01 December 2006
Holiday Gift Suggestions
My holiday shopping list has never been completely stuff-free, largely because I have young nieces and nephews. For children a certain level of stuff-i-ness is expected at the holidays, though I tend towards books, or handknits, or maybe gift certificates to buy clothes or books. I do try to put some thought into gifts, and so far I haven't gotten a "This present sucks" out of any of them. Of course, the oldest one only just became a teenager, so who knows what awaits.
For the adults on my list, though, I don't see much need to buy more stuff, and they are generally happy not to have more stuff to deal with. So the largest chunk of my holiday giving this year is going to Seva Foundation. I've given to them before and really like the work they do to improve health and civil stability in indigenous communities.
Another organization I've given to in the past and will give to in the future is Heifer International. Most of their programs are to provide livestock and animal husbandry training. As a vegetarian, I'll admit to being a bit uneasy about contributing to buying food animals, - even though I realize that's the best food option in some parts of the world - but they also have programs to provide honeybees and to provide trees for reforestation projects, both of which I gladly support.
So before you decide that this is the hot ticket item for everyone on your list this holiday season, maybe you can step back and consider putting your money towards helping people in need live healthy, full lives. After all, isn't that what the season is supposed to be about?