With Christmas rapidly approaching, I'd like to offer a suggestion. Instead of asking for socks, Starbucks cards, perfume, clothes ... the usual stuff ... why not ask that someone make a donation in your name to Gospel for Asia?
You'd be amazed at what a $11 contribution can do. For $11, you can buy a pair of chickens or rabbits for an impoverished family in India and help them start a cottage industry. Blankets can be had for just $5; Bibles for $3. Or if you want to help a woman feed her children, you can provide a treadle sewing machine for $85. The list--and the needs--are endless.
Here's the link to the Gospel For Asia donation site: Donation - Gospel for Asia
Once there, you can browse through the different categories and find something that tugs at you. Better yet, get your children involved. This is an opportunity to open their eyes to the world around them, teach them about giving, and perhaps even lessen some of the materialism that they (and us) have allowed to creep in.
Last year, this is what I asked for when my husband asked what I wanted. And when he gave me a printed sheet of all the things he'd bought at the site, it made me cry. I can't remember the last time a gift made me cry.
Do this once and you won't want to stop. I promise.