Christmas can feel like a bit of frenzy of consumerism can’t it? All the Black Friday madness and emails constantly popping up in our inboxes tell us about all the ‘must have’ presents we simply have to buy.
If, like us, you’d like to give gifts are that are more meaningful and in some way give something back to the world, then here are a selection of ways you can still buy Christmas presents your children will love, but also support excellent causes and encourage your youngsters to understand the importance of supporting charities at Christmas and throughout the year.
Shop directly from charity’s websites
All children love toys, but did you know that if you buy them directly from a charity website you’ll also be donating at least some of the purchase price to a good cause?
Charities such as Unicef, Marie Curie and The Dogs Trust all sell brand new presents for children. From puzzles and books to wooden train sets and dolls, you can choose from a great selection that you’d find on the highstreet – the difference being a percentage of your payment will go directly to a good cause.
Oxfam now have a section on their website where you’ll find second hand toys, games and books in great condition, just as you would find them in one of their actual shops. You’ll discover some real one-off, unusual items for all the family. And of course Oxfam are selling their usual selection of ethical, fair trade gifts and products, the proceeds of which go directly to help those those who made them.
Shop from stores that donate to charity
Scamp and Dude are a brand that we love for their stylish clothing and amazing prints, but the thing we admire the most is that it’s a company with a conscience. If you by their cosmetic ‘swag’ bags then 100 per cent of the profits go to a range of charities.
To get your own £28 ‘Swag Bag with Purpose’ visit scampanddude.com or take a trip to the Scamp & Dude shop in Highgate village in London.
Pickle London have the most fantastic range of fun, bright clothing, as well as bags and stationary. This year £5 from every @picklelondon HAPPY Logo Sweatshirt , and £2.50 from every Happy logo tee will be donated to UK Mental Health Charity MIND. Check them out for lovely presents that also help and extremely good cause.
Adopt and animal
By sponsoring an animal you help to protect endangers species and the habitat they live in. There are so many charities that offer this gift, including the WWF , where you can choose from the likes of lions, elephants, polar bears and turtles.
For as little as £3 per month (you can opt to give a larger donation) your little one will receive a fact pack full of information about the animal they are adopting and why their help is so important; regular updates about what life is like for their animal including any developments in research; and of course a lovely little cuddle toy version of the animal they (or you) have chosen.
This is a wonderful way of connecting children with the natural world and encouraging them to care about animals they might otherwise not know much about in a very tangible and relatable way. Plus they will know that they are really making a difference to endangered species.
Give gifts to others
While we are definitely not suggesting you don’t buy your children toys for Christmas, giving them the chance to select a charity gift themselves is an excellent way to help older kids realise the importance of charity and giving. You could ask your children which cause they would like to support and why, encouraging them to think about those less fortunate who won’t be receiving gifts under the this year.
There are countless charities, such as World Vision and Save the Children which enable you to give gifts to people in developing countries, such as food for a family for a month or an mini library for a school.