When it comes to Christmas, the Duggar family isn’t the type to tear open a pile of gifts and call it a day. As anyone who follows 19 Kids & Counting knows, this mega-household is rooted in a deep Christian faith and a desire to do God’s work through service – and the holidays are no exception.
Mom Michelle writes in her TLC blog that they spend the weeks before Christmas doing charity work. One of their biggest efforts: traveling to El Salvador to give gifts to needy families. This project is so close to the Duggars’ hearts that they spend most of their holiday budget on it rather than buying extravagant presents for one another.
The family typically buys toys and backpacks for village children. “One year, we purchased a bunch of backpacks and soccer balls, flattened them out and packed them into big duffle bags as our checked luggage,” Michelle writes. “Everyone took a small carry-on bag for their personal items and clothing for the trip.” This thrifty move saves them from having to ship the supplies separately.
Once they arrive, the Duggars stock up on rice, beans and other staples before heading into the villages and mountain regions to give out their offerings at a big party. “The parents…are just as excited about the party and the gifts as the kids,” Michelle says.
The trip benefits not only the Salvadoran families, but the young Duggars as well. “Our children get an understanding that the way we live here is not the way most people in the world live,” writes Michelle. “We are definitely blessed in America. We’ve got so much to be grateful for.”
One year, Michelle overheard a conversation among her older girls that let her know that the significance of the trip wasn’t lost on them. The teens hadn’t had a chance to shop for their Christmas presents, but having just come back from that impoverished area of the world, they decided that they had everything they needed.
“And I thought, ‘Thank you, Lord,'” Michelle concludes. “That is exactly what we were praying they would get out of this, this vision of how the rest of the world lives and how blessed we are.”
What do you think? Will you be doing any charity work this holiday?
[Photo: via TLC]
Read more of Shana’s writing at Momsperiments.
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