Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The gift of giving

I love to give. I do it because I want to, and I do it because I can. This time of year, it’s important to keep giving in perspective.

Nothing should be expected, especially in our economically challenging times. If someone can’t afford to give, no explanation should be needed and no judgment should be passed. I also believe that gifts are not quid pro quo. Give for the simple joy of giving and ask nothing in return.

Here are a few of my favorite things to give this season that won’t break the budget and support a good cause:

Women’s Empowerment Bracelet and/or Necklace from Avon. At $3 and $5 respectively, these are a bargain and net sales go to the Avon Empowerment Fund at the UNIFEM-managed UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women. (Available while supplies last.)

This gift will even please the hard-to-buy-for teenage girl. I bought a set for my friend Yvonne’s daughter, Brenna. “She hasn’t taken it (the bracelet) off,” Yvonne said.

Rwanda “Path to Peace” Baskets from Macy’s. $25-$75. After seeing these featured in the Free Press, I’ve bought them for several friends as wedding, birthday, and thank you gifts.
The baskets in this collection are woven by survivors of the Rwandan genocide. The sales of these baskets, “put real, sustainable income into the hands of weavers and their families, changing their lives in remarkable ways,” according to Macy’s.

My friend Courtney loves her “True Unity” bowl. She hopes to decorate her kitchen with cobalt blue accents and says the basket will be a perfect match.

ChicoBags. $5-$20. Chris and I started our “I’ve gotta bag” campaign last year. Our goal was to reduce the use of those plastic grocery bags that are so bad for the environment. The ChicoBag is great because it folds down small enough to clip on a purse, belt, or keychain. According to the ChicoBag website, they also make great reusable gift wrap – why didn’t I think of that? Appropriate for everyone.

Happy Yuletide, y’all!
Blessed Be

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