April the Goat

Me and the goat

This is April. She is a goat. We became friends. Though, just long enough for this picture.

It will make sense in a second.

It’s Christmas time. I can tell because bows have found themselves on every possible surface, and people are suddenly very excited about giving back.

I have a hard time with Christmas. Well, let me rephrase: I have a hard time with Christmas presents. (Christmas is great, go baby Jesus.)

Let’s enter into my inner monologue concerning Christmas gifts:

Do I get them a present, and if so, what do I get them? Do I think of a gift or do I just spend time wandering the isles of store until I am inspired or annoyed enough to buy something? How much money do I spend? Will they judge me if I put it in a gift bag because I really hate dealing with wrapping paper? Is one gift enough? Do they like me enough to pretend to like the gift even though they hate it? 

And down it goes.

So, to manage this terrible and stressful spiral of thinking, a few years ago, I tried to stop just giving gifts.

Some people in my life were not the biggest fans of this move. I mean come on, its Christmas.

But I couldn’t keep buying crap because I felt obligated to, and then trying to figure out how it would fit into peoples lives. So I wanted to get things people needed, and we are American and don’t often wait for Christmas for the things we need. We get them ourselves, and then restock our scarf collection during the holidays.

(whew, that’s cheery, I know, but keep with me)

Turns out, though, that a lot of other people outside my context did need things. Like really needed it. Like water, and food, and shelter, and medicine.

So one year I bought my dad some chickens, and they went to someone starting an egg business.

And, this is really cool, my dad liked that gift.

So I kept doing it.

Then, I did this crazy YAV thing, and  we visited one of Heifer International’s farms. That is where I met April the Goat, and I realized that these parts of myself, the part looking for justice, the part so anxious and crazy about gift giving, are joined together in working on something so much bigger than myself. That’s pretty cool.

Thanks for reading,

(P.S. I still think presents are okay. This just me spewing about how I feel, and there are plenty of people who have magical ability to give the perfect thing, and it truly is important. This, however, is not me.)


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