[serialposts]I’ve thought a lot about Christmas gift giving lately.

It’s something that weighs heavy on my mind now. Maybe it’s because I know it’ll be a pretty light year here in the King household. Between losing my job of 13 years just a few months ago, and launching a consulting and publishing start-up, there’s just not a lot left over for lots of fancy presents to fill the space under the tree this year.

But it’s more than that. God has stirred something deeper in my heart for a few years now. Two years ago my son said he wanted to send Christmas to Haiti, and proceeded to raise $1,365 for a playground project at an orphanage. Just two months ago I had the opportunity to stand on that playground (and play on the swings with some of the kids). Projects like this are changing my ideas of what it means to give during Christmas.

I guess the thing that I’m wrestling with the most is the underlying motive in gift giving. At Christmas time we always think of the people we need to buy gifts for. Then we plan the gatherings and parties we’ll attend to exchange gifts. You know how it goes… I give my gift to you, and you give me what you bought for me. I’m struggling with this idea. I’m struggling because I’m not sure if it really shows the spirit of giving that defines the season.

What if we gave gifts for Christmas without expecting anything in return? (Click to tweet!)

That’s why I don’t want anything for Christmas this year. I only want to give. I love getting things for my kids, and watching their faces light up on Christmas morning. I think it’s quite meaningful to give and share joy with others. But I’d rather redirect anything given to me year.

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The best gift I can get is seeing someone else being blessed.

I’d love to see a several dozen men in Haiti get jobs through the better part of next year that will allow them to feed their families.

I’d love to see hundreds of children have a place where they can get a quality education, the foundation of change for their nation’s future.

I’d love to see a pastor in Haiti have the tools and resources to be a catalyst for change.

Those are the things that warm my heart and bring me joy. And all it takes to make these things happen? A brick.

A brick… that’s all I want for Christmas. (Click to tweet!)

Yeah, a brick may not be a glamorous gift. But it’s a powerful one that will leave a long legacy. When the Help One Now Bloggers‘ Legacy Project of building a school in Haiti is complete, it will have somewhere around 4,000 bricks. I expect that a few will have my name (virtually) on them. One could be there in your honor too. And you can put bricks there on someone else’s behalf.

Together our bricks will stand as a testimony to the true meaning of Christmas and the heart of giving.

How to shop for Christmas:

  • Create a Pure Charity account
  • Fund your personal giving account
  • Buy a (virtual) brick for $25 for the current phase of the project
  • Install the browser widget and build you personal giving fund for additional donations to the project
  • Invite your friends to join the Generation of Generosity

Note: You can fund your charitable giving through Pure Charity by shopping through their Rewards Partners. Imagine getting all of your Christmas shopping done, and using the rewards to buy a brick or two!

christmas and the heart of giving

by Dan King time to read: 3 min