At Christmas, I go all out. I love getting and I love giving.
One year I aspired not to really want anything and told my husband as much. This was our very first Christmas together and I liked the idea of not needing stuff. Luckily, my dear sister who knows me far too well warned him it might be a good idea to still buy me a gift. And to my delight, he did.
More recently, I haven’t had such lofty goals. I will probably always enjoy a good present. No matter which end I’m on.
And yet over the past 12 months, slowly but surely the whole experience has changed. Because I’m changing.
A trusted friend began sharing about the way she has started purchasing ethically, providing a fair wage to the artisan who crafted her necklace. She gently explained how this allowed families to stay together. Parents could earn enough money to keep their children from becoming orphans.
As a foster mom, I’m deeply passionate about keeping families together. I see the struggles that broken homes create. And there is little I wouldn’t do to prevent that breaking.
But it’s still hard.
Daily, I have to remind myself that I believe in this.
That it’s worth the extra cost to buy that blanket from Sari Bari instead of Home Goods so that a woman in India can have a new life apart from the sex trade she knew.
That it’s worth the extra time to find the American-made cooler from Orca instead of Yeti so that I’m not supporting slave-like conditions in China.
That it’s worth the extra energy to research where and how things are made and to find alternatives that allow men and women to break the cycle of poverty, locally and abroad.
It’s worth spending more to buy less because people are worthy.
Nisolo, a beautiful leather company, says it better than I could. Asking us to “value the creator just as much as the customer.”
I still run to Target for this or that, but I run there for less and less. And I look on the things I buy there and elsewhere differently. I look on them and consider whether or not I would have made the same purchase if I could see the person who made it.
If I could look her in the eyes the same way I will look my husband in the eyes when I hand him that gift.