Today is “cyber-Monday”. I guess that’s something of a big deal, because it’s all over yahoo! news, and my facebook page. So in response to all the shopping pressure, and because I am like a stubborn mule that likes to go against the flow of normality, I am posting my anti-shopping recommendations.
I don’t hate shopping. That’s the problem. I love shopping especially for all the people I care about, and if I had millions of dollars they would all be getting random gifts from me year-round, just because I saw something they would like. Unfortunately, I shop for myself whenever I am shopping for others, so I usually double what I would be spending, if not more. Due to all of the costs, as well as travel associated with this time of year, Hubby and I had started to completely hate Christmas. We wanted to reverse this trend, and feel good about the money we’re spending, as well as control the amount. This is how anti-shopping was born.
We are giving charitable donations in the names of all our friends and family this year, and giving them cards to let them know. I have done a bit of this in the past, and here are some of the websites I’ve used:
1) World Vision – this charity allows you to donate in tons of different ways. You can sponsor a child, buy a goat or flock of chickens for a village, or help build a well to provide clean drinking water. They also have a shop where you can buy cool little things, and the proceeds go to the charity.
2) Defenders of Wildlife – this site allows you to sponsor dozens of different animals in order to help protect their habitat, and advocate for their protection. You can adopt sea turtles, wolves, penguins and many others, and the gift recipient gets a plush toy, which is super sute.
3) Local Charities – does the person on your gift list volunteer somewhere? Do they have a pet cause, like homelessness, gay rights, or child welfare? Find a charity in your city so the gift can help close to home.
4) Animal Trustees of Austin - Speaking of local, this is a great organiztion that provides low cost spay, neuter, and basic medical services for animals in Austin.
5) Town Lake Animal Shelter - Town Lake does not turn away any animals, and is dependent on charitable donations to care for all of them. This is not a no-kill shelter, but from what I understand they are trying to transition in that direction.
6) The Human Fund - The link I’ve provided here goes to a video by the founder of the Human Fund, explaining their mission and goals. I think this one is already pretty well-known, so I’ll let the video speak for itself.
There is always the Red Cross, and several other well known national charities most people would be very happy to help support. The issues we run into with our family, is that we don’t know what they already own, or what they’d want for the most part, and it gets frustrating. For the young kids we will still be buying toys (mostly Batman related, of course), but for the adults I will be making handmade cards to let them know what donation we made in their name. This way I can have fun crafting, and yet I don’t have to wrap tons of stuff. That’s win, win in my book.
PS. You can always shop your little heart out at my Etsy store also: http://www.etsy.com/shop/thatcleverchick I’m basically a charity case.