Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Gift choices as the holidays approach

You'll probably need to squint to read the words - Give Back
A few years ago, I probably would have scoffed at this idea, but 2 things could possibly be responsible for my new way of thinking.
a) I am coming of age and now thinking like a 'responsible' adult
b)Too many years away from home and living abroad is seriously affecting the way I think.

Either way, I love it.

I'm talking about Christmas presents that give back, gifts that make a difference. (I know - that designer bag or the latest tech toy will make a difference(!) to your life, but stay with me on this one, please!)

As the holidays approach, the frenzy increases and people start shopping for gifts for loved ones.
Sometimes we get it right (a cool iPad that gets an instant Facebook update of 'coolest parents eva!!!' from a happy teenager) or we get it absolutely wrong (a sweater or cardigan that gets an over-effusive 'Thank You!!!' but never gets worn and ends up being donated to a charity shop, hoping some other child ends up loving it!)

The first time I received a gift that made a difference, it took me a while to understand the concept. I opened the envelope expectantly, saw the card and thought to myself - 'Now, how on earth is this a gift for me????'  But now I fully get it.

It was the gift of a goat for a poor farmer, somewhere in Kenya. By contributing towards buying the goat for the farmer, the farmer and his family will be able to farm, have milk and stay healthy and nourished - all from the simple amount my friend contributed.

Such gifts are priceless. In a world where a few have so much, and the rest are living in borderline poverty, it is nice if we can help one another - any which way.

I am even trying to pass that on to my kids, but that's taking a little bit more hard-selling than I can muster for now. But I will persevere, because I don't think it's a bad idea. It will help people and you end up with that feeling of 'Did I just do something amazingly awesome?!' Oh, Yes!!! (Do I see you reaching for your halo now?!)

So c'mon. Let's get creative with gift choices over this holiday season. Find a reputable charity and see where you can help.

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