16 Dec 2011 13 Comments
Recently I posted a list of ideas for Christmas presents. I love giving Christmas presents and think it’s wonderful to give people things that they’ll love. But I also think that it is very important to remember what the real meaning of Christmas is, the real reason we celebrate. Here are some Christmas present ideas that are very meaningful, and will help many people in need this holiday season.
Compassion International is an amazing organization. Several people in our church work for Compassion and have seen first hand what they do for children living in third world countries. Sponsoring a child costs $38 dollars a month and provides them with food, clothes, education, and spiritual foundation. About a year and a half ago, I started sponsoring a girl who lives in Kenya. She is almost exactly my age and her name is Fresiah. I get letters from her and write her letters. Several times a year (birthdays, Christmas) you can give a little extra to pay for presents. Last year, Fresiah wrote to me, telling me what she bought with the money I sent her. She bought things like clothes, cooking oil, wheat, matches. It was pretty eye-opening to see what she got for Christmas, compared to what I ask for. I would encourage everyone to consider sponsoring a child.
If sponsorship isn’t for you, or you just want to give a one time gift, you can go onto the Compassion website and give a one time donation that will provide prental care, ongoing health care, infant survival training, the support of a local church, and much more for moms and babies. This is an incredible way to help save the lives of both moms and their babies. You can also check out their gift catalog and buy things like vaccinations, African Drought Survival, or a gift that will help a child live until age 5. These are amazing, life-changing gifts.
There are many organizations that allow you to buy gifts for families around the world such as goats, chickens, cows, etc. World Vision has a lot of options for giving, all at different prices. You can buy a rabbit, a small gift that will provide a family with food, all the way up to a dairy cow for a woman, a gift that will keep her independent and out of the sex trade. I thought for a long time on what gift I wanted to give and decided on a gift that offers hope for sexually exploited girls. When you give, you can give in honor of someone else and World Vision will send them a card, telling them about the gift. But even cooler than that, you can buy someone you love a present like a bracelet, necklace, silk scarf, or travel mug and coffee, and the money you spend on that gift will go towards helping others in need! Seriously awesome. Go here to check out all the things you can buy :)
As many of you know, I went to Haiti last summer on a mission trip (you can read about my experience here, here, here, and here :) I had an incredible time and it really was a life-changing experience. I went to Northwest Haiti Christian Mission and saw first hand the amazing work they do for children and adults. Right now, they are trying to raise enough money to send one million meals to Haiti for the holidays! One meal only costs 5 cents which is crazy. I can personally speak to the work and authenticity of this organization as I have seen it first hand. I would really encourage you to give to help feel people in Haiti. And as an added bonus, anyone who gives enough money to pay for 400 meals (only $20!) will be entered into a drawing for an iPad 2! :)
I hope you guys consider giving to one of these amazing organizations!
You can also make many people happy by giving them these chocolate chip cookie dough cookies :)
I couldn’t decide which mug I liked better so I used this pink one and the red one..what do you think?
These are cookies that taste like cookie dough. Cookie outside, cookie dough inside. Umm yeah. Pretty amazing. These are different than if you make regular chocolate chip cookies and just underbake them a lot. The outside is firm like a regular cookie, but the inside stays gooey and raw. The flavor was delicious and they stay good for several days (just heat them up in the microwave for a few seconds and you have yourself a nice tasty cookie dough cookie!).
I hope you’re having a wonderful week and get to spend a lot of time with loved ones :) Do you have any plans? Any special Christmas traditions? I’d love to hear them! I’ll be sharing more of my Christmas preparations and traditions soon.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cookies
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 stick butter, softened/room-temp
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda.
- In a medium bowl, mix sugars and butter till creamy. Add egg and vanilla and mix till combined.
- Mix wet into the dry. Note: it will appear there is not enough liquid for the amount of dry ingredients, but continue mixing. It will form into a dough, it will just be a firm dough. I used my hand to mix it all together.
- Gently fold chocolate chips into the dough, without overmixing.
- Refrigerate dough for at least 20 minutes before using a small cookie scoop to scoop out dough into small mounds. Roll each mound into a ball and spread evenly on a baking sheet, leaving roughly 2-3 inches between each ball.
- Bake balls for 10-14 minutes, depending on how set you want your centers. You can use a thermometer to make sure the centers are 160 degrees F, or you can be daring and dangerous like me.
- Let your dough balls rest on the baking sheet to cool at least 5-10 minutes. Or not ;)
Source: The Chic Life