Mom is giving chickens and goats this year as Christmas gifts. Of course, the recipients won't see so much as a feather: the chickens and goats are going to needy families through Heifer International. It's a wonderful way to help a family provide food, work and an economic leg-up, and so much more meaningful as a Christmas gift than giving new stuff to people who already have lots.
Today I also got a request from "The Women's Centers" of greater Chicagoland. Now there's an opportunity for some profoundly meaningful Christmas giving: a donation to this organization, or to the equally worthy "Aid for Women" or any number of similar groups is a way to honor the Lord's coming among us as a needy, helpless infant by providing women in crisis pregnancy situations with the medical and practical resources they need. Many of these crisis pregnancy centers host Christmas parties for mothers and children; call to see what supplies they are low on, or what special items they may need. You could also send a donation to places like St. Fidelis, where homeless mothers and their babies find shelter and resources to get a new start.
Whether it's chickens and goats or baby wipes and blankets, Christmas giving can be more meaningful than ever.