Monday, December 12, 2011

12th activity of Advent: a goat and some bees

This morning's Advent-calendar tag required some explanation. For many of them, Lucy's been able to "read" the illustration, but she seemed a bit baffled about this one: "it's got a chicken on it?"

Each year, we make a donation to the Heifer Project, but of course Lucy doesn't know that. We thought it would be nice to have her opinion this year as we made our decision about what to "buy": chickens? bees? a water buffalo? a camel? At two months shy of three, Lucy is very generous and thoughtful, and is absolutely ready to participate in such decisions.

I love talking with her about things. At first, she thought we should buy a lamb. (The first thing in the catalog.) I encouraged her to look at everything first, and then decide. As we looked through, she was curious about what each animal was for, asking questions like "does a water buffalo have udders like a cow so they can milk it?" We talked about wool, milk, eggs, manure. She thought we ought to buy a camel. (What a fun idea, isn't it?) I explained that we couldn't afford a whole camel, and asked if she thought we should contribute money toward one, or find something we could pay for completely. Like me, she felt most satisfied knowing we'd "bought" something concrete. (They actually put your money where it's most needed, but it's fun to think you've decided.) So then she chose a goat. I've always wanted a goat, so I liked that plan, too. And I always like to buy chickens and bees, so I gave her the choice, and she chose bees. So it's settled: a goat and some bees. Pretty satisfying, for a family whose focus is so much on local food.

This year, we're also making an additional donation, here. Flower Patch Farmgirl is one of those bloggers I love to read: she makes me think, makes me laugh out loud (which is very hard to do!), and I can't get enough of those cute kids. She and I approach religion in very different ways, but I really respect her faith and conviction, and when she says she want to build a well, I know she'll do it. And I want to help.

I love making this choice a part of our Advent activities. It's a good way to keep the emphasis on giving, rather than on getting. And boy, is it extra fun when your two-year-old helps. Isn't everything?

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