To be really honest, I have conflicted feelings about Christmas.
I LOVE the lights, the trees, the decorations, the overall beauty and festive spirit…
…but quite frankly, I hate the consumerism.
And it confuses the heck out of me how going broke buying gifts for people who already have everything, and throwing parties can be called a celebration of Christ’s birth.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be right there with you downing Christmas cookies, but the only thing in my mind that can reconcile the mass exchange of gifts as anything other than rabid consumerism driven largely by corporate greed is if my purchases are helping someone who actually does need it.
After all, when Christ was born, his gift to us was to fulfill our ultimate need of salvation, and the spirit of Christmas is suppose to reflect that by showing our thankfulness in gifting others with help they need.
I know that a lot of you won’t feel as strongly as I do on this subject, but since I’ve compiled a list of places that use a large portion of the money spent with them for charitable causes for my own purposes anyway, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to share it with you, and I urge you to use it, and to think twice before thoughtlessly buying another toy at Target.
Finding Christmas Gifts That Give
Toms. You probably already know that when you buy a pair of shoes from Toms, you give a pair to a child in need, but that’s not there only program. My own favorite, because childbirth is near and dear to my heart, is that when you buy a Toms bag, you help provide a safe birth for a mother and baby in need. Now that’s a charitable cause I could get in to!
The Mercy House. They’re not a big retailer like Toms, and maybe that’s to their advantage. While you can donate directly, you can also buy jewelry, bags, and other accessories made by women around the globe. Their earrings and bracelets would make fabulous stocking stuffers!
Love Your Melon. For every hat purchased, a hat is given to a child battling cancer. A hat is more than a way to cover a head, it’s a token of love, and encouragement to a child going through a rough time.
Overflow Bottles. I can’t believe I’m recommending an aluminum bottle, but every bottle purchased provides a person with 20 years of clean water on average, and you can’t beat that! These bottles would make great stocking stuffers!
GoodSpread. It’s peanut butter make with honey (most peanut butter is filled with processed sugar), but it’s so much more than that! From their website “We’ve found that a little bit of peanut butter can go a long way. For every Good Spread product sold, we provide a packet of RUTF (basically peanut butter filled with essential nutrients) to kids suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition. With just 3 servings of RUTF a day for 4-6 weeks, malnutrition is completely eradicated in over 98% of children. To us, that’s miraculous.”
Roma Boots. For every pair of Roma Boots sold, a new pair is donated to a child in need. This is such a great concept! If you’re a mom, you know how hard it is to keep shoes on your kids (they grow and/or tear them up so fast!), and I can only imagine being so poor that we couldn’t put shoes on our kids’ feet!
Panda makes bamboo-framed sunglasses, and for every pair sold, they provide and eye exam, and a pair of prescription glasses to a person in need through Optometry Giving Sight. These are cool, unique glasses – even if a bit pricey – and I think we can all agree that this is a worthy cause!
Baby Teresa. From their website: “Baby Teresa sells a line of gorgeous 100% organic cotton baby clothing and accessories. For each baby outfit we sell we also donate another to a child in need. For each accessory item we sell, a portion of the sales go to purchasing formula for babies in need (typically in orphanages). So far we’ve made donations in over 20 countries from Peru to Indonesia, Australia to France and Uganda to Egypt to name a few. Our baby clothes and accessories are soft, cuddly, fair trade and make a superb baby shower gift.”
Twice As Warm. Each Purchase provides a new clothing item to a person in need. With winter coming on, I think we would do well to be mindful that there are those who can’t afford to dress warmly. That is a terrible position to be in, and I hate being cold, so I’m totally on board with this company’s mission!
Hand in Hand. By directly tying charitable donations to the sale of an everyday product, Hand in Hand is able to give soap and clean water to those in need and save lives without depending on a single donation. For every bar purchased, Hand in Hand donates a bar of soap and provides a month of clean water to children in need.
Out of Print Clothing. These are perfect for the book lovers on your Christmas list! Out of Print celebrates the world’s great stories through fashion. Products feature iconic and often out of print book covers. For each product sold, one book is donated to a community in need through our partner Books For Africa.
The Company Store. For Each Comforter sold, a comforter is donated to a homeless child in the U.S. I love this idea on a personal level, because more than anything, I despise being cold.