I’ve been walking around for the last few weeks in complete Christmas denial. Nothing about celebrating feels right to me this year.
There are so many things that I want, but none of them can be wrapped and put under a tree. It’s a new kind of want that comes from fear, but also a heightened sense of the world around me.
I’m still going through the motions of putting up a tree, decorating gingerbread houses, and baking cookies. I’m still trying to give my children a Christmas full of joy. There is some comfort in our family traditions, but I’m finding that even those feel a little empty.
I am a raw, rattled, ball of anxiety and find myself tearing up and just about anything and everything. The only thing that is bringing me peace is knowing that there are still helpers in the world. I’ve turned my focus to giving everything I can to support the organizations that are doing the work. Because buying gifts when there is so much need in the world isn’t sitting well with me right now.
This is what’s on my Christmas list this year and the organizations we’re giving to:
UNICEF is still on the ground in Aleppo. This is from an email they sent me this morning:
“UNICEF is one of the only remaining organizations on the ground, and we are delivering urgent assistance to Syrian families and children in need no matter what happens. Even as the violence continues, our staff are putting themselves at risk every moment to ensure at least 1.5 million adults and children across Aleppo have access to safe water.”
Our country was founded on certain civil liberties that are protected by law, and many are being threatened. The ACLU is fighting every day to protect our freedom.
This year we’ve upped our annual gift to Heifer to combat poverty and give economic and educational opportunities to families worldwide.
Don’t know what Heifer does? Watch this video. (I cry every single time.)
A Healthy Planet.
Inspired by a lot of cute baby animals, my kids had a blast picking out gifts that will go to protecting endangered animals and preserving their habitats.
The National Resources Defense Council has a great gift catalogue.
A dear friend was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Cutting edge science in cancer research could be everything to him and his family.
Help find a cure for cancer by donating to the Cancer Research Institute.
We have so much. We take so much for granted. At a time when everything feels hopeless and out of control, I have to dig deep to find the faith that if we put our resources into the things that we want, that we believe in, we can make a difference. I have to believe that our contributions matter, no matter how small they may feel.
Every day I fight the urge to curl up in a ball and surrender to the overwhelming fear and doubt. But this Christmas, I will gather the people I love around me and remember that hope, love, and faith are not going anywhere.
Give what you can. And Merry Christmas.