Gift-giving is an age-old custom which has come to identify the Christmas holiday. Some modern shoppers could be forgiven though for finding no comparison with the silent fields of the first Christmas and today’s crowded malls. Yes, Christmas shopping can be hectic and tiring, yet we keep trying to capture that sometimes elusive “Christmas spirit.”
One way to avoid the hassles of Christmas shopping is to buy from online charity shops. These sites are run by organizations which promote fair trade, help children, protect wildlife, and fund conservation – great Christmas causes all.
Why Buy Charity Christmas Gifts Online?
Maybe you’re wondering about ordering some gifts from online charity sites but have reservations.
The practice of charities selling merchandise to raise funds, at Christmas and year round, isn’t new. It’s a time-honored custom which now has wider scope because of the Internet. But beyond just the charitable donation that is built in to every purchase, there are many other good reasons why buying charity Christmas gifts is a good idea. This form of Christmas shopping is:
- Ethical – Most charities are careful to offer environmentally friendly, fairly traded products.
- Economical – Although prices may be a bit higher than discount mall prices, there are savings on travel and parking – not to mention your time and energy.
- Different – Charity shops offer unique Christmas gift ideas – distinctive and exotic.
- Satisfying – Think of the good feeling you’ll get by helping a charity while making your own Christmas chores easier.
- Easy and Convenient – Take your time and make a pleasant day of Christmas shopping – without leaving home. Your purchases will be delivered right to your home.
Charity Christmas Gift Ideas
There’s are endless choices of ethical, fair trade, handcrafted, and just plain interesting merchandise offered by online charities. Here are some popular sites where you’ll find unique Christmas gift ideas:
- Ten Thousand Villages (US and Canada) – This charity, operated by the Mennonite Central Committee, aims to promote the handiwork of artisans in developing countries so that they can earn a fair wage. From bamboo journals to jasmine soap to clown dolls, the merchandise is all made by skilled workers from around the world. One especially cute item is the “Girlfriends” pin made from recycled soda cans by disabled artisans in Kenya.
- Bridgehead (Canada) – Since 1981, Bridgehead has been offering “fairly traded organic and shade-grown coffees from small-scale farmers.” But there’s much more than coffee at this online store: it also offers tea, chocolate, nuts, granola, mugs, cookies, journals, cards, and handcrafted seagrass baskets, such as the “Simply Chocolate” gift basket, full of gourmet delights.
- Canadian Wildlife Federation – Founded in 1962 this charity works “to ensure a bright future for Canada’s wildlife.” Its online shop offers leather bags, art prints, a road safety kit, clothing and a very popular Birds of Canada book.
- ASPCA, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – This long-established charity has been working since 1866 for the humane treatment of animals in the United States. Merchandise includes journals, candles, travel mugs, clothing, and gifts for children such as the ASPCA junior humane law enforcement T-shirt and plush dog.
- PDSA (UK) – This British charity, the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, was founded by Marie Dickin in 1917 and has provided free veterinary services since then to “pets in need of vets” in this nation of animal lovers. There’s lots of lovely merchandise in its online shop, some of it animal-themed for pet lovers. One appealing gift is a pair of cat-decorated tins full of biscuits and chocolates.
- UNICEF – Founded in 1946, this United Nations organization “believes that the survival, protection and development of children must be a global priority, and that every child has the right to health, education, equality and protection.” There is a wide selection of ornaments, candles, mugs, purses, scarves, toys, and stationery available at several nationally based UNICEF websites.
- The Jane Goodall Institute of Canada – It’s been 50 years since Dr. Jane Goodall began her groundbreaking work in Africa which linked chimpanzees and humans. Her institute supports wildlife research, conservation, and education.To celebrate this 50th anniversary, the shop offers a “Gombe 50” T-shirt which is sweatshop free and 100% cotton. Other items include posters, African jewelry, plush toys, DVDs and books.
Online Charity Stores Make Christmas Shopping Easy
Take a leisurely day to do your Christmas shopping at home by browsing though online charity shops. Get your list out and place your order knowing that your money goes to help worthy causes. Not only have you whittled down your Christmas shopping chore, but you’ll get a great sense of satisfaction — and no sore feet, aching legs, or parking tickets. Whether your favorite charitable organization helps children, animals, wildlife, or third world farmers and artisans, buying charity Christmas gifts is a good idea which will enrich your Christmas.