Week 53: Personal Confessions ~ My Christmas is different to yours

When I was growing up Christmas was always the highlight of december. You see back home, though we always had chicken throughout the year there was always some ‘chickens’ (mostly kids got the big pieces on this one day) that were just for christmas, so you can imagine as a kid just waiting to have this christmas kind of chicken on christmas day. Not many people around us could afford to even have the simplest of christmas foods or items that we had the pleasure of having and now are even more fortunate to have. My mother made sure every single day of our lives was lived like christmas but christmas still carried more emphasis than other days (excluding birthdays and easter). Talking to friends and/or reading posts on the blogosphere you get a sense of different christmas traditions and how most people would wait till the morning to find out what father christmas has brought them. For us it was not always the case that we got presents, my parents focused us more on celebrating the day with friends & family at church then heading home to eat the feast that was mother’s wonderful cooking. Somehow the meals that she cooked every day of the year couldn’t quite match the one she did for christmas even the cakes that she baked daily seemed to lack something that the christmas cake held.

These are some of my earliest memories of my christmas back home in Zambia, so when I came across a charity that is working to help support different families in some countries in Africa I was so moved that I contacted them to see if I could include them in this post. We are all different and support different causes and for me this is one that is close to my heart because I can relate at a personal level. The charity is called send a cow (the cow called Gloria modelling this ‘amoosing’ christmas jumper had me in stitches, she is so on trend with the festive season) and they help families in Africa via different initiatives and this year they have a christmas catalogue which contains gifts that make a difference to poverty-stricken families in 7 African countries. The charity are using the ‘wild, wacky and of questionable taste of bright jumpers’ during this festive period to raise awareness of ‘send a cow‘s aim of selling 20, 000 festive gifts that make a difference to poverty stricken African families.

Replacing the traditional jumper pattern of snowmen or crackers, this udderly stylish Christmas jumper has been created to showcase the charity’s latest altruistic Christmas gifts catalogue, and was custom-knit with maximum comfort and fit in mind for the fashion-conscious cow.  Gloria the cow, a purebred Jersey from Devon, didn’t bat an eyelid at being fitted with the jumper, which fits with Velcro straps and is based on one of her existing comfortable coats.  Gifts range from ‘Local Cow’ (£205), which provides a farming family with milk and manure; ‘Little Donkey’ (£9) which helps families take good care of their four-legged friends who transport farm produce to market; and ‘Tip Tap’ (£10), a bestseller which improves hygiene levels in areas where soap and water are luxuries.

About Send a Cow

Send a Cow was started by West Country farmers 25 years ago and in that time has transformed the lives of over one million people. Send a Cow works hand-in-hand with families in Africa, teaching them the skills they need to build lives free from poverty and hunger. By providing training, livestock, seeds and support, the charity helps create stronger communities for the future.

Send a Cow works with poor families in seven African countries, providing practical farming assistance that will last for generations to come and supporting families through every step of their journey out of poverty.

Our lives are different now so are our circumstances but somehow we don’t seem to have changed much when it comes to christmas and I guess that’s our christmas tradition, granted now we give and get presents every year but mostly they are things that you need like for me one year my mother got me a bathrobe I worn it until it had holes in it and looked more like a shirt than a robe on my 5’7 frame. I guess my confession today is more to say we all have different traditions and I love mine am sure as much as you love yours. Sometimes it becomes too overwhelming with the amount of posts that are all about “ooh this is what I am giving for christmas or what I am getting for christmas“, not everyone is as fortunate as we are. So in our happiness of what we have let us remember those that do not have it. I do not know what kind of christmas tradition I will have in the future with my future kids but I do want to make sure its one where they appreciate the true meaning of christmas and not just the presents part which if God willing will be able to afford then will give. Don’t forget the meaning of christmas whether you believe it to be Christ’s birthday or not, its the spirit of giving and spending time with loved ones and being thankful for the wonders that never cease as we see another day. And also spare a thought for those who are not so fortunate and if you can lend a hand do so, it does not have to be extravagant it just has to be meaningful.

Simon Barnes, CEO of Send a Cow said; “This year we’ve taken the idea of the quirky Christmas jumper one step further, to encourage people to think differently about the gifts they buy this Christmas. Instead of buying chocolate for a friend, why not buy something unusual – for as little as £5 you will greatly improve the lives of poverty-stricken families in Africa. This is our 13th year of the Christmas catalogue and over the years we’ve raised over eight million pounds to help poor families. We really hope that you will support us this year by buying a gift, to help us change even more lives this Christmas and beyond.

Happy 1st day of December.
PS – The Send a Cow catalogues is available online, click HERE.
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