Great Holiday Gift Idea

I refuse to go shopping today. But having the day off from work did give me some time to think about what to do with my holiday gift list. Being the couch-potato pajama-blogging slouch that I am, I thought I’d look around the internet for some good ideas.

I don’t buy for many people, but one of my biggest challenges is buying for my 7 neices and nephews. They range in age from 10-19 and none of them live near me. I haven’t seen most of them for over a year. Now that they are mostly into adolescence, the line between kewl and nerdy is pretty thin and I don’t want to make any mistakes. For years I bought them books for birthdays and christmas. But I just don’t know enough about their tastes to pick well this year.

Finally, all but one of them live in consumer-driven Dallas, Texas. They are being productively molded by that culture and the holidays are a crash course in the art of always wanting more “stuff.”  

So I was looking at the possibility of giving them a donation to something like Heifer International. From everything I hear, this is a great organization. But as I look around the site, for my purposes, I don’t think its quite right. There’s not enough there to engage these young people. I can just see them getting a notice that I’ve donated chickens in their name and them saying, “Yeah, ok. Now on to the next gift.”

And then I found TisBest Charity online. You buy a gift card and the recipient goes online to choose from over 200 charities it can be donated to. On the website, the charities are grouped into categories including: animals, art and culture, building community, children, disabilities, education, environmental, health, homelessness, human rights, humanitarian, hunger, peace and non-violence, senior citizens, sports and recreation, and women’s issues. Each individual charity that is listed within those categories has a brief description and a link to their web site.

Here’s a sample of what the emailed gift card looks like (they have quite a beautiful selection of different images to go on the card):

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So each of these young people will receive a bit of cash for themselves (always an easy bet for teenagers) and a TisBest Gift Card for the same amount. What a great way to teach young people about these causes and about philanthropy!!  


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  1. busy “shopping” today?

  2. and not in any kind of good way. Donations are so much better than stuff. Even if your nieces and nephews don’t get it yet, you’ve at least planted a seed — and done some good in the world. Nice job!  

    • RiaD on November 23, 2007 at 11:30 pm

    thanks so much for passing it on.

    the way to education is by making the subject interesting, and this does interesting ver ver well!

    • KrisC on November 24, 2007 at 12:10 am

    don’t forget to drop some in the bin for Docudharma, either…

    Let’s keep our community going strong & healthy!  I just did!

  3. What a wonderful way to pass on the giving gene.  And you’ve

    one-upped giving donations by also giving a small sum to the

    kids.  Talk about a win-win 😉

  4. Pretty Bird Woman House.

    Also, if you shop for holiday gifts online, consider going through iGive.

    If you go through their portal for your online purchases, the 680+ companies registered will donate a percentage of your purchase to the charity of your choice, given it’s registered with the site. (of course you know which one I’m rooting for, but whatever you root for of course is good too). Somebody went ahead and registered Pretty Bird Woman House and then let me know so I filled out the rest of the info, but it’s likely that both your charity and your stores are on that site. If you want to go to the Pretty Bird Woman House iGive page, go here.

    • RiaD on November 24, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    our county agent sends out a newsletter listing area vendors of crafts, honey, jams & pickles made locally, tea(yes, we have a tea plantation in SC!), local grits, and dairies (cheese).

    check with your local county extension office, electric co=op, or sustainable agriculture orgianization for what is available in your area.

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