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Top 5 Charitable Christmas Gifts

Updated on November 17, 2009

Christmas shopping can be stressful, especially for some of the loved ones on your list who seem to already have everything they need. This Christmas, consider giving gifts that will benefit charitable causes. These gifts will not only bring joy to your family and friends, but will also help those in need for whom the holidays can be difficult. Here are 5 charitable Christmas gift ideas that will be sure to make your holidays particularly special.


1.      Purchase gift items that give proceeds or attention to worthy causes.

Many charitable organizations and nonprofits sell gift items, either directly or through retailers, during the holidays. Susan G. Komen for the Cure, for example, sells a large line of items that include Christmas ornaments, flannel pajamas, and plush animals around the holidays.


2.   Purchase tickets to galas or events. Tickets to local nonprofit galas or memberships to performing arts organizations are also good ideas. Consider the interests of your friends and families, and find nonprofits that serve those interests. These events can make great dates for the couples on your list.


3.      Donate to organizations in the name of your loved one.

If you can’t find the perfect item to purchase that will benefit a charitable cause, consider making a donation in the name of your loved one. Most nonprofits will issue letters to your loved ones stating that a donation has been made in their names. If a friend or family member volunteers or is involved with a local nonprofit, make a donation to that organization to show your support. If not, find a local cause that will match their interests. For example, you could make a donation to a local animal shelter for the dog or cat lovers on your list; to a children’s theatre for arts lovers; or to your loved one’s alma mater.


Some organizations offer the option of purchasing items to benefit those in need. For instance, Heifer International offers donors the chance to purchase an animal for a family in need in many impoverished countries. Heifer coordinates training for families to become self-reliant through the care of their animal. Goats, llamas, cows, and water buffaloes are on their gift catalog, and can make a unique and interesting gift.


4.      Donate items to a local nonprofit.

Local nonprofits (particularly social service organizations) are always in need of donated materials. Sometimes donation of items can be more personal and meaningful. For instance, if you have a sports lover in your family, donate soccer balls or hockey equipment to a local youth sports program.


5.      Volunteer for a cause that your loved one cares about.

Service to a cause your loved one cares about can be a great gift. If someone on your list has a small child that often visits the library, volunteer hours behind the circulation desk. Think about organizations that offer services that benefit your loved one and work to strengthen those services.



Image Credit: Mysza831, Flickr


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  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

    Great ideas. I am in a club and we donate to Heifer International year round. What a great program.