Ahh, the Christmas Season! While we have had nothing but a few rogue snowflakes yet this year, stores, television commercials and even my roommate’s music selection have all been inundated with the magical holiday at the end of December. I love Christmas—definitely my favorite holiday—but even so, it is hard not to tire of the constant barrage of commercialism and capitalism that in many ways has come to define this holiday.
One commercial I have seen flouted their store as having earlier sales to help make the Christmas season easier– Christmas is not supposed to be hard! It is supposed to be a time of joy and gathering, giving and love.
But sometimes, I will admit, it is hard to find that perfect gift for everyone you know, like that aunt you never talk to or that friend from high school that you suddenly have nothing in common with.
Gift cards buy into the whole commercialism thing and pretty much fail at avoiding the reality that you had no idea what to get them.
Fortunately I have a much better idea! Give your friends and families a chicken, or even better, a flock of chickens!
This is a real thing, I promise. I have gotten chickens for Christmas for several years now—they live in Guatemala and provide a family with a continued source of food and income. My chickens were bought through the organization Agros International, which helps impoverished farmers buy and farm their own land in Central America and Mexico.
Chickens are not the only things that you can buy as gifts through Agros International. For example, you can buy a flock of chickens for $25, a goat for $75, a dozen trees for $50, a can of worms to add to farm land for $20 and more!
Other organizations such as Heifer International allow you to buy a cow for $500 or a share of a cow for $50, or to send a girl to school for $250. I know that the mini iPad is the perfect size, super light and just generally awesome, but do you really need it in addition to your regular iPad or your iPhone? What else could you do with that $329?
As the spirit of Christmas is about giving, helping those in need, celebrating hope and love and being thankful for all that we have, material and non-material, perhaps the gift of a chicken is the perfect way to make our gifts more than a yearly obligation, more than successful advertising or Black Friday sales.
Have you ever gotten a gift that you were thankful for every day of the year? A gift that you really wanted or a gift that you truly needed? I encourage you to make that the goal of every gift that you give this holiday season, and if you cannot think of something else, maybe you should give a chicken, because some people really need that chicken.
This Christmas, I look forward to giving and receiving some chickens. I do not have to feed them or clean up their mess, there were no long lines or parking lots to navigate in search of them at the store. Chickens are more about giving than receiving; they are more about hope and helping than about commercials or holiday deals.
And let’s face it, how many people get to say they got a chicken for Christmas? It’s all I want!