The Christmas season is finally upon us. I know this because I can no longer find a decent spot in the Target parking lot.
With the holiday season here, I thought it’d be good practice to make a quick note about a gift idea that’s often overlooked. Yes, I will surely post some Christmas gift guides and the like soon enough, but before those posts come out I wanted to kick the season off right with this simply idea: Donation.
Who Do I Give To?
Not to me (I mean, unless if you’re really certain…), but to charity or organizations that do good for the world, or your community, or maybe you personally. Charitable donations are rarely at the top of someone’s wishlist, but if you find yourself scratching your head during this year’s office Secret Santa, ask your gifter to make a small donation to a charity or cause that matters to you. Whether it be a cancer society, or a fund for the homeless, or even an organization that provides free services to the masses like Wikipedia or Khan Academy.
If you aren’t sure what charity to give to, do some research, like calling local homeless shelters or group homes and asking what organizations they work with. Unfortunately, there are lots of less-than-honorable organizations out there, so you might even want to check out a site like Charity Navigator to figure out if your money is actually going to be put to good use.
Adding Donation to Your Wishlist
The one criticism I’ve heard in the past about this gift idea is that some folks relish the shopping aspect of the gift giving. If your gifter is the type who enjoys finding something that they feel represents you, let that carry over here. Tell them to find a charity or organization that they think you would find near and dear to your heart. Let them find the cause that they think best represents you. They get to shop, a good cause gets some much needed money, win-win.
Get creative with it, make it your own. Get other people as excited about it as you are and maybe, just maybe, you can help make a difference, even if it’s a small one.