Another successful RJD party. Thanks Becks for the practical idea of giving gifts to kids in needy countries by packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. It was a great way to catch up, have fun and share a meaningful purpose in our gathering.
Ta daa! Don't the boxes look so pretty... I don't know why, but in my head I thought we were wrapping all the individual gifts up so there'd be more fun to unwrap. Naive of me to forget that we live in a world where wrapped gifts are a threat while en route to international destinations. So we had fun wrapping the boxes instead (uh, correction, Dilys, Lynn and Jeff diligently wrapped the boxes -- not as easy as you might think! Thanks guys!)
Once the boxes were wrapped, the men left (I figure because the task was done :) and the women began another activity... knitting! Lynn was ambitiously knitting a teddy bear! He was so cute that we all wanted her to knit one for us! :) Apparently knitting is quite popular in populations that are not necessarily the stereotypical granny-type of person. My aunt taught me to knit years ago, but I never learned how to start a project or finish. I just know the stitches. Oh well, I don't think I'll be picking that up again -- I simply don't have the patience to finish any project!
Ironically we bought most of our gifts at the dollar store down the street. Ironic, I think, because I can't help but wonder if some of the very items we bought were made by the very children we are seeking to bless with our gifts. My sister borrowed a book from the library while she was here that I felt compelled to add to my collection of books. It's called Take It Personally: How to Make Conscious Choices to Change the World and is quite eye-opening about ethical and fair trade business, globalization and other related issues.
I realized a little while ago that I worship the mighty dollar in a different kind of way than the typical "earn lots and save/hoard lots." Rather, my expression of worshipping the dollar is more like, "I want the lowest cost possible on services and products -- at any cost," which is an illusion because while I may be getting a cheap price, you can almost bet it's coming at the cost of something or someone:
- It could be costing me health safety or the environment damage, if it's a product that's been produced by a company that cuts corners in its production practices (check out this site that shows detailed info on the safety of the personal care products we use -- interestingly the cheapest brands are often the highest hazard, but expensive labels are also producing toxic products).
- It could be a product made using cheap child labour in some country far away.
- It could be the 3 year old daughter who never sees his father who slaves away at the print shop I use (I've been there at 3am, 8am, 3pm... there is only once of the dozens of times I have been there when Dave, the owner, is not there).