Are you tired of buying gifts that get thrown away or used just once? Are you over materialistic Christmases where you feel the Spirit is lost in the hustle and bustle?
Perhaps consider this year asking for (or giving in honor of loved ones) gifts that will incredibly meaningful or impactful to not only those who receive them, but also to the Kingdom. Below are a few ideas for items that will not only benefit those in need, but share the good news of Jesus as whatever you do for the least of these, you have done for Christ Jesus.
Gifts for Local Children in Need
The best way to help local children is to talk to those who already regularly serve children, meaning teachers, Sunday school teachers, and those who run programs for kids. Ideas for local children include:
- Your family or small group “adopting” a local family and giving gifts
- Paying off school lunch debts at the local school
- Providing school supplies to local schools
- Providing clothing for children
- Donating to a food pantry that serves local families
- Donating toys or other useful items to children in hospitals
Gifts for Children in Need Around the World
While children locally may live in poverty, so do children all around the world. Here are some ideas to give missions-minded gifts to children around the world:
- Your family could sign up to sponsor a child through organizations like World Vision
- Purchase farm animals for families in impoverished villages around the world through Food For The Hungry
- Help vulnerable communities have access to clean water through efforts like Charity Water
- Help people around the world create opportunities fore themselves and their communities by becoming a micro-lender through organizations like Kiva.
Gifts for the Homeless
Often men, women, children, and their pets struggle with homelessness during the winter months. Consider some of the following ideas:
- Donate to local homeless shelters — socks are the most commonly requested item at most homeless shelters
- Buy gift cards to accessible restaurants so homeless people can enjoy a warm meal with dignity
- Purchase warm-weather items such as coats, gloves, hand warmers, etc.
Gifts for Family and Friends that Give Back
Even when choosing gifts for family and friends, there are many options that allow you to give a unique, thoughtful gift that also tells a story and benefits a charitable cause around the world:
- Krochet Kids sells quality hand-woven clothing and textile products, made by women in third world countries, providing them with skills and life-changing job opportunities that help them break the cycle of poverty in their community.
- Inspired by Proverbs 31, 31 Bits combines a love for people, fashion, design and travel to create accessories and home goods in collaboration with skilled artisans around the world by providing them with dignified job opportunities, sustainable wages and giving them access to the global market.
- Thistle Farms sells high-quality, natural products for your bath, body and home that are handmade by women who have survived trafficking, prostitution and addiction, directly helping them get a second chance at life.