Friday, November 20, 2009

Gifts That Give Us All More

How did this happen? It’s November 20th already! I promised myself that all of my Christmas shopping would be done by the end of November so that I would be free and clear to really enjoy the festivities – famjams, visits, dinners – that I love so much.

As optimistic that I usually am, I’m not sure I’m gonna make it this year. I haven’t even started. I haven’t formulated my thoughts around what special gifts I want to make/buy/order for the special ones in my life. And it really has to start with the thought, otherwise you waste countless hours aimlessly wandering a mall, wide eyed and panic stricken or glazed over and zombie like. I’ve done both.

But not this year! Last year I decided to bring extra joy and meaning to my Christmas gift giving and vowed not to do anything without love in my heart – I imposed a "no complaining" sanction on myself. I focused on buying gifts that were either handcrafted, locally or Canadian made, fair trade, organic or made from recycled materials. I also gave gifts that keep on giving: Kiva microloan gift certificates, cows and goats from Heifer.org, water for African communities and education for Afghan girls. The GreaterGood.org website has a huge variety of ideas for Gifts that Give More and trust me when I tell you that when you hit that donate/buy key, you will feel a rush of satisfaction knowing that you just gave a second chance to someone who really needs it.

I didn’t buy any wrapping paper so I had a lot of fun trying to figure out how to disguise the gifts in creative ways (hello newspaper, coffee cans and tea towels!). I found joy in the journey and it was one of my most memorable holidays ever. I plan to do the same this year … Pity the one who gets pjs that smell like dark roast.

Actually – after writing all that out, I’m thinking that I may not have to leave the comfort of my couch! Just have to figure out where to keep that cow …

Do you have some sites or ideas for creative, thoughtful Christmas gifts? Do share!

3 comments:

  1. I've been looking on the animal rescue site.

    http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=3

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  2. These are all wonderful ideas Lyn, i've used some of them too. I am adopting some of the endangered species at the World Wildlife Federation for gifts too. You get a certificate and a small stuffed animal to give. It's fun to choose the animal that you think each person would love. I save all the cartons from the oats we eat everyday to wrap gifts in. no paper is needed, if you peel off the label, the carton is ready to decorate any way you like!
    Happy shopping (or creating)

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  3. Fabulous, Lyn!!! I am truly inspired!! I've been making all my gifts...but I know that many charitable organizations will send cards when you donate in someone's name...and I think that is simply a wonderful idea!!!Thanks for sharing your thoughts...you've really made me consider some more creative options for Christmas giving this year!! And I LOVE IT!!! Love you~Janine XO

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