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Tis the season of hustle and bustle, of traffic jams, last minute mall shopping, and holiday tune ad campaigns. St. Nick’s traded in his sleigh for a bright red Mercedes, and Rudolph’s most likely picked up extra shifts, delivering packages for Amazon. I don’t mean to be a Grinch, but this is just the way things seem the moment the Macy Day Parade finishes, ringing in the “buying” season. But the holidays don’t have to be about spending, wanting, or receiving. Truly, it’s difficult remembering that December marks, is supposed to be, a season of giving, a time for bestowing gifts upon those you love and cherish, to give back to those who gave to you, and to give to those who need it most.

Saying this, there may not be a better way to celebrate the true spirit of the holiday season than to partner with World Vision, a non-profit humanitarian aid organization, which, “…partner[s] with children, families, and their communities to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.” Their annual gift catalog is one like no other. Yes, it is filled with items you can purchase, yet where else can you buy three ducks and a goat, which will be handed over to a family in need?

Mohammed Chan Maih, Father. Shaju Rahman, 8yrs. with oxen plowing field.

Why ducks, you may ask, and not chickens? Well, according to World Vision, “In countries like India and the Philippines, families have lost their food and livelihoods when torrential rains killed their chickens. That’s why World Vision has helped them to switch to duck farming. After all, a flood that could be deadly for a chicken is just an adventure for a duck.”

Simply put, World Vision is phenomenal. You can provide a community with a fully stocked fish pond, for under $250. Think of it, a new iPhone will set you back at least $750. You could feed three whole communities with that kind of money! You can give rabbits, a sewing machine, mosquito nets, life-saving medicine, fruit trees, an education for a young girl, or food kits for refugees, and these are but a few of the options. And if you still need to fill up a stocking or place another present under the tree, World Vision has a list of exquisite handcrafted gifts, created by localized fair trade artisans, such as beautiful jewelry, delicious coffee, scarves, and even tree ornaments, in which the proceeds are used in the same as a donation.

So let this season be one of merriment, good tidings, and joy, in which giving takes precedence over everything else, and partner with World Vision to change the world for the better, helping those who need it most.