A Buyers Guide to the Best Christmas Presents Ever

I want to welcome all of our new followers to the Hot Sauce 4 Good blog - you are now 4Gooders responsible to help us change the world for the positive! A special thank you to Lynne at 365 Days of Baking and her legion of 400,000 followers and a challenge - how would you use hot sauce in your baking? Now, onto the post... I love this time of the year - I really do. The Christmas season brings with it an explosion of sights and sounds, lights and music, colors and aromas unlike no other time of the year. It's exciting on so many levels! The thing I like best about Christmas is the presents…well, one in particular. I love that it is an opportunity for us to live in the present and honor the gift that God gave the world, and each of us, with the birth of His Son on that first Christmas day.

We have all been given gifts in our lives, and opportunities to use them to make a difference in the lives of others. During the rush up to the big day, take a step back, a deep cleansing breath and say a little prayer for those less fortunate. Beyond that I have a few gift giving opportunities for you to consider - ones that will make a tangible difference in an individual, a family and a community. The title of the post says "the best Christmas presents ever" - after reading this I hope you agree.

  • A bag of coffee. This bag of coffee comes with a special gift card that can be used to fund an entrepreneur in a developing country, We have been supporting World Vision Micro with the proceeds from our hot sauce sales so anyone who has had our hot sauce has been funding micro loans. This is your opportunity to get involved directly. The coffee is from Land of a Thousand Hills and is a special blend from Rwanda. It is some of the best coffee in the world, grown and processed in a fair trade certified co-op that is renewing life in the countries they work in (Rwanda, Haiti, Ethiopia). Warning - once you try the coffee you won't want to drink anything else!

  • A hair band. Not just any hair band - a Reverse the Course hair band. Mary Grace a 17 year old girl from Connecticut has started a company making and selling hair bands, All the profits from the sale of her hair bands goes to paying for the education of young women in Uganda. Since she started this 4 years ago, she has been able to pay for over 35 girls to attend secondary school. How wonderful would it be to get one of these beautiful hair bands in your stocking if you are a little girl - and even better, have the story attached. Every time your daughter, grand daughter, niece, friend (or you) wear the band you would know that you have made a difference in someone's life.
  • A T-Shirt .A special t-shirt. A Hot Sauce 4 Good t-shirt. Why? Because all of the profit from the sale of our tees goes to support one of our charities. In addition to World Vision, you aresupporting the St. Francis Breadline in NYC feeding the homeless everyday and the WILL Foundation - a Christian school in China for little boys who have been rejected by society because they are not 'perfect'. You would instantly raise the coolness factor of the recipient of this t-shirt by a factor of 7.7 - it's a scientific fact. Don't believe me? You'll have to try it for yourself to find out.
  • Hot Sauce. Sorry, we are sold out right now but we should have some available in the spring. You'll just have to do with those national brands until we can make more!

Christmas isn't only about giving - it's about receiving too and what's better than receiving the thanks of those who need it most. Every girl who is educated, every business that is funded, family that can sell their cheese or homeless person who has a meal because of you will be thanking and praying for you. Remember, as Jesus said, "everything you do for the least of these you do for me."

This Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let's not only remember to keep Christ in Christmas but to be Christ. Let us take every opportunity to smile, thank, pray and love.

God bless you all!

Remember - you can help us change the world one bottle at a time!

Bits and Pieces:

  1. We have asked for prayers for Silas Huffman in the past. He's a little boy (an infant) who was awaiting an heart transplant. Prayers have been answered - he got one this past week. Please continue to pray for him and for the donor family.
  2. We are going to be spending the day at the Rutgers Food Innovation Center in Bridgeton, NJ on Thursday Dec. 19 in their test kitchen and working with their experts. This is the first step in our goal of being able to scale up production so we are not ever in the "sold out" state again! Although, it is cool to be able to say "sold out" I really hate disappointing you all.
  3. Our friend PJ Anderson just released a new music video - check it out! http://youtu.be/PcizR6Nf9YY
  4. If you have the chance to register for a Leadercast.com simulcast (or come to Atlanta for the live main event) you should do it! Guess who is going to be there appearing on the same stage as Malcolm Gladwell, Simon Sinek, Laura Bush and Archbishop Desmond Tutu? I'll give you one hint - they make the best hot sauce in the world and they are sold out at the moment. OK, that was two hints. I'll be telling you much more about this in the coming months though. The event is May 9th. Check it out - http://leadercast.com

Matthew 25:31-46 (NIV) The Sheep and the Goats

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Do Good, World VisionBob Ferretti