It’s that time of year when loved ones are looking for hints on gift ideas. When my daughter called me, she didn’t beat around the bush.
“People are asking what to get you for Christmas,” she said. “What do you get the woman who has everything?” she joked. If you know me well, you see the humor.
I pondered the question for just a moment. More knee-high socks? Another turtleneck sweater? It didn’t take long for the thought to come to me.
“Anything that’s purposeful,” I said. What I mean by that, is any gift I can receive in good conscience. One purchased from a micro-business or any fair trade product. Soaps, teas, accessories, whatever. As long as the giver is sure that it was manufactured and distributed using fair labor practices. I’m a shameless idealist and I’m happy to insist on this.
Last year, my favorite gift was a bracelet made by a woman in India. I get so many compliments on it, and each time, I tell of how this woman is being lifted from poverty by being able to support herself, perhaps even a family.
Demonstrate the true spirit of giving.
If there’s anyone remaining on your gift giving list that hasn’t been checked off, find a sustainable gift that helps to end poverty. This will show you care about people beyond the recipient. When you’re shopping in the mall or online, pay close attention and recognize the impact that your choices have on the rest of the world. Don’t ignore the welfare of others. By making purchases that allow vulnerable and marginalized people to receive fair wages, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you gave gifts that gave hope.
Do something for the common good.
You can also improve the lives of people who aren’t on your list by purchasing a gift from a non-profit catalog. Tools, sewing machines, even livestock can be bought for people around the world who are living in extreme poverty. These types of gifts give opportunity for income. They empower others, allowing them to become entrepreneurs.
Is your primary concern your own personal happiness? As we approach the holiday that honors of the birth of Jesus Christ, remember how He considered others’ lives more valuable than His own. This Christmas season, and everyday after, care about the success of others, and share God’s grace with all humanity.
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