If you’re still working on getting the right presents for all the people on your list, here are a few suggestions.
For unique gifts with an international flair, you might try something from one of these online fair trade retailers or from a local store in your community that offers fair trade products.
Ten Thousand Villages has a wide variety of gifts from around the world. Their vision is that “one day all artisans in the developing countries will earn a fair wage, be treated with dignity and respect and be able to live a life of quality.”
SERRV also offers beautiful gifts from artisans worldwide. Their mission is to “to eradicate poverty wherever it resides by providing opportunity and support to artisans and farmers worldwide.”
Donations in honor of your recipient
Most of us don’t really NEED a lot more stuff, and more and more organizations are making it easy to honor someone with a gift in their honor that benefits someone in greater need.
Books from somewhere besides Amazon 😉 I’ve personally had great success in purchasing from Better World Books. They have free shipping in the U.S. and “collect and sell books online to donate books and fund literacy initiatives worldwide.” I’ve often found books cheaper here than through Amazon (especially with the cost of shipping taken into account).
Kiva gift certificates allow the recipient to choose an entrepreneur from somewhere around the world and help fund a micro-loan for their business. After the money is re-paid, you can choose a new entrepreneur and start the process again.
Thrift store gems can be just as much fun as something new. If you keep an eye out year ’round, you might be able to build up a stash of great gifts long before the holiday season rolls around. And, it’s good for your wallet and the environment. 🙂
The old standby’s of something homemade or a gift of time are oldies but goodies. It may not be feasible for everyone on your list, but if you think about gift giving creatively, you might be surprised at what you can come up with. Do you write poetry, make jam, take beautiful photos, bake awesome cookies, do an amazing job at organizing closets? Someone you know might really appreciate one of these things!
A treasured possession that you no longer need or have space for can mean a lot to the right person (just be sure that you’re willing to part with it!).
Do you have other sources for meaningful gifts to recommend?