Kroger already has an entire aisle of holiday decor. 100.3 is already playing christmas music. It’s not even Thanksgiving.
But like many other people, I try to buy gifts for my friends and loved ones over time so that there is not a huge gap in my finances one month;AKA,I can still pay rent.
Overall, I really love the holiday season. I have such fond memories decorating the house (ok, actually- that shit was a ton of work. this was my mom). I have always loved the jovial mood and the lights and the cookies- oh, the cookies.
But I have always had mixed feels about the bountiful consumerism shoved down our throats. How much are you spending on her? What are you getting him? I know many people that have savings accounts just for the holidays! People get stressed and end up resenting this time of year.
I think gift giving is fun. And let’s be honest, it is fun to receive sometimes too.
But what if we used that epic consumerism for good? What if we spent our money in a way that continues giving and actually makes the world a better place?
Here are some ways you can:
Make a donation in the name of someone you love to Mercy Corps to help provide humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees:
Consider one of these amazing and impacting rescue gifts through International Rescue Committee. You can buy anything from clean water, to a year of school, to emergency care: http://gifts.rescue.org/?ms=fb_rghp_ppc_eo15_es_151102
Buy a Kiva gift card for a friend or loved one- they can pick who to support with a micro loan. I did this for my parents last year! www.kiva.org
Want to do something more local? Call your local food bank, homeless shelter, or another non-profit you are interested in and ask what is on their donation list; trust me, we all have them. Make a donation in the name of someone you care about!
Another way to give during the “giving season” is service. Volunteer with a group of friends to give back to your community. It is actually way easier thank you think: pick up trash, give a hungry community member a free meal or gift-card to a restaurant, fill an empty purse you aren’t using with tampons and sanitary pads and give to the next homeless woman you see, serve a meal at your local shelter, deliver meals for meals on wheels, drop of gloves or hats at a elementary school for kids in need, sign up to volunteer at the Humane Society.
Whatever you do, do something to make the world a better place.
cheesy love-filled jess