Christmas gifts


I just finished my Christmas shopping yesterday and am working on my last handmade gift.  Hooray!

If you’re still working on getting the right presents for all the people on your list, here are a few suggestions (updated slightly from last year’s version of this post).

Fairly-traded items

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.”

Education and More “works with several artisan groups in the rural areas of Guatemala to help them earn a fair income to support their families and educate their children.”  You can shop their online store here.

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 those in greater need.

World Hope International “is a Christian relief and development organization working with vulnerable and exploited communities to alleviate poverty, suffering and injustice.”  (Find their gift catalog here.)

International Justice Mission “is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.”  (Find their gift catalog here.)

Compassion International  “helps more than 1.2 million children in 26 countries.”  (Find their gift catalog here.)

World Vision is “[m]otivated by … faith in Jesus Christ, [to] serve alongside the poor and oppressed as a demonstration of God’s unconditional love for all people.” (Find their gift catalog here.)

Other ideas

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.  (I’m so excited to pass along some of the treasure that I’ve found this year!)  😉

The old standbys 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!).

And I’m definitely not above re-gifting.  😉  If you know that someone else in your life would better appreciate or be more likely to use something that you’ve received as a gift, why not pass it along?  There are obvious caveats to observe with this practice, but if done right, it can benefit you and your giftee.

Do you have other sources for meaningful gifts or other creative gift ideas to recommend?


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