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162603_677441220214_5340655_nThanksgiving is still 2 whole weeks away, but if you’ve ventured into a mall or shopping area of any kind, you know this to be true:

The Christmas season has begun.

In fact, I’m pretty sure the Christmas season began as soon as the clock struck midnight on Halloween. One minute I was carving my pumpkin, then the next thing I knew there was garland and wreaths and reindeer everywhere. My neighbors already have a blinking snowman in their yard.

For many of us, the Christmas season is a time to celebrate, but it’s also a time to stress. Lucky for me and my husband, my son is only a year old so I doubt we’ll get him much, if anything. It’s not like he’ll know the difference. In all honesty, I’ll probably give him one of his old diaper boxes.

Thus far, the holidays are still pretty simple for our family and I’d like to keep them that way. In that spirit, I’ve started a gift-giving tradition that I hope to expand in the years to come. It’s very simple:

Each year I try to increase the number of presents that I buy through fair trade. I’ll confess that I don’t buy all my presents this way, but each year I do a little bit more. Maybe one day, I will purchase all my gifts this way.

It helps that interest is growing in fair trade, so there are more and more options to choose from each year. In an old post by Jen Hatmaker, she encourages Christians to buy fair trade, challenging us to rethink the way we do Christmas and to honor Jesus in how we celebrate the holiday. As a part of that challenge, she provides a list of responsible vendors from which to choose, and I want to share them with you here:

From the list above, I especially love Noonday Collection and Raven and Lily. Their stuff is super cute! A lot of the fair trade items also make excellent stocking stuffers for kids and adults alike.

**Also, please read Jen’s post. It will hit you right in the gut, but it’s SO good.

This year, I challenge you to buy at least one item that is fair trade. And as you think about what it means to honor Jesus this Christmas, please remember these hard but important words from Proverbs 14:31:

Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker,
but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

God is honored when we are kind to the poor, and one way we can be kind to the needy, rather than contributing to a system that oppresses them, is by purchasing through fair trade.

This Christmas, I hope you will join me in this Jesus honoring kindness.


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