Chickens for Christmas??

I’ve been thinking about Christmas.

And privilege.

And need.

And I have a question for you. Would you be disappointed if someone who regularly gave you a gift this year chose to give you chickens or rabbits?

Tell me honestly. Would you be pleased– or inside would you feel a teensy bit disappointed to discover that this gift wasn’t actually a gift TO you, but to someone else on your behalf? I need to know this honestly.


  1. I also told a friend to sponsor a child in my name. I get to write the letters and everything, and she pays the money!
    I also look in Buckner’s orphan care and buy things for kids, coats, etc. Mostly goes to Eastern Europe! Amy

  2. We have a standing rule for Christmas. It started about 8 years ago when we realized that we didn’t have enough $ to get “great” presents for all the adults, but we did have enough to buy some things for a family in need. We drafted personal, hand-written letters to each family within the family and told them what we were doing on their behalf. Not one family member complained or even issued a bit of regret. As a matter of fact, my parents thought it was such in the spirit (the true spirit) of Christmas, that they started doing the same thing.

    I totally love this idea. I would feel honored if someone did it for me.

  3. We actually gave those as gifts to people last year for Christmas! I would love to be on the “receiving” end, as well!

  4. Oh bummer – I wish I had checked here sooner so as to engage in this discussion when it was happening! Anyway, I love the idea; I would love to get chickens . . . but as everyone has mentioned not everyone would at every time in their life. And just to drive that point home, here’s a little story. When hubby and I were newly married (and not earning a lot and therefore in need of practical things) a friend donated stuff to an organization on my behalf. It was a nice thing to do, but the organization was not one that I identified with at all . . . and to make matters worse, that organization continued to send me junk mail! It was beyond annoying – not only did I not get a personal gift, but I got frustrating reminders for years! Moral of the story: make sure your organization does not continue to send junk mail to your giftees!

  5. I would love it. We all have too much stuff. I think it’s an excellent idea.

  6. You know, now that I think about it, almost every year in the package that comes from my husbands godparents, in amongst a thoughtful gift package is always a little card saying that a donation has been made in our name. It is a part of the gift.

    Kristy (goes with comment #17)

  7. hey,

    I received a lamb from Heifer International last year, and I was overjoyed! Really, I was. I like that charity very much, and had given to it myself in the past. I think what really made me happy was that I knew that it made my friend (the giver) feel good to give it.


  8. Mary, I’m late on this (my blog reading time is quickly disappearing!), but this reminded me of once when my grandma let us all know at Christmas that instead of giving us gifts, she’d made a donation to a charity. What I think would’ve been more gracious, and more giving, would’ve been for her to ask all of us to make donations in lieu of gifts to her. It’s so important to give at the holidays; it’s better to make the self-sacrifice ourselves than to make it on somebody else’s part.

    My two cents:)

  9. I like this idea and yes, I would be thrilled with this as a gift, honestly. I feel I have been blessed just to be able to live the life I live so it would be great to know it was helping someone else. Although, If we told my 2 1/2 year old we got her a chicken and a rabbit she would be thrilled and expect to sleep with them every night and then be totally disappointed that we sent them to someone else. 🙂 This is a great idea though and these are the kinds of things we are hoping to be able to find to help our children as they grow to learn about giving to others in need. And I like Sarah’s thoughts – to ask others to do this in lieu of gifts for ourselves.