There is always time to start a new Christmas tradition, which is exactly what Curt and Phyllis Dorsing did five years ago when they began sharing Mennonite Central Committee’s (MCC) Christmas giving booklet with their grandchildren.
Each year, the Dorsing grandchildren choose a Christmas gift from the collection of colorful photos and simple descriptions in the booklet. The gift is not one that the children who live near Federal Way, Washington, will receive, but one that MCC will give to people in need around the world.
Photo courtesy of Erin Whitt
MCC makes it easy for families like theirs to choose Christmas gifts full of purpose and practicality. From tangible gifts such as fruit trees, wells and goats to broader gifts of hope and welcome, each gift helps people to improve their life in some way.
The Dorsings, of Othello, Washington, served two separate terms with MCC in Bolivia in the 1970s and 1980s. They were grateful that they didn’t need to raise support to serve with MCC, so they volunteered with the Mennonite Country Auction in Washington for more than 30 years, helping to raise money for MCC.
Nearly 40 years after being in Bolivia, they continued supporting MCC by starting the Christmas giving tradition, one that now involves their entire family.
MCC photo/Matthew Lester; Graphic/Abby Dixon
Through this tradition, the Dorsings said they have witnessed their grandchildren wondering why people live differently than they do and pondering what they can do to help them.
“We see a bit of the light go on in our grandchildren’s heads when they connect the dots about giving to others. It’s more joy on my part to watch them and help them understand what the giving means,” says Curt Dorsing.
Reflecting on their Christmas tradition, the Dorsings feel blessed and look forward to sitting down with their grandkids again this year. “It is a joyful experience for us. We hope that this tradition will be an encouragement for others to give. Giving to MCC is a whole family Christmas gift,” says Phyllis Dorsing.
This Christmas season, MCC invites you to:
- Choose from gifts online or request a printed booklet by calling 888-563-4676.
- Send a colorable card with a gift of lanterns, chicks, pigs and goats. Parents can download a card for children to color to give to friends and family. Or grandparents can choose a gift for a child and give them the card to color.
- Request a free, downloadable resource that helps families to talk with children about generosity and MCC Christmas giving. The resource includes printable pages with activities, a story, a craft to make and gift ideas at mcc.org/generosity.