OK – this is not what you think… I’m not going to provide you with a list of sustainable / fair trade gifts to save you from your last-minute shopping anxiety. Rather, I am going to propose a simple idea that I implemented with some relatives last year and which continues in 2009:
Give to your friends’ and relatives’ favorite charities!
Think about what we are celebrating here… The birth of Jesus Christ. Last time I checked, Jesus did not buy expensive gifts for his friends. In fact, he encouraged his followers to give to those who have nothing to give in return. He asked us to invite the poor and the outcast to our table. We surround ourselves with our loved ones in our cozy, decorated houses and forget those who don’t have a roof over their heads. I am guilty of this as well. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the expectations surrounding Christmas and get all stressed out about getting everybody the perfect gift.
The beauty is that the perfect gift is simple: giving to organizations that are working toward making this a better world. Or better yet, inviting someone who doesn’t have a family to share the holidays.
Here are some of my favorite charitable organizations that work toward a just and peaceful world: