Christmas is the time of giving and showing how much you care about others. This year, instead of buying traditional consumerist gifts from a shopping centre, why not consider purchasing gifts that will keep on giving?
Check out these three Christmas gifts that will ensure you support those in need and ethical companies.
Punjammies pyjama bottoms
By buying one of these cute and colourful pyjama sets, you’ll be supporting the not-for-profit International Princess Project, which works to ensure the economic freedom of women in India and keeps them free from sexual slavery.
The pants are made of cotton and are inspired by traditional sari patterns. They are printed by hand by the very women who need your support, using organic dyes and traditional kalamkari wood blocks. Each style is named after a woman working in one of the sewing centres.
Check out the colourful and fun Punjammie patterns at Change Merchants.
Operation Christmas Child
Every year the Australia and New Zealand-based international relief organisation, Samaritan’s Purse, facilitates an outreach program called Operation Christmas Child.
More than 300,000 children in over seven countries, such as PNG, Vanuatu, Thailand, Cambodia and Samoa, have had their Christmases brightened, receiving gift boxes donated by generous Australians and New Zealanders, whom they will never meet.
To be one of these generous people, all you need to do is grab a shoe box and fill it with six items that light up the world of a child in need. These items must include: something to love, something for school, something to wear, something to play with, something for personal hygiene and something special. You can select the age and gender of the child to whom you wish to give your gift. Grandchildren will love being a part of this project, learning what it means to be generous.
Donate a Christmas box at Operation Christmas Child.
Buy an experience or donation instead of a gift
This year, avoid buying physical gifts and think about swapping them for experiences or donations. For example, instead of buying yet another CD for a music-enthusiast, opt for a singing lesson or a ticket to a live music event. An animal-lover can have an endangered wild animal, such as a tiger or elephant, adopted on their behalf from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). And for the person in your life who loves fishing, chartering a boat and taking a fishing day-trip could be right up their alley.
Alternatively, you can consider donating to worthy organisations on someone’s behalf. Oxfam’s Oxfam Unwrapped gifting system allows humanitarian-minded people to buy everyday necessities for people overseas who are living below the poverty line. For just $10 you can give the gift of a chicken, while $20 feeds breakfast to a child and $98 provides water for an entire school. UNICEF Australia provides a similar service, where you can buy polio vaccines for 200 children for $40 and 500 pencils for $20. You even receive a card showing what you’ve bought so you can give it to the ‘recipient’ on Christmas Day.
Adopt a WWF endangered animal.
Donate an Oxfam Unwrapped gift.
Donate a UNICEF Christmas Charity gift.