Tuesday, October 27, 2009

High five right here, please

Honestly, there are so many times as a parent when I get it wrong. Really wrong. Like my swearing policy: "These are words I am only allowed to use because I am a grown-up. You are a child and will have to wait until you are a grown-up to use them. Like alcohol." This totally did not work and I had a lot of explaining to do when other parents observed that my daughter had been using some rather inappropriate language. I had to explain to everyone that I was an obvious idiot and it was all my fault for instituting such a flawed policy. Although it's worked with martinis—at least for now.

Bu check this out: For Christmas Sophie does not want an American Girl doll. YES!!!!

Horrified by the prices and still pissed at them for having a character in their live show declare about World War II "The war is over! Hurray, we won!!" (yes, I took Sophie to the doll worship center in Los Angeles for the doll purchase, doll lunch, doll show, and doll photo session and then had to spend the drive home explaining that in a war, no one wins and that whereas the American Girl people are not necessarily bad people, they are clearly very confused), I have been removing all American Girl catalogs from our home, if I'm lucky even before they make it into the house from the mail box. "Recycle it! Before she sees it!!" I hiss at Husband, because I know the progress we have made is fragile and could be compromised by a single holiday catalog. 

Instead of an overpriced, slickly marketed doll requiring her own furniture, wardrobe, accessories, and pet, Sophie would like A GOAT. And the best part (I made sure she knew this): A goat that does not ever come to my home.

In place of the American Girl catalog, I slyly left the holiday catalog from one of my favorite nonprofits, Heifer International, on the kitchen table. Heifer works to end global poverty by giving individuals livestock animals that they can use to generate food and income with the goal of becoming self-reliant. There are gifts available at a variety of donations ranging from chicks ($20) and bees ($30) to goats ($120) and water buffalo ($250). Here's what Sophie's goat will do for another child:
The gift of a dairy goat represents a lasting, meaningful way for you to help a little boy or girl on the other side of the world.

Goats can thrive in extreme climates and on poor, dry land by eating grass and leaves. The gift of a dairy goat can supply a family with up to several quarts of nutritious milk a day - a ton of milk a year. Extra milk can be sold or used to make cheese, butter or yogurt. Families learn to use goat manure to fertilize gardens.

Goats often have two or three kids a year making it easy for Heifer recipients to pass on the gift of a goat to another family in need. This great investment allows our partners to lift themselves out of poverty by starting small dairies that earn money for food, health care and education.
I explained that neither the goat nor the child will be sending her a letter or photograph. They will never visit us nor we them. She will have only what is in her heart. 

If you know someone who has everything and needs nothing, please think about a Heifer gift for them. You do get a lovely card showing the animal you have donated to print from their website or have sent. No trip to the mall required. 

In the name of full disclosure: Sophie will have a gift to unwrap. Husband ordered her a wood burning kit. If we find her name burned into a window sill or wood wall, I told him so. 


Mrs.Preppy said...

I love Heifer. They do such wonderful things around the world. Growing up, we would always donate animals... I hope my daughter is like Sophie and realizes the importance of Heifer International.

ElleBee said...

Heifer is so cool. My nephews' preschool collected enough money to donate a cow to a village. You are raising one amazing young lady! :)

tommie said...

what an awesome idea.

we have yet to get into the American doll phase, we are still stuck in Polly pockets and Barbies. yeah me!

Kate said...

Awesome! We are doing the Heifer project in lieu of gifts w/ all the adults on my side of the family.

Caroline is not getting another American girl anytime soon...she gave the other one she had "tattoos."

Pegs said...

Thank you for a wonderful Christmas gift idea. Everyone I know will be giving goats!

KatieGirlBlue said...

LOVE THIS! What a girl.

Goats for our gifting, too. So happy to do it.

"We won?" Good god.

Kate said...

What a wonderful idea, and I can hardly believe what a conscientous mom you are. I'm taking notes, and there will definitely be a few more people with goats under their trees this year because of this post!

Anonymous said...

Love the Heifer catalog - we look forward to receiving it each year at this time. I have been lobbying for three years now that DH and I should club together with his brother and get his parents a water buffalo. Alas, they've gone with wine clubs, theater tickets, and B and B stay. Maybe this will be the year!

Props to Sophie for being more socially conscious than two adult men with advanced degrees!

Hobo Mama said...

Oh, I love Heifer, too! I gave a water buffalo to my family members one year (because that sounded funny), and no one said anything. (I also gave them something to unwrap.) I wondered if I'd offended them somehow by giving a gift to someone else? Or was it showing off that I was charitable? Ah, well, I didn't do it again, but I do still give to Heifer all by my lonesome.

adozeneggs said...

I've never heard of Heifer. What a great idea.
PS I think those American Girl dolls are so creepy. I used to be the "doll department manager" at FAO Schwarz in Boston. Some of the dolls we sold had human hair and were $600. Unbelievably gross.
I'll stick with barbie and a goat.