The Gift For Someone with Everything

oxfam.png It's been a common refrain in my family household for years: "don't get me any more stuff- my shelves are packed with things I never use." So when holiday time rolls around, I've taken to alternative gift-giving methods. Want to give to a family member who has seemingly every gadget out there? Try, instead, by giving to someone who has nothing, in your family member's name.

Redefine Christmas is a movement started to encourage replacing obligatory, often meaningless, gifts with gifts of charity. With charity rates falling over 30% since October, and need rising 60% in the same time span, such movements are increasingly necessary. Redefine Christmas is a great tool, allowing the user to pick and choose from a wide variety of charities (from local to national) to suit the gift-giver and receiver. You can even give gift cards to your friends and family through the site, allowing them to choose what charities to support, rather than what trinket to buy and neglect.

A personal favorite of mine, Oxfam International has a cute and clever gift-giving strategy as well, called Oxfam Unwrapped. By donating a certain amount to the charity, Oxfam will send your loved one a card stating that they have given a certain "gift" to people in need. The gift choices are many, ranging from chicks and alligators to irrigation tubs and gender rights training. (Now, a small clarification: just because you chose to get your brother a sheep does not mean that Oxfam turns around and directly ships a sheep to Tanzania. Rather, they use the money given to purchase what is most needed at a given time. This is a necessary safeguard, else those in need would wind up with 400 cows and no water purifiers.)

The added personalization of this donation method wins a lot of points in this young blogger's heart, and is a great idea for anyone on your holiday gift list. Happy giving!

Dana Variano

Posted at 1:00 AM, Dec 18, 2008 in Philanthropic Strategy | Permalink | Comment