Friday, November 12, 2010

Tis Almost the Season

With Christmas fast approaching (six weeks from tomorrow!), I have been making my list and checking it twice. Typically, I am not an early shopper, but I'm trying to do that some this year. I feel like waiting until the last minute stresses me out more, makes me spend more, and makes my gifts less meaningful, and more the type of thing that I buy just to have something to give.

This year, I am making a real effort to me more intentional with my spending and purposeful with my giving. With regards to my girls, we will be having a little less under the tree this year, not necessarily because of finances or budget concerns, but because I'm trying to acknowledge that we already have too much "stuff". Closets overflow, rooms are crowded, every corner has some accumulation, and yet my instinct when it comes to thinking about what to get my girls for Christmas is to think we need more, more, more. Or that they need "x" amount of gifts each. Or that I need to spend "x" amount of dollars on each of them. I am really trying to examine who's idea of a perfect Christmas am I conforming to? I have a lot more to say about all that, but for now don't worry about my girls; I think they'll be thrilled on Christmas morning, but lets just say there will be less "junk" for them to unwrap.

With all that said, I wanted to share one of the things that will be under the tree for my girls. I haven't gotten them in yet, but have them ordered, and I am so excited about them. You may have heard of Baby Be Blessed Dolls, like I have, but I was sad to see that they were not accepting Christmas orders this year. So, my next thougt was to check Etsy, the place of all wonderful handmade things, for a similar product. I found this great shop, with the cutest dolls, and I cannot wait to get them. The shop is called "Hidden in My Heart Dolls", and what they are is a personalized doll, with a heart pocket, and within that pocket is a tag. You can personalize the tag with anything (scripture, names, birthdates, quotes, etc.), but I chose to have each of my girl's name, along with each girl's personal scripture that I claim and pray for them daily. I will share more of them when I get them in, but how perfect of a gift is this? You can choose haircolor, hair style (curly or straight pigtails, straight or wispy bangs, etc), dress fabric, and skin color to make the doll "match" your girl. Or boy....she can make a boy doll with overalls too.

Here's a few samples:

Boy dolls:

I don't know the shop owner personally, but she was extemely helpful to me and very accomodating. These will most likely be more of a keepsake type thing for my girls, instead of a doll that gets wagged all over the house, but I'm hoping it's something that's cherished for a long time.

One other thing I wanted to share. I recently came across a blog that has quickly become one of my favorites. You'll see the link over on my sidebar, and I would encourage you to check it out. I hate to decompress something so profound to just a few sentences, but the short version of the long story is that Kristen, the writer, was able to travel to Kenya earlier this year as a Compassion Blogger, and her heart has been forever changed, or "wrecked" as she puts it. God is using her (and her family) to do something amazing in Africa. They are currently working to open a maternity house in Kenya called The Mercy House. You can find some startling statistics on The Mercy House website that expose exactly why a house like this is so desperately needed. I am so struck by how "normal" of a family they are, yet they are taking such an "unnormal", huge leap of faith. They are trusting God so fully and completely to be their providence, and he has been so faithful to do that. One of the ways they are raising funds to open The Mercy House is through an Etsy shop that is run entirely on donated goods. I have donated a dress to the shop, and am hoping it sells for them. One hundred percent of the proceeds from any sale go directly to benefiting the opening of The Mercy House. I donated this dress:

This has been a best seller out of my own shop, I think I have sold around 30 of them in just the couple of weeks that I have had it listed, and I'm hoping it will sell for them. If you've considered buying it, would you consider buying it through this shop:

Or just go check out some of the other things they have listed. Lots of neat things, and you can buy with the knowledge that you are funding a very worthy effort.

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