*No, I haven't forgotten about my Thanksgiving challenge. I am just waiting on the ability to get my pictures from my camera to my computer and I will catch up. I promise.
In the meantime, there is something that has really been on my mind lately. How we spend our money, especially at Christmas time.
One of my favorite bloggers (Kristen at Rage Against the Minivan) has been writing about this recently. It is a topic that I become more convicted about every year. What does the money that I spend support? I mean, in order for me to get a good deal on something, am I supporting child slavery or unfair wages in another part of the world? The most likely answer is yes.
This is a tough pill to swallow for someone like me. I'm on a tight budget, I LOVE saving money, HATE spending money, but LOVE giving gifts to those I love all throughout the year, not just at Christmas. So you can see my dilema when I want to support good fair wages and quality products which in turn cost more (rightly so).
I would say that this particular topic is so hard for me because it touches a borderline idol in my life of saving money. I am uncomfortable when we take any money out of our savings account for any reason whatsoever, even if it is what we were saving for. Example: our adoption. We saved for years with our adoption in mind, but it stung a little to take it all out. (I'm not saying it wasn't worth it at all! I'm only trying to point out my twisted need for monetary cushion.) And since then, it has been my goal to build it back up which makes me stingy and altogether ungenerous--sinful attitudes!
It is a hard line, the line between being responsible with our finances by buying things at the lowest price, or being responsible with our finances by supporting good things with our purchases.
I have used a lot of I and My when referring to the money in our possession, but that is really wrong isn't it? It isn't mine. I am just a steward of it. It is God's. Everything I own is God's. So I have a responsibility to use it in a way that will bring Him the most glory.
I've made a list of a few places to shop that are not only fair trade, but they also have a greater goal in mind. Check them out when doing your shopping. If I'm on your Christmas list, get me something from here. If you are on mine and see something you like, let me know. I want the gifts I give to honor where my money went, but also want the receiver to LOVE it.
My link to Kristen's blog has LOTS of places to shop...I'm not going to re-link those.
WendyLou Designs (support our friends' adoption)
SOS (get someone a new roof!)
Called you by name (another adoption fundraiser)
There are SO many more out there. Feel free to tell me of any I should add!