number of different communities, into the lives of children around the world. Our church is a distribution centre for Operation Christmas Child. Shoeboxes are filled by ordinary people, collected, and distributed to children ages 0-14 in several countries. Canadians donated more than 664,000 last year – and we did our part to add to that number this year. We handed out over 1000 boxes. We ran out several times and had to have more delivered. I even had a wait list in the office, and I had to turn people away. One woman filled 20 boxes by herself, and when I commented on her effort, she told me nonchalantly that she’s been doing 20 boxes every year, for several years. In total, over 6,000 boxes were delivered, packed and loaded on a transport truck by our church volunteers. Now that’s the spirit of Christmas…

It’s ok to eat a Kit-Kat bar once in awhile because maybe “you deserve a break”. But wouldn’t it be a better season, and a better world, if we took the time to invest in people, instead of ourselves.

In the words of Mommyverbs, “Let’s all go do that”. Happy weekend!

Operation Christmas Child Collection

“Giving should be entered into in just the same way as investing. Giving is investing.” – John D. Rockefeller

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