Weekly Musings: Alternatives To .Org Charitable Holiday Gifting


Published:

The holiday season of gifting is upon us. Americans give over forty percent of their annual charitable donations in December. If you celebrate Hanukah, your personal gifting started on Monday of this week. By December 24th, 2015, Americans will have spent over $465 billion on gifts and goodies, estimates the National Retail Federation. That’s almost half a trillion dollars. Imagine the changes we could manifest in the world with half a trillion dollars collected within just a few months and invested year after year after year! Now that would be HUGE.

Although gifting can be very therapeutic and personally rewarding, I’d like to see the holidays revert back to the simplicity of lights, charitable giving and social gathering as our annual holiday ritual. Remove it from the chain stores and stop all this repetitive gifting year after year among those who already have plenty. If you want to gift someone, do it whenever the mood strikes. You don’t need to wait until December, for goodness sake!

I bluntly found out there was no Santa Claus from an older child on the playground when I was 7 years old. I was devastated. In addition to the magic of me receiving that bounty of presents under my tree on Christmas morning, I believed Santa’s magic also extended to all the starving children in Biafra, who received the money from the second collection in church each Sunday, I was told. I imagined that goodies would also magically appear in their homes on this special night and they would not be hungry for at least one day of the year.

No Santa Claus meant no magic; it was my parents putting those gifts under the tree and nothing would change for Biafra’s children Christmas morning, except maybe if those donations made it there in time. Eventually I realized this meant that I had the power to be Santa myself. I could give as much as a 7-year-old could.

I’m thankful for the spirit of the holiday season that makes it easier for everyone to give just a little bit more. There are many worthy non-profit organizations providing vital services that will use your gift dollars to great benefit. If you choose to gift charitable organizations, check them out first on www.charitynavigator.org. Type in the name of your organization and the Navigator will give you their rating from 1-100 on factors such as how much of the money collected actually goes toward the projects they claim to support and how much goes to salaries, fundraising, etc. The ratings of popular charities may surprise you; not all are what they claim to be!

Personally, I have no love for administration, officialdom and red tape, so I rarely give to non-profit organizations of any kind. Instead, there are many ways to gift dollars directly into the hands of individuals and other creative ways to support a more equal sharing of wealth. However you share it, be assured that your gifts will be returned to you many times over in ways you will never even know.

Alternatives to .Org Charitable Holiday Gifting

1. Send a cash gift to a relative or friend or neighbor you know is financially strapped. Who doesn’t like to receive an extra $100 in the mail?

2. Give an extra large tip to a service provider.

3. Buy from independent, local businesses. While you may (or may not) pay a higher price tag than buying the same item in a chain store, your purchase dollars circulate back in your local community, ultimately making it stronger and a better place to live.

4. Buy from independent artisans, rather than chain stores or Amazon. This is like giving two gifts in one since you support an artist with your gift purchase. You will find plenty of artisans on Etsy.com offering every type of gift or craft imaginable from hundreds of thousands of individual artisans. Also check your local craft stores or centers that offer classes, such as the Worcester Center for Crafts in Worcester, MA or The Maker’s Waypost in Whitinsville, MA, to purchase unique gifts.

5. Buy products made in America, even if they are more expensive. Keeping jobs in America makes our country stronger in many ways.

6. Give food or grocery gift cards to local food banks.

7. Give blood. Sign up for organ donation — either dead or alive!

8. Help someone in need. Time is money. Give your time to visit someone sick, help with household chores or cooking, or look towards members of your own family who could use a helping hand with your time and talents.

9. Bake and cook to your heart’s content and share your edibles as gifts of love. We all could use more homemade cooking in our lives!

Carol Bedrosian is the publisher of Spirit of Change holistic magazine. carol@spiritofchange.org.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

May 28, 2018

The waxing Scorpio Moon makes an intriguing midday opposition with Mercury. Thoughts and feelings could seem stuck in a rut or quite the opposite, a timely realization might occur. Stubborn attitudes and emotion patterns evolve even under the tautest of…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

May 2018

Full Flower Moon - Healing herbs for women's health Part I Tonic herbs for hormonal balance: fertility, normal cycling, aging. Please email rjrcnm@gmail.com if interested. Attendees will...

Cost: Drop in Fee $10 includes all materials and handouts.

Where:
Jefferson, MA


Sponsor: Hillside Herbals
Telephone: 508-847-8615
Contact Name: Rachel Ross
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events

With Lama Surya Das and Philip Goldberg featuring music by David Whetstone $10 • SVED Lama Surya Das and Philip Goldberg meet to discuss how a 200-year East-To-West transmission...

Cost: $10

Where:
Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library
33 Marrett Road
Lexington, MA  02420
View map »


Sponsor: Lexington Community Education
Telephone: 781-862-8043
Contact Name: Craig Hall
Website »

More information

Feel the bliss of opening your spine, while being totally supported and meticulously aligned. Great for sciatica and low back pain! Classes also held Saturday mornings.

Cost: $18 drop in

Where:
Bliss Through Yoga
484 Bedford St
East Bridgewater, MA  02333
View map »


Sponsor: Bliss Through Yoga
Telephone: 508-331-3564
Contact Name: Janice
Website »

More information

8 Week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course with Erin Woo Tuesdays, May 1 - June 19, 6–8:30 pm *Includes an all day retreat on Saturday, June 9 from 9 am - 4 pm Come explore the...

Cost: $290

Where:
Balance Bethlehem
2087 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH  03574
View map »


Sponsor: Balance Bethlehem
Telephone: 603-869-2125
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events

YogaLife studio would like to offer this opportunity to slow it down, step back, notice your breath and sit quietly in community. Join us Thursdays from 5:40-6:30 PM. No Yoga...

Cost: Free

Where:
YogaLife Institute
6 Chestnut Street
Suite A
Exeter, MA  03833
View map »


Telephone: 603-969-8968
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

June 1 - 3, 2018 Barbara Brennan School of Healing presents a Weekend Immersion Workshop in Brennan Healing Science: The Brennan Method of Energy Healing with Anne Hoye, BBSH School Dean Come...

Cost: $325

Where:
Doubletree Hilton Hotel
11 Beaver Street
Milford, MA  01757
View map »


Sponsor: Barbara Brennan School of Healing
Telephone: 508-893-9915
Contact Name: Anne Hoye, BBSH School Dean
Website »

More information

June 1 - 3 All cultures have created rites of passage in which the adolescent bids goodbye to dependency and becomes an adult. The Call to Adventure is for men and women ready to discover their...

Cost: $350/weekend

Where:
Earthlands Retreat Center
Glasheen Rd
Petersham, MA
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Air and Stone
Telephone: 802-387-6624
Contact Name: Sparrow Hart
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Early Bird Special! Save $15 if you register before May 24th! Class includes: An Infinite Possibilities workbook and certificate of completion. Must register in advance to ensure that...

Cost: $85

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
90 Main Street
Andover, MA  01810
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

Psychics, mediums, angel readers, spirit art. Reiki, chair massage, IET, Gaiadon Heart, crystal healings, etc. Sign yourself up for a few appointments and bring your friends! Appointments...

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA
View map »


Telephone: 508-230-3680
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags