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?


Anonymous said...

I once received a gift from a friend/coworker of a little baby seal that I could put on my desk. In the box with the seal was an explanation that the proceeds from the sale of that item went to save the seals. I was so touched, I cried. Best gift!

JoVE said...

yep, I'm thinking about goats and wells, too. Oxfam will send "gift of peace" cards. World Vision has a whole catalogue of things from goats to immunizations to wells. And a friend said that Foster Parents Plan has a similar program which I might look into. Thanks for letting us know what yours are.

Anonymous said...

OMG like a chia pet gone wild or one of those singing bass...ick. Heifer has been xmas gifts for us as well as teacher gifts. The teachers REALLY like that. Since we can't afford to buy people whole sheep and want to "give" entire animals, it has typically been flocks of ducks, chicks, the honeybees. And they lay eggs! (well not the bees).

Anonymous said...

It is so in keeping with the season to remember others. And with so many in need around the world right now it is just wonderful that there are organizations that can help by using our holiday gifts!

Dave Patterson said...

Thanks for the kind words about Heifer International. I joined Heifer as new media director last year and really appreciate it when someone blogs about us.

We have a new BlogRaising program that lets bloggers like you help us get the word out about Heifer and raise the money we need to do our work. To learn more, just go to www.heifer.org/onlinecommunityfundraising

I hope you are able to take part.

Again thanks for the good words.