A few weeks ago a couple of our kids were given Operation Christmas Child boxes at church. On our way out, the other two were offered boxes too- and I politely declined, I think I said something about having other commitments for extra giving this holiday season (true).
But I also have reservations about the program- caveat for the instant-reactors- it's not all bad. But I feel like there are too many aspects to this giving concept that this family wants to take a thoughtful step back from- and I think churches and businesses sign up for this all-too-quickly because it fills our desire to give a small offering to the guilt-gods around this time of year. It's a non-sacrifice for most families who participate- giving them a momentary feeling of satisfaction because they gave to those sweet children in the pictures.... While turning around to give extravagantly to their own family.
I just don't want to do this one. Which people don't always understand. Declining something like this can be communicated as selfishness- as if I don't want to give to others, or don't support the spreading of the Gospel in this way (which, well, maybe I don't...I don't know). Anyway- we don't do it. It's complicated.
And this Sojourner's article encapsulates many of my reservations about it.