The pumpkin spice lattes are here, the apple cider candles are burning and the Christmas displays have been moved to the forefront of the stores. Christmas is in the November air and if you are like me, you've already started thinking about Christmas shopping.
Honestly, there is very little that I or the recipients of my gifts actually need. Especially when I compare my "needs" with the needs of the world's poor. It makes me feel almost guilty about receiving more stuff-I-don't-need just for the sake of a Christmas tradition. But at the same time, there is something special about giving gifts to your loved ones on Christmas - it is part of the joy of the holiday. That's why I've come up with what I think will be a wonderful new Christmas tradition - one filled with a much deeper level of joy. This year, many of my gifts will benefit not only the recipient, but also someone in need. It's like a double-giving gift.
Additionally, it is a beautiful display of the true meaning of Christmas. On the day we remember the gift that God gave us - the gift of salvation and a gift that we are to share with others - how appropriate to do something similar with our own gift-giving?
For example, I'm buying my one-year-old nephews shoes from BuyShoesSaveLives.com. The shoes are adorable and will help fund a life-saving heart surgery for children in Iraq (they have adult sizes too). I know the boys will grow out of them quickly, but they’ll grow out of whatever I give them so I might as well give them something that helps someone in need verses helping... like, Target. (Check out how these shoes are made by watching the video on the home page - it is fascinating!)
Below are some other places where I've found some great double-giving gift ideas. I hope that you'll considering some of these as you put your Christmas shopping list together. If you have any more ideas as to where to buy gifts that benefit someone in need - please give us a link in the comment section!
World Craft Village, Build a Nest and Global Goods Partners have huge selections of jewelry, home decor, clothing and kitchenware. These are all fair-trade organizations and purchases help to provide sustainable income for artisans in poverty-stricken countries.