Post # 1
I recently did this fun project where you fill a shoebox with a whole bunch of cute/useful things for children in need and it got me thinking.
Every Christmas season, I go out and try to find something to gift loved ones and it usually ends up being some trinket or something that will sit unused (heated chair massager, anyone?). So this Christmas, I wanted do something different: a donation-exchange. I’m going to tell everyone in advance that I’d like to donate to the charity of their choice and they can either do the same for the charity that I choose or not get a gift at all (I have too much stuff in my house anyway!)
But what I’m worried about is that people might think I’m trying to be lazy or that I just don’t want to go find that perfect gift. So, how do I go about this? Ideas, please 🙂
Oh shoot, I accidentally posted to the the WR boards. Ummmm…how do i changet his.
Post # 3
I’m looking forward to reading others’ thoughts on this. My husband and I tried this with his brothers and their wives this year, but were totally shot down! Perhaps we went about it in the wrong way?
Post # 4
@BostonBrideToBe: Oh no! I’m sad to hear that! I can understand that people might not want to do it because presents are such a traditional part of Christmas. Did they say why they objected?
Post # 5
Do it do it do it! I have been asking for this for years and nobody ever does it because they want to give me something to open, they say! Ahhhhh – I don’t need anything to open, I want that money to go towards something charitable. Good for you!
Post # 6
I wouldn’t let them pick a charity and say it’s their gift but I would pick charities that are important to you and tell them in lieu of gifts, you have made donations to charities as you feel it is a finer gift to help those in need.
Post # 7
@luckyprincess: haha, well it’s nice that they want to get you something!
bride2beIn2012@ The reason I wanted people to have the option of choosing their charity is because I think there is a cause everyone is passionate about and it might be more meaningful to them. But thanks for the wording suggestion 🙂 this is weirdly italicized and I can’t change it.
Post # 8
My mom asked us to stop buying her gifts years ago so I switched to charitable gifts in her name. Her favorite was one year when I gave a donkey and a gardening kit to a family in Africa. My mom is stubborn as a mule and loves gardening- that’s why I picked that gift.
Post # 9
I don’t know if you’d be interested, in something like this, but my dad does a really cool gift exchange at work every year that is both charitable and fun to shop for/open gifts for. So, here is how it works:
– every year everyone who is participating puts their name in a hat and they all pick each other secret santa style
– then you go and you shop for a toy that best represents the person you’re shopping for (my dad is a construction toy, so one year someone got him a bob the builder set, for example)
– at their christmas party everyone opens the gift that people got for them
– at the end of the party all the toys go (unopened) into a charity pile to go to whatever children’s charity they choose that year.
I think people really like it because you still get that fun shopping and opening time, plus you can get really funny gifts for each other!
Post # 10
@julies1949: omg that is the BEST. such a great idea to personalize them this way! i think there’s someone in my family that would like to know they gave a flock of small farm animals.
Post # 11
@CorgiTales: That sounds like a ton of fun! I’m gonna have to throw this idea around for the office secret santa.
Post # 12
I think that’s nice! I don’t think they’ll think you’re being cheap, as you’re still spending money.
I’ve randomly recieved two charity gifts from a friend and my sister and I loved them both! It’s from an organization that donates animals to families who need them. My friend bought me a flock of chicks and my sister gave me a part of a pig (my favorite animal). I like knowing that my animals are helping people out!
Post # 13
I don’t think its a bad idea, but I know (for whatever reason) my parents HATE when people do this!
I think you have to consider people’s “love languages” when you do this. (If you haven’t read that book – check it out!) Some people are not gift people, and would probably be thrilled to not have to fake liking some trinket.
Other people (like my mom) think gifts are a big reflection of how well you know/like them, and would be crushed if I did that to her.
One of my old roommates would beg for this, and never got it, so would be upset when she would get the trinket gifts.
I think if its someone you know well and if you know something they are passionate about, go for it. If you aren’t sure, maybe you could find a small Christmas ornament to go with it? Like, a dolphin ornament for a Save the Dolphins group?
Another option is to try places like Ten Thousand Villages. Then you are supporting good causes while still giving gifts.
Post # 14
I think its a great idea for the right people. You have to know the people you do this for.
Each year my FH and I adopt a family instead of giving presents to each other (we still get one item under $50). Instead we go shopping together for the family based on their needs and wants list. This way its more involved than just a donation that is over in a few minutes. Its so much fun shopping!
I give donations to certain family members some years, and others I would never give a donation.
Moral of the story? Its not for everyone, but if even one person thinks its OK, then go for it with that one person.
Post # 15
@jedeve: Totally agree with you about different people wanting different things. And I love the ornament idea! I found a site that allows you to purchase jewelry made by women in countries of need and you can get a necklace with your donation. I think that’s the best of both worlds!
@lefeymw: Adopting a family sounds like such a great thing to do!
Post # 16
I have done this for a few years for christmas. I was tired of getting them little trinkets also. What I did the first year was buy a cow from oxfam, and then make up little cards that said the same thing oxfams did. i just distributed those. They have a ton of differnt price levels on their website, and it was cool to buy a symbolic gift
The next year I changed it. I have a cousin who has MS, so it is a cause near and dear to my family’s heart. I just made a little paper that I stuck in a holiday card and again, just handed them out like gifts.
It really helped to limit my spending for people, and its going to a cause we believe in.
Edit: I only did this for my grandparents, aunts, uncles and older cousins. I still buy presents for the little ones, and for my parents and brother.