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Giving Christmas Away

I cannot believe this Friday is Black Friday! Can you? This is an old post from a couple years ago that I thought I'd share again. I added a new option for gifts below and am wondering what you might add to the list.

Black Friday has begun and the flood gates of Christmas shopping are open. Last Christmas, I remember my husband and I walking through Target looking for “the perfect gifts” for our family members. We walked in, looked around for a bit and walked out empty handed.  Every year it seems like a struggle to find gifts that fit for the people we care about. Companies compete with one another by conveying messages of all of the things that our friends and family NEED this season. Commercials bombard our homes with elves busy at Sears, singing BestBuy employees and Old Navy manikins wearing the latest Christmas sweaters.

Before you get cut off in parking lots this Black Friday or wander the isles of Target in search of the perfect gift, I thought I’d offer some suggestions on ways to give, yet in a more less traditional way.

We all want to give. We were created with that desire. We were made by the hands that designed the very nature of giving. When we understand this awesome truth it becomes inevitable that we give. Who better to explain this than singing vegetables wearing ugly Christmas sweaters.

If you’ve had enough with crowded parking lots and lines, consider this Christmas season the gift of hope, freedom, food, a new start or empowerment. Giving breeds giving. Here are a few places where you can do just that.

Heifer International – Gifts of animals for breeding, farming, food purposes
IJM – Purchase a freedom package for individuals upon their rescue from slavery
Gospel for Asia – Gifts for outreach, missionaries, compassion gifts and much more
Samaritan’s Purse – Gifts for children around the world

Slavery No More -  Provides several links to organization that are helping to combat slavery in the world today. 

Feel free to leave comments with more suggestions and happy shopping!


This is a great idea. My family has been doing something like this the last few years. I admit that I do have trouble not also giving something material to my wife and grandchildren as well, so I'm not a total convert to this idea, I guess. I pick out a "gift" and send the money to one of these organizations for each grandchild. Besides giving a gift from the catalog of World Vision or Samaritan's Purse, etc., I give each kid a card that says something like "a goat (or chickens, ducks, etc) has been given to a poor child in your name this Christmas so that they will be able to make a little money to go to school and not be hungry." The same with my Dad (who is the one who has been pushing this idea in our family for the last 15-20 years).

Hi Doc.
That's really neat what you do for your grandchildren. They are blessed to have you for a grandpa who is instilling in them the importance of giving and considering others in need. That will only grow and continue to bless others.

Thanks for sharing.

Carrie, thanks for posting these ideas - the more we can do to get away from the pure commercialism of Christmas the better. Even if it is in tiny ways. Last year, I gave each of my nieces and nephews a $10 bill to donate to a charity of their choice. I liked the idea of physically handing the kids money to give away, as opposed to the more abstract concept of donating in their name. My niece and one of my nephews actually chose to give their money to a local family where the mom was battling breast cancer. Her children were sacrificing their Christmas gifts to pay for treatments for their mom. It was a touching moment for me, my niece and nephew, and their parents!

That's a great, inspiring story. Thanks for the read and thanks for sharing. I may just do that for my nieces this year.

Hi Carrie,
This is a wonderful way to give! Thanks for the ideas! I never knew these organizations were out there. I am going to start a new tradition this year starting with Kub and donate to one of these in his name. Awesome!
Have a Blessed Thanksgiving Carrie!
Robin :)

Hey Robin-
Kub is one blessed little guy! A family or an individual somewhere will no doubt be blessed through him this Christmas.

Thanks for the words Robin!

Great ideas Carrie! My husband and I both make something for each other and plan 2-3 date days for the following year. It has been fun to give a gift that keeps giving! Just another suggestion!

Hey Carrie!

Thank you so much for this post. We have some boxes to fill that we're doing through our church and to be honest, I was looking at it negatively b/c it's filling my "to do" list. BUT...after reading your blog and watching the videos, God has totally changed my heart and giving me new joy in it.

This is a very timely blog!!!!

Blessings to you my friend!


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I drink coffee, read books, and travel. I’ve been able to drink coffee and discuss books with friends all over the world, simply because someone built a bridge and I made it east of the Mississippi and beyond. For this reason, I love bridges.