Call me a scrooge but all the copious gift giving of the holidays makes me gag. People march into a mall armed with a list of friends and family and grab whatever they can find in the appropriate price range, that the person may, or may not, like and will probably end up tossed in a goodwill pile or worse, dumped at the curb. The raging conspicuous consumption is so out-of-control it makes me want to boycott entire holidays.
Last year I blogged about making your own personalized gifts, but how many mugs with your baby’s mug shot does Aunt Bettie need? Instead of something that sits on a shelf, how about giving a gift that embodies the true spirit of the holidays: a donation that will make our world a better place.
So I’m loving this article in Oprah Magazine, 16 Ways to Make an Incredible Impact With Less Than $15, offering charities that allow you to make a difference with as little as a $1, $2, $3, etc. donation. Some of the funds go overseas ($1 buys 2 books for kids in Africa through BooksForAfrica.Org) and others stay closer to home (such as $15 for a backpack and school supplies for one homeless or low-income student in Boston or Philadelphia through CradlesToCrayons.Org).
These small donations are perfect for involving kids and teaching them –or anyone who needs reminding– what the holidays are really about.