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31 Days of Giving on a Budget: Why We “Gave Christmas Away”

Welcome to December’s series on 31 Days of Giving on a Budget. In this series, I’ll be sharing inspiring stories from my readers and posts with practical ways to give — even on a limited income.

If you have a Giving on a Budget story to share of a way you or your family has given to others this year or this holiday season, please email me your story and a picture to go along with it, if possible [1]. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!

Guest post from Lisa of PanaMOM [2].

In March of 2011, my family of 6 moved to Panama City, Panama. About 6 weeks later, we received our shipment of household goods. As I was unpacking it, I began to realize how much STUFF we had… and that we had easily lived without it for 6 weeks.

Did we really need it all?

Those thoughts took a backseat while we got adjusted to our new home. But in October of 2011, I began to clean up the house for my friend who was coming for a visit. Again, I realized we had too much stuff, so I began to purge.

Too many bags later, I had gotten rid of almost all of our excess. I realized that we simply had more than we’d ever use, and I did not want more coming in at Christmas.

After talking to my husband, the decision was made that we were truly going to give Christmas away. I posted a note on my blog [3] asking anyone who was planning to give any of us a present to please donate the gift or the money to a charity of their choosing.

We sat the kids down and explained the situation. After MANY conversations, they understood and got behind the plan.

On Christmas morning, they each had one present to open. (What can I say, Grandmas can’t be stopped.) Then, we began talking about all the kids who would be receiving presents in their names. Operation Christmas Child, Salvation Army, local church groups, and more!

By the end of the conversation, we were all overwhelmed with the truth of just how much more blessed it is to give than to receive. So much so, that this year, we will be continuing to “give Christmas away”.

Have you ever “given Christmas away”?

Lisa is a wife and mom of 4 living in Panama City. She blogs at PanaMOM.com [2].