As the holidays are fast approaching I’d like to take the opportunity to I’d like to give you ideas on how to find gifts that will be meaningful to both the recipient, but also meaningful in a much larger sense.
When purchasing gifts this year consider three different possibilities other than just chain stores.
1. Shop Local
2. Shop Handmade.
3. Shop Charity
Using these three criteria you should be able to find the perfect gift for just about anyone one your list that will also give back to more than just the recipient.
Here’s a few things to consider:
In a nutshell, when you shop locally your hard earned dollars stay in your own community. The taxes you pay on items go back into your community, and often a larger percentage of the cost of the item stays in your community as well, as the seller usually spends their profits on local goods. Not only that, expensive transportation costs and environmental impacts are lessened as well. If you want to read more check out an article I wrote last year about shopping locally as well.
When you shop handmade you are purchasing items made with care and concern. Often you will find that sellers of handmade goods give extra attention to detail, offer excellent customer service and package their items with care. When you buy handmade you are helping people support artistic lifestyles, helping them to support their families. Buying handmade helps small businesses grow, which in turn are also very beneficial for the economy. If your community is short on independent storefronts visit Etsy Shop Local to connect with home based artisans near you.
There are also many gifts you can give that help improve the lives of people around the world in need. Some charities offer programs where you can donate in a gift recipients name. Others have store programs where portions of their proceeds from the sales of gift items goes to help the needy. One of my favorites is World Vision. World vision has a catalog in which you can purchase things like cows or chickens, donate to small business loans, or give a water well to someone in need in the name of your gift recipient. Visit http://www.worldvisiongifts.org to find out more. I am also a huge fan of unicef, which is one of the places I love to buy my Christmas cards each year, as the money goes to help children around the world.