Giving feels good.
And maybe that’s why, even when I don’t celebrate any religious holidays, December is my favourite time of year.
It’s an excuse to show your loved ones you care.
This year, my fears around gift-giving are higher than ever. It’s the fear of the attempt to buy something perfect for those impossible-to-buy-for-people, and the thought of my well-planned gift ending in the garbage, hence my procrastination and incomplete Christmas list.
Perhaps my procrastination of this inevitably beautiful ritual has something to do with my rumination of how to gift a little better.
This year, I’ll be skipping as many physical gifts as possible.
I’ll be either purchasing gifts from online stores that give back (see our article about Worn for Good, where 100% of profits go to charity) or gifting experiences such as performances or restaurant vouchers.
In the spirit of giving back, radicalising and shaking-up the gifting season a little more this year, I will also gift donations.
Out of the plethora of incredible charities and not-for-profit organisations here in Australia, I have gathered a collection of a few that could be your answer to what-to-buy-them this holiday season.
CARE Gift Voucher:
Centred around providing humanitarian aid to those living in poverty and tackling inequality, Australian not-for-profit CARE Australia supports women and girls, and their families and communities.
You can choose from their selection of gifts and you’ll receive a beautiful gift card for your loved one.
These gifts that the cards represent are helping change the world for the better.
They help families out of poverty, and gain access to healthy food and clean drinking water. They also provide access to education and more.
Share the Dignity:
This is one my mum has done for as long as I can remember.
Share the Dignity provide sanitary items to women in need.
The collection of these bags are now closed for Christmas although you can still donate towards providing a bag of much-needed – yet inaccessible – sanitary items for many women around the world.
Adopt an Animal with WWF:
We are well aware of the dire situation many animal populations are in (see our article on WWF’s Living Planet report).
In an environment that seems sometimes hopeless, adopting an animal as a gift has so many perks.
Not only are you supporting (on a monthly or one-off basis) the koala population from deadly diseases, you are ensuring they have the care they need and you are helping to protect and restore their habitats and homes.
This adoption gift also comes with an adoption package (including an adoption certificate), and a cute little toy koala.
Gifts for Peace:
Similar to the process with CARE, Gifts for Peace (as part of international organisation Act for Peace, that assists people uprooted by conflict and disaster, helping them have a safe place to sleep), allows you to choose a meaningful gift, and you receive a card for you loved one outlining the story behind the gift.
Australian Indigenous Education Foundation:
Supporting Indigenous students, the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (the official charity partner of Future Women) provides scholarships, funding and assistance to Indigenous Australians, supporting students through year 12, tertiary students and Indigenous people throughout their careers.
Give the gift of education by donating to AIEF, yet another feel good way to give a gift that keeps on giving.
Aminata Maternal Foundation:
Pay the salary of a midwife in Sierra Leone by donating to AMF.
In a country with some of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates, giving birth in Sierra Leone is 500 times more dangerous than having a baby in Australia. .
What’s a better gift than the gift of life? A donation will ensure that women and children survive pregnancy and birth.
Choose from one of their many gifts, pick and personalise a card, and change lives.
Oxfam is another charity offering life-changing gifts by helping people in poverty by providing food, clean water and other essentials.
As you tuck into your delicious Christmas lunch, feel good about gifting others the gift of food.
Fighting hunger, Food Bank works towards ensuring no one goes without a meal on the table not only on Christmas day but every other day too.
There are so many ways to give the goodness of charity this holiday season.
These above gifts are guaranteed to stay out of the garbage and will be loved for longer than the first day, sharing love and the holiday spirit further than we can see.
Molly Salmon is a writer and creative, currently completing her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne, majoring in Creative Writing and History. She is devoted to the power of the written word and journalism as a medium to embrace creativity whilst informing, educating, empowering and inspiring others on issues close to her heart, such as the environment, women’s empowerment, inequality and inequity. Molly is passionate about writing stories that make the reader feel something.