9th Day of Christmas with Amy Carroll

We continue with the 5th annual 12 Days of Christmas giveaways.

Each day I’m featuring one of my Proverbs 31 sisters offering a recipe, idea or memory and giving away a prize for the day!

Today’s guest?

My dear friend, Proverbs 31 speaker and director of Next Step Speaker Services:


I stood in the aisle of my local home improvement store agonizing.  For years I muttered under my breath as I put lights on our artificial Christmas tree, but I knew that I needed to be thankful.  The tree is old now, but could I really justify buying a new one pre-lit with sparkling bulbs?

After a second trip to India last year, I’ve been evaluating every purchase in light of my relative wealth to so many of our earth’s citizens.  My family is very middle class by American standards, but statistically we’re in the top 1% wealthiest people in the world.

That realization has made me examine my spending habits and challenged me to give more.  It’s made me realize that all my blessings aren’t just designed for me.  Many are gifts meant to be passed on to others as a sign of God’s love for them.

So I stood gazing at boxes of new Christmas trees with a dilemma–to make do or to purchase?  Suddenly I had an idea that made my heart soar!  Our old tree could go to someone who wouldn’t have one otherwise instead of taking a final trip to the landfill.

I talked to a staff member at our local domestic violence shelter, and this year our gently-used and previously-loved tree will stand tall with glimmering lights in the home of a woman who has recently moved to safety and freedom.  We’re hoping to meet her, help her set up the tree and string the lights while sharing God’s tremendous love for her in a simple gift.

Giving and receiving.  That’s what this time of year is all about.  God gave the gift of His Son, and we received the most extravagant gift of love ever.  It’s our job to pass it on, and what a joy that job is!


Today’s Giveaway:  One of the beauties of giving is that there are so many different ways to do it.  I’d love to hear how you’ve been led to give!

Leave a comment, and you’ll be included in a giveaway for:

~ a copy of The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns (That’s my raggedy copy in the picture, but you’ll get a new one!)

~ an ornament made by and benefitting artisans in Haiti

~and a cute change purse made by women in Bangladesh from recycled materials.

Okay–leave a comment telling us a way you’ve given that also helped others. Or, if time is tight, just say “Tis’ the season to GIVE!”

Remember, you have until Sunday night December 16th to comment on all the posts. One grand prize winner will be chosen from among the gals who post on all 12 days! The grand prize is:

A unique advent candle display depicting Bethlehem, Mary and Jesus, with votive holders and candles nestled inside. A $50 retail value. And, along with it, a copy of my new book LET. IT. GO. How to Stop Running the Show & Start Walking in Faith.


  1. I’ve been to Nicaragua on a mission trip the last few years and struggle with how wealthy we are in the US in comparison. It’s made me re-evaluate everything I spend on and to stop spending for me or mine and to spend for others instead. It’s amazing how my money stretches when I do so!

  2. I made crocheted preemie hats for a NICU in New York earlier in the year. I try to do for others as often as possible whether it be my time, my talents/skills or monetary giving.

  3. One thing I have been trying to do is give complements and encouragement to others. I have never been very good at it but I suddenly realized how it affected my day when I got it from others so I have been making a concerted effort to notice things and give encouragement!

  4. T’is the season to give!!! I’d rather not talk about things I have done for others. It is not I but Him working through me.

  5. This year we’re doing a number of smaller giving projects with our family. Simple things like treating our mail man and fire fighters to treats. I’ve also been blessed enough to be asked to donate my graphic design services to a local Christian pregnancy center.

  6. Recently, my husband found out that a lady at work (clerk’s pay) has no money to fix her car. It needs to be repaired and road worthy or she will not be able to spend time with her family this Christmas. We are paying for the repairs, plus giving her money to make the 6-7 hr trip to her family. We do give to missions, but so many people right here are hurting, and need a helping hand. I thank God for the blessings I have in my life, one of my greatest is helping his people.

  7. Helped collect toys and money for our Sheriff’s office Reserves who purchase gifts for children and foster care parents who are living on tight budgets.

  8. Each year, my son, husband, and I love to make shoe boxes for Samaritan’s Purse and their Operation Christmas Child! This is a great charitbale organization in which we take shoe boxes and fill them with things like tooth brushes and tooth paste, crayons and other little supplies, coloring books, small toys, and dropped off at our local Christian Radio station (spirit fm) they are then shipped to third world countries and missionaries who teach children about the love of Christ and give them the filled shoeboxes for Christmas! Every year since our son was born (he’s 7 years) we have done this as tradition!

  9. I have 3 children and each one picks a child off the Angel Tree and buys what’s on their list. This comes out of what my kids get for Christmas. They now want to get more kids to buy for (which means mine would get less) and we help local families and elderly men and women through our church.

  10. Throughout the year I give what I can when I can. Sometimes it is buying someone groceries or a meal, sometimes it is helping someone that needs help. Every year at VBS we have some project the kids are donating to and we always participate (last year it was mosquito nets, other years it has been clean water, soccer balls, blankets, etc.). Every Christmas we do at least one Christmas Child box and whatever our church is doing (this year it is toiletries for boys & girls club, last year it was hats & gloves). Giving really is better than receiving.

  11. I am truly blessed just by reading all the post of wonderful Christian ladies, who see a need s and show Jesus to the less fortunate arround their areas. God Bless them all!!
    My ladies bible study have done mentoring to others and have invited ladies who know some others who need help and we have collected foods for their pantries. We also do I love having my familiy fill shoeboxes for Samaritian Purse, my grandkids really love picking the items to go inside of the boxes. .My daughter and her husband and four kiddos also sponsor a compassion child that is similar in age to their kids ithey enjoy sending letters to him, May God Richly Bless the givers and receivers and May we show the light of his love to all this Christmas season . Love you all!!

  12. My daughters and I recently fundraised in our neighborhood to buy food and drink for the homeless. We also collected clothes and blankets.

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