There are many ways to give back during the holiday season. It is the time of year when giving to the less fortunate is easier and we look for ways to share the blessings that we are so very fortunate to have. In ethical gifting we can make a difference to many lives.
In individual or shared prayers we give thanks for all that we have in our lives and we pray that others might also receive hope and blessings within their lives as well.
Christmas is a season of giving, sharing, and caring. With our gift choices we can make an impact to more than just the recipient of that item. In the items that we bestow to others during the holiday season we can show love and kindness within socially responsible gifting.
Shop Locally and Support Your Community
Whenever possible purchase items that are made locally. This will reduce the environmental impact that your gift will carry with it. If your gift does not have to be shipped then a little less fuel will be used to transport it to your area and if thousands of people purchase just one locally made item this season, then that can add up to a lot less green house gas being produced this Christmas.
Search out craft fairs and bazaars during the holiday season. Many are held as fundraisers at this time of year and the monies generated are often used to support the community organization. There are a number of ways that you have a social impact on your community simply by purchasing these baked goods or handcrafted items as gifts.
Not only do you help out the organization that is sponsoring the event but you may also be helping a senior citizen or a stay at home parent as well. Many of the crafters who purchase tables for these events rely on the extra income generated at these fairs to supplement an otherwise small income.
Fair or Equal Trade Products: Socially Responsible Shopping
Purchase Items From Companies That Participate in Fair Trade
If your gift choices include items that are purchased from another country, be aware of Fair Trade policies and the companies that participate in them.
Many times children are used as labor in creating the toys that you purchase. These children are often forced to work in factories creating toys; or weaving with bleeding fingers the carpet that you later purchase for your living room.
Fine chocolates that are given during this season may actually come from a manufacturer who pays but a pittance to the destitute families who have toiled so hard to produce the cocoa beans that go into it’s making. Insure that you help to stop these practices by purchasing from companies who participate in Fair Trade.
Fair Trade / Equal Trade companies insure that workers are paid fairly and that unsafe or disreputable work practices such as child labor are not used in the creation of these foreign goods.
Although you may never see or meet the individuals you affect, these individuals will benefit greatly from the choices that you make this holiday season.
You can make a difference in the lives of others and it is very simple to accomplish this. Shop wisely and fairly. Invest in companies who use ethical and humane practices . By purchasing products from those who use these practices in their business model you can help make the world a little friendlier place to live.
Think Eco-Friendly in Your Holiday Shopping and Wrapping
There really are some very easy ways to give during the holidays. A small way to give to make a big difference is by shopping green. Purchasing environmentally friendly gifts and using reusable or recycled gift wrap is one of the easiest ways to give during the holidays.
Try to purchase items and gift wrap that are made from more environmentally friendly materials. Rather than selecting a gift made from plastic give an item made of steel, wood, cloth, glass, or paper. These will generally last a long time and are made of materials that are able to be more easily recycled.
When wrapping your gifts use recycled materials such as last years gift wrap, newspaper, or magazine pages to wrap your gifts. Better yet, wrap your gift within a cloth bag, or a wooden box, as these are items that can be reused in the future.
Package up teas, herb seeds, or plants as gifts. A window box to plant a mini herb, or flower garden, is an amazing gift choice in environmental friendliness. A potted pine tree can be given to a person who lives in an apartment. It can be used during the holiday season as a Christmas tree and when spring arrives it can be ceremoniously planted out in the country. Be creative in your gift choices. Think green.
Pass a Little Something to a Local Charity
When shopping for the foods that you will either give as gifts or use for your Christmas dinner, take a minute to pick up a little extra for charity. Pick up an item or two to drop into a local food bank drop box.
Purchase a bag of puppy treats or chew bones to drop off at a local SPCA or animal shelter. That one bag of treats can bring a lot of happiness to a number of puppies over the holiday season.
Unfortunately, for many the holidays are a time of stress, hunger, anger, and hurt. You may be surprised to learn who might need your help. Not everyone asks for aide when they are in need. Sometimes it is for us to look behind the scenes to find those who are in need.
If you know of a local family, single mom, student, or senior who is struggling trying to make ends meet leave a gift card anonymously in their mail box. It could greatly improve the quality of their holiday season. It really does not take much to be socially responsible in our gift giving.
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Charity Begins at Home and Works Out From There
The power is within each of us to offer to our family, friends, and pets all the love, respect, and caring, that is ours to give.
Charity truly does begin at home. It is visible in the degree of good that we give to those who are ours to shelter and protect.
During the holiday season we often show our family and friends this love through the giving of gifts, the sharing of food, and of time with one another. This love radiates outward.
Christmas should be a time of shared blessings and joy. Spread a little kindness this holiday season to your fellow man. We are now more than ever a global society.
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