Buying gifts for others can be hard. Trying to find the balance between finding something fun and exciting but also something they’ll actually use is hard. As Christmas gets closer and closer, the panic of figuring out what to get that person who’s so hard to buy for becomes greater. With the time for online ordering coming to a close, and the stores getting busier with people in silent panic, I have created a list that offers some alternative ideas to the traditional scarf or fruit cake. See below for a list of last minute gift ideas. There can be purchased all the way up to 12/24.
Give the gift of charity
This is one of my very favorite gifts to give and there are so many wonderful charities that need your support. I’ve given gifts of charity to my stepdaughters, therapist, friends, anyone who appreciates giving. Below are some of my very favorite organizations to support.
You don’t have to be Catholic to see the good this church does in it’s community. This is their mission statement taken directly from their website.
We are called to embody the universality of the Catholic Church by nurturing the genius of African American spirituality and by welcoming all people.
Drawing on the spirit of St. Francis, whose followers formed and guided this parish, we seek to reach out in loving and joy-filled concern to the changing needs of persons and groups on their journey through life. An attempt to being the body of Christ and a sign of His kingdom leads us to be ever committed to initiating activities that reach out to alienated, inactive or un-churched people.
We are committed to the education in faith of all generations, especially those who come to learn and serve in our parish school.”
Before you scoff at this suggestion, please see the various ways they are impacting a community that os grossly underrepresented in this county.
- The School serves to provide a quality education to those who wouldn’t receive this otherwise. Father Pat has built a school with top notch resources and in doing so, has created a community of students with a 95% graduation rate. And most of those students go to college. Here is a link to the endowment brochure for more information. These are students from various religious denominations and the education is top priority. This is an area where the graduation rate is typically under 40%.
- The community – St Anthony uses money in a variety of ways and you can designate where you want your money to go. Money is used to help pay the power bill, home repair, home builds, dental bills, cars, and more for the surrounding community. None of the recipients are required to be Catholic. They also have a garden that is available for anyone in the area to visit and they are encouraged to take home those fresh veggies. St Anthony also has a good pantry that provides food and toiletries. You can designate money for the poor box, the housing ministry, the school, etc. If you question how they spend the money, go visit the parish. The Nave (the area where mass is held) is the least attractive part of the parish. The Parish believes strongly that money is better served in supporting the community than making the Nave ornate.
- Community Zoning. Father Pat is dedicated to fighting gentrification in an area that is highly sought after. His dedication to affordable, available housing for it’s residents can be seen in his constant fight against zoning.
I believe very strongly that your money is being used for the good of those who need it most and recommend this as the best place to donate money. Please see the link above for how to donate. You can bake some cookies and tie a little note to show where the money has gone and place it under the tree.
This organization is focused on serving orphans in Kenya. See information from their website below:
“The program gives children hope and molds them into leaders in their communities and for the kingdom. Focusing on the 110,000 orphans in six counties in rural southwest Kenya, the holistic program centers around the physical, spiritual, educational, and social development of the children.
The mission places high value on children’s recognition of their worth and purpose as children of God.”
I was first introduced to this organization through a friend, Matt Patch, who has lived in Kenya for years. He is a beautiful person who I personally know doing beautiful work with this organization. You can give a one time donation or you can give monthly.
World Vision is unique in that you can buy a specific gift for a family. They have a gift catalog that offers a varieties of ways to support a family in need.
“World Vision is an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice, and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God.”
I love the gift catalog because it tells you specific things you can buy and how it’s used. It’s so much more than just donating blindly to an organization without knowing where the money goes. Here are some examples:
And there’s a lot more, but I just wanted to show a bit of variety in what you can buy.
To provide a continuum of services for victims of domestic violence and their children.
To eliminate cultural acceptance of domestic violence through a coordinated community response, prevention and education.”
I haven’t actually done much work with them but I wanted to offer a more secular option if that’s something that’s important to you.
This organization is one that is so active in the Greenville community. It is faith based, as many are, and they serve addicts, homeless, battered women, and more. I really can’t narrow down all the good they do, so just follow the link and take a peek.
Gift cards are a great way thing to gift and even if you don’t have a physical item to give, you can always print one off. Below are some places that are excellent for gift cards.
- Restaurants – Places like Rick Erwin’s, Pomegranate, Tupelo Honey, Sassafras, Brick Street Cafe, Grill Marks, Sobys, and even smaller places like Chick Fil A, Yogurt Mountain (or Ellie’s favorite, the Twisted Cup), and Starbucks make great gift cards and it’s an experience.
- Hair Salons – let’s face it, a cut and color are expensive. That’s a great gift to give. My lady, Merri Johnson is amazing and I highly recommend her.
- Organic Face Tan and Body – They offer manis/pedis, facials, massage, lash extensions, and more so this is a great place for a variety of services
Everyone loves a subscription service. There are all kinds out there including food, wine, fitness, and makeup. Here are some of my very favorites.
- Clickin Moms – You don’t have to be a mom! If you want the gift of photography, this has some of the best information out there and a beautiful community on top of it.
- Unraveled Academy – Along those same lines, this is the same as above, but isn’t as women focused.
- The Booty Army – if you haven’t seen my Facebook or instagram posts, I freaking love The Fitness marshall. This is the most fun way to workout, in my opinion, and I can’t get enough of it. He does offer free videos on Youtube, but this will have tutorials and live streams
- Sephora Play – for the beauty lover, I think this is a fun beauty box and though there are many, Sephora is always my fave.
- Audible – I listen to books when I’m cleaning, driving, and cooking so this service is totally worth it
- Gaia – I’ve tried a variety of yoga subscription services but Gaia has the best variety to me.
I basically just listed the ones I’m currently subscribed to minus Sephora Play, lol.
This can be time consuming but if you just bake a whole bunch of the same thing, put them in little decorated baggies, and write a little note, you can get several gifts out of them. Go for something easy and delicious like sausage balls or chocolate chip cookies.
I hope this has been helpful to you. I think some of these are pretty self explanatory but I figured I’d include them anyway. The main point of this post was to mention the charities because I feel strongly that they are a beautiful way to give to others and do something good for the world as well. I realize that many of the organizations I listed are faith based and that may not be your jam. I get it, so if you have any suggestions of charities that you know have an impact on the world and aren’t faith based, please feel free to share in the comments. The charities I suggested are ones that I know are doing what they say and I believe in them strongly, faith based or not.
As always, thanks for reading.