Thursday, November 30, 2006

Holiday Gift Giving

Well, we are deep into THAT season: overbearing television commercials; large crowds at the various malls; insipid piped holiday music blaring everywhere you turn; television "specials" with plenty of product placement; movies about Santa in various hijinks; and most important, buying more junk we can't use or don't want.

For the last several years, several of my friends and I have gotten together for a holiday dinner. We exchanged gifts the first years, then we moved to just drawing names from a hat; then last year, we all donated to an interesting charitable organization in all our names. So here's a list of suggestions of things you can do:

Heifer International is a wonderful organization that provides means of ending hunger throughout the world by supplying sustainable food sources and income to people in need. They also provide education, and, more importantly, recipients must agree to share offspring of gift animals with others in need. This is truly a gift that keeps on giving in a wonderful way.

Habitat For Humanity, one of my favorite organizations, is another way to help people help themselves. Their goal is to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.

The International Crane Foundation is an ecological organization committed to protecting all species of the rarest birds on earth, Cranes. By protecting habitat, and by raising cranes at their headquarters in Baraboo Wisconsin, they are reintroducing these magnificent birds into their natural envirnoments. If we protect the earth, we protect us all.

At any rate, those are three of my current favorites. If you have other ideas, please let us all know!


Peacechick Mary said...

Thanks for the links. I try to do the majority of my holiday shopping through charitable organizations. I'll check out the gift selections.

betmo said...

wish i could get the inlaws to do that. i won't go into great detail but it went from a buying free for all to drawing names to (my suggestion) drawing couple's names. maybe i can move them in that direction next year. sigh. we all have too much already.

DivaJood said...

Our little group of women will do Habitat For Humanity this year, with a focus on Katrina/Gulf victims. Last year, we bought a pig and a sheep for two families from Heifer. As an individual, I've also donated to the Crane Foundation, and will buy a sheep in Beanie's name for the holidays.

Dave Patterson said...

Thanks for the kind words about Heifer International. I joined Heifer as new media director last year and really appreciate it when someone blogs about us.

We have a new BlogRaising program that lets bloggers like you help us get the word out about Heifer and raise the money we need to do our work. To learn more, just go to

I hope you are able to take part.

Again thanks for the good words.

DivaJood said...

David, thanks for visiting. I think you guys do great work. I'm actually about to purchase an animal for my granddaughter's present, because she's 20 months old and it's never too late to make her aware of doing well by doing good.