A lot of us are fed up with the commercialization of Christmas – and no wonder! The majority of us don’t celebrate the Christ Mass at all, and a holiday to Buy Stuff is completely counter to our increasing awareness of the harm our consumptivism (it’s a word now, says me) is doing to our home, the planet earth.
For the person who has everything, here are some lovely gift alternatives to purchasing Stuff.
1. Through Oxfam, World Vision or Inter-Pares’ Solidarity-not-Stuff: purchase a goat, some chickens, some rabbits for a family in an impoverished country. It’s surprisingly affordable and more importantly, helps people in desperate situations – a couple egg-laying hens can provide basic nutrition for a family. The gift is given in your recipients name, and they’ll also receive a card informing them of the donation made in their name.
2. Have a young-ish niece, nephew, or grandkids? Consider purchasing them term deposits for their future use (college, travel, start a small business, nest egg) — but not just any term deposit. If you purchase the Shared World Term from Citizens Bank of Canada (not to be confused with citbank) dollar for dollar, the principal is used for micro-credit lending (eg. fair trade farmers) in developing countries. The term will be held in your account but clearly have the benefeciary’s name on the term certificate. They will also receive a card.
3. One Laptop per Child. Purchase an extremely affordable (as in $100) laptop and your young recipient receives a laptop …. and so does another child in a developing country.
These are the kinds of initiatives that bring back some of the truly meaningful giving ethos of Christmas (which, for the record, I celebrate at a wonderful, slightly eccentric anglican church, St. James, in the downtown east-side. anyone welcome – 10:30pm but be prepared: it’s the full meal deal. Not xmas eve lite.)
oh, and … the classic…