I absolutely love Christmas music. I patiently wait all year until Thanksgiving Day, when Santa Claus concludes the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and officially ushers in the secular part of the Christmas season. At least, that’s how I always feel about it. Only then do I allow myself to listen to Christmas music.
While I love all Christmas music, Amy Grant’s Christmas songs are among my favorite. One of her songs is the inspiration behind today’s blog post. If you aren’t familiar with “Grown-Up Christmas List,” it’s a beautiful song asking for non-material things for Christmas.
Finances might be a bit tighter this Christmas than usual, but Dan and I are still privileged financially. We have a roof over our heads, an abundance of food in our kitchen, more than enough clothes in our closets, cars that run, and enough emergency savings plus my own salary to keep it that way until Dan starts a new job. We aren’t lacking in material goods.
We also have each other, plus the love and support of our friends and family.
Dan and I live a very fortunate life.
But not everyone is so lucky, and many of the problems in the world stem from systematic oppression and inequality.
So for this Christmas, I give you my Feminist Christmas List.
For no one to go to bed hungry.
For all people to have adequate shelter from the elements.
For all people to own adequate clothing.
For all people not to be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
For children to stay with their birth parents, if at all possible.
For the end of Intimate Partner Violence worldwide.
For global acceptance and legally protected rights of LGBTQ+ individuals.
For all people to accept and to love one another, despite differences in religion, nationality, race, sexual orientation, or gender.
For the strong to help the weak.
For the rich to serve the poor.
For the privileged to advocate for the oppressed.
And as Amy Grant said…
No more lives torn apart, and wars would never start.
Right would always win.
This is my Feminist Christmas List.
But I know that the world won’t become a better place unless we all work together for it.
For many families this Christmas season, money is tight. But is money tight because you want to host extravagant dinners and give your children many presents, or is money tight because you’re working two jobs just to feed your family, and you hope each of your kids will have at least one gift under the tree?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking we don’t have enough to spare. Money is too tight. We can’t afford to give more.
For some people, this is absolutely true.
But most of those people aren’t reading my blog.
When I think of generosity, I think of the widow who donated her last two pennies to her church. She gave all that she had, relying on faith to survive.
Dan and I are not giving all that we have, but we are trying to be generous with the blessings God has given us. Dan might be unemployed at the moment, but we still found room in our budget for end-of-year giving. It’s more important to us that we help a few causes near and dear to our hearts than spend that money on a big tree or on more presents for each other.
We also donate to charity throughout the year, but December giving can be especially helpful for non-profits trying to help families with food, coats, heat, and Christmas presents.
Dan has also been using this time of unemployment to volunteer more with Habitat for Humanity. He’s also helping friends and family with projects around their homes, car maintenance, and even baby-sitting. Generosity isn’t just about monetary giving–generosity includes the gift of service.
Dan and I both have a set amount that we can donate as we like. While a few online non-profits will be receiving small donations from me (Wikipedia got $3), most of my charitable budget will go to our local women’s shelter, Open Arms Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services. It’s my small way of trying to make my Feminist Christmas List come true.
What’s on your non-material Christmas List this year? How are you practicing generosity this holiday season? Linking up with Kiki for The Circle.