As the month of December comes our way, I think of all the money that is spent in giving away gifts. Always a great gesture, but not always a necessary gesture. Especially since many have already way too much and yet so many, do not even have the bare necessities for dignified survival.
You can surprise those you love by making the choice, of where to give money in their names, or share with them your favorite charities, and ask them for theirs. The idea is to make Christmas more like Thanksgiving, and also in end, lighter on the pocket (you may get some tax deductions!). Here, I share some ideas that could be yours to use, or perhaps inspire you to create your own charitable gift-giving avenues. The smiles you will bring into lives with nothing, is enough to tide you through any rough times. You will also leave those in whose names you send gifts and yourself, feeling good about helping where you can and in a manner that was not too difficult or out of your means. You can give as little or as much as you want to and have slotted for any particular people in your gift list.
Even something as simple as giving a flock of chickens to a family, only $20, can provide an entire family with sustenance and income—and an education in animal husbandry.
Yes, it will eliminate some boxes from under the tree, some instant gratification on faces (as friends and family open their gifts), but on the other hand, these are gifts that never stop giving and inspiring. And they feed hope that life is magical and the world a small village, after all.
Best still, it will save you much stress, hours spent shopping, relieve you of crazy traffic and crowds, and reduce carbon emissions from driving.
Please consider charitable giving a gift option this year. Make it your new holiday tradition!
Not one to forget our need to splurge a little on ourselves and those we love, I have also added a sweet cookbook and a calendar to my list—neither are in the "non-profit" category, but are the beautiful creations of women I like and admire. These can be yours to give away, or to enjoy in your own home. (Or both!)
Shared below also are a couple of recipes, gifts from people I have loved and been loved by, now yours to share with family and friends.
These recipes, if you give them a try, could also become part of your family's holiday table, adding a new dish, a new spice or two, and of course the magic of masala to your life. Read more below.