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The (home-made) Christmas Tree

By Alexandra Khan | 4 December 2012 | Comments (2)

image by Wharman

About a week ago I reviewed my finances and realised that this Christmas is going to be very tight. It’s been a mixed year; wonderfully blessed in some areas and terrifically hard in others. C’est la vie. But Christmas is one of those events that I always long to do extravagantly, so the realisation that this year’s budget is practically non-existent was a bit of a shock.

I did what I always do in those kinds of situations: I immediately started to think about all the folk who have it worse off than me. Reminding yourself that there are some people who don’t have a roof, much less a Christmas tree, this time of year is a sure-fire way to gain some perspective.  But it didn’t change the state of my bank account or my list of people to give to, and I knew I was going to have to find a way to do Christmas just as generously…but differently.

I love working at Stewardship. I love it because I get to talk about generosity all day long, create websites and communities alongside generous people and generally feel surrounded by positivity. One of the best bits of the year here is Advent, because we spend time sifting through festive stories of generosity for The Christmas Tree. It’s a website entirely dedicated to inspiring a spirit of unpretentious generosity that sometimes gets lost amid the consumerist din. And it’ll probably also make you laugh.

For me, that was the point at which my bleak finances became an opportunity to strip my generosity back to the core. As I was reading through the submissions for The Christmas Tree, I discovered that true joy at Christmas definitely isn’t in what you get, and it’s not even really in what you give: it’s the spirit with which you give it. Consideration, kindness and love count for much more than simply ticking people off of your ‘to buy’ list.

So this year will be a home-made Christmas. I’m sewing things, finger-painting, baking stuff, generally getting my hands dirty. It’s costing me effort and hours, and that feels like more of a worthy price to pay to be honest.

Read and share some inspirational stories of Christmas generosity on The Christmas Tree here.  

Posted by Alexandra Khan

Alexandra is a digital marketing executive for Stewardship. Originally trained in music, she went on to spend a few years in the videogames industry before making the leap to the NFP sector. Follow her on Twitter: @alxkhn



December 5, 2012 8:20 AM
This is what the spirit of Christmas is all about. We could all take a leaf or two out of the above post. Often, time is one of our biggest enemies but I take my hat off to people who have jobs, families, amongst other commitments and still find the time to be creative in their thinking and giving. God made us to be creative beings and many of us have lost that beautiful gift. But, to regain it would only take the effort of stepping out the box of consumerism and getting back to our roots, the way we were intended to be. It's not about the money, it's about the thought, time and love that goes into a gift that counts.

Katherine Maxwell-Cook

December 14, 2012 9:57 AM
Thanks so much Alexandra for this. I've found it hard to see much anti-consumerist stuff out there so I've written my own guide to an alternative Christmas for threads - you can check it out here!

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