Gifting and Making a Difference

December 9, 2013 in Minimalist Christmas by Lorilee Lippincott

Image:Master isolated images FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last week I talked about how I love gift giving.  I think it is a special and important part of Christmas.

Gifts don’t need to be big, expensive, multiple (many) or even material, but they are a way to say ‘I love you’ and ‘you’re special to me’.

So Simple Living and Minimalism don’t mean you need to give up on gifting or Christmas.

The saying ‘It’s the thought that counts’ is sooooo true with gifts.  The quality of the gift is much more important than the price or the quantity of gifts.

I wanted to post about several gifting ideas that make a difference.  The gift gets double the benefit: giving to someone special, and giving back to a cause that is making a difference.

Three Material Giving Suggestions

zeebee market logo1.  Zee Bee Market

I found this fun place on Instagram and they are always sharing cute stuff.

My favorite are the kids gloves and hats. They are super cute and kids seem to always need a good new pair of each of these.

starfish project logo2.  Starfish

I have shared this place several times on my blog and I really love what they do.  They work with women who have been caught in exploitation in Asia and offer them a way out, employment, education, shelter and so much more.  Our family worked with them last summer and they are legit and making a big difference.  They have a bunch of cool pieces in their new holiday collection.

worldstock logo3.  Worldstock Fair Trade

This is part of Overstock and is all Fair Trade.  60-70% of the sale price of the goods goes to the artisan.

As of the beginning of November this year they have paid over 100,000,000.00 to their artisans.  This is exciting!  So many of our things are created by people who are not paid much for what they do and the living conditions are not good.  Each one of these purchases creates a better world for someone else.  So fun!

Non-Material Giving

Here are 3 places you can give gifts to, or with, each other as a fun family tradition.  If you are in the middle of simplifying or if you don’t want to add any new ‘things’ to your life right now – these are perfect.  They are still gifting, still showing love and thought, and making a big difference too.

worldvision1.  World Vision Gift Catalog

We are sponsoring 2 kids with this organization and have always been very impressed with the way they work.

I love the gifts that can grow.  If you give chickens, than these chickens can provide eggs as well as more chickens.  More chickens, means more eggs and more chickens.  Lots of eggs and chickens means families can sell the extra and have money for school.  Money for school means the next generation can have better jobs and a shot at a better life . … and maybe when they grow up they can have the money to gift a chicken to someone else :)

Plus, what’s more fun than giving a goat or some chickens for Christmas?

Check out this cute video:

(If your having trouble viewing the video on my RSS, come by the website to watch the full video)

samaritans purse gift catalog 20132.  Samaritans Purse Gift Catalog

Samaritans Purse also has an option at check-out that lets you give the gift in someones honor.  So if you want to say “I bought you a cow”, you can :)

But it is so much more that.  You can rescue a child, send one to school, build a school, buy medical equipment, and so much more.  If you can give $10 as a gift – something amazing can happen.  If you want to give a large sum in someones honor – something amazing can happen.

Just looking through the catalog is so exciting!  The world may be full of pain, but there are amazing things happening – and we can be part of the good!

unicef gift catalog3.  UNICEF Inspired Gifts

This is a beautiful and easy to use website.  You can get lost wandering around between all the good causes.  Their pictures are great too :)

Things that jumped out at me were buying a first aid kit, a blanket (because I really like my blankets in the winter), and paying for vaccines for kids.

There you have it!  A bunch of fun options for Christmas that can be ‘fun for the whole family’ (and do so much good beyond your doors as well).  Find some time to rest and enjoy the season this week.  I wish you Happy Shopping and a Merry Week!

Note: There are no affiliate links in this post.  These are all places I personally recommend (though I have not personally shopped at all of them).  I get nothing from recommending them, or from your purchase/donation if you do. There is so much I wish I could do in the world but don’t have the time or ability to.  I want to support the people who are able to do this work!