Archive for November, 2010

Nothing Under The Tree

I used to vomit every Christmas morning.

The excitement of all the day held was just too much for my tiny little tummy! There was nothing about Christmas that I did not like. I would toss and turn all night, wondering when Santa would appear and what he would bring. To entertain myself on the long sleepless night I would take books, toys, a flashlight, and an hourly countdown to bed with me. When Dad finally came to tell us it was okay to wake up my adrenaline would surge and the vomiting would begin! The site and smell of the beautifully lit tree as we ran down the stairs, all of the presents spewing into the next room! I don’t know what was more exciting for me, watching Laura open my presents (as I hovered over my vomit filled pail) or watching in anticipation as my family opened the gifts I purchased them with my pennies and nickels. After the presents were open we would eat a quick breakfast (if my stomach could handle it) and pack up our bags to head to Buffalo. One would think that at this point I would begin to calm down, but the trip to Buffalo was perhaps even more exciting than the presents under the tree. All snuggled in the car, surrounded by my newest possessions and treasures, my stomach would continue to churn with excitement!

I have never experienced disappointment on Christmas. Without fail, for 26 years, that tree has continued to produce a plethora of gifts and surprises underneath. And I have always been surrounded by my family and friends. Imagine what it would be like to wake up Christmas morning to find nothing under the tree. After a sleepless night of anticipation you run downstairs, straight to the tree, to find . . . nothing. It is a sight that would sadden any Christmas enthusiasts heart – young or old.

While wasting my time on Facebook yesterday I found this post on a friends wall:

“Americans spend 450 billion dollars a year on Christmas. To educate, feed, and get clean water to all the children in the world it would only take 46 billion. Which leaves 404 billion left over to spend on Christmas just in the US…as if we need that anyway.”

Now THAT makes me want to vomit!

People all over the world are hungry and dying, not because there simply aren’t enough resources (money, food, etc.), but because instead of blessing others with our wealth we are blessing ourselves. The meal or vaccination or education that could save a child is instead a game boy, sweater, or DVD under our trees.

Since touring with the choir, I can’t imagine a more amazing sight! The idea of every tree in America being bare of gifts on Christmas morning makes me so excited I could, well . . . vomit. Most of us look at that quote and see numbers and statistics. I read that quote and see the faces of 23 beautiful children. Flip through the pages of this site, look at the pictures and read the stories. The faces shown on the pages of this site are the faces of 23 children who benefitted from those who chose to put the needs of the poor before their own. As someone who loves those children dearly, I am forever grateful to those who chose to give instead of hoard.

Will your Christmas be a day of selfishness and hoarding? Worldly posessions wrapped neatly beneath the tree, disguised as love? Or will your Christmas be one of giving? An empty tree that truly celebrates the actual reason for the holiday – the Son of God who came to give everything He had to those who needed it most?

To give to the African Children’s Choir please visit:


November 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm 1 comment

One does discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. - Andre Gide
November 2010
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