It was at least 20 years ago that my father said we were no longer exchanging Christmas gifts. He was not being a Grinch, he just felt we have too much already. My Dad wanted us to give gifts that impacted lives in honor of one another; specifically in developing nations.  A new family tradition was born. INTENTIONAL GIVING has been central to our family Christmas celebrations ever since.

My parents chose the World Vision Gift Catalogue as their product catalogue to purchase life sustaining items for families. This nonprofit organization has designed a meaningful way to give. You can shop according to your budget and interests; everything from Soccer Balls to Chickens.  We choose gifts in honor of each family member. There are now dozens of wonderful organizations that have Christmas Gift Catalogues including: The Lutheran Church, Heifer International, International Justice Mission.

Our Family Built A Well

Since my father’s proclamation, every year I have purchased a wide selection of products ranging farm animals to beehives, fishing gear, bikes, goats and seeds for dozens of families around the world. Last year was our greatest opportunity to give. We built a well for a school children in Bangladesh.

There are opposing opinions regarding the merit of buying farm animals. So if this is a concern there are many alternative gift choices like education, sewing machines, slavery rescue and refugee assistance that might better suit your Gifting with Purpose.

Match The Gift With A Christmas Ornamentxmas 13

Creatively sharing the gift makes the experience that much more engaging. I have included a Christmas ornament that best represents the item purchased from the World Vision Catalogue .  It is a fun project every year to find that perfect oranment. I have sourced ornaments in the shape of cows, goats, school buses, bees, sheep, ducks, water drops and blankets. Etsy has been my best source for unique and hard to find ornaments. They make the tree so festive and are a  beautiful visual reminder of the gift donated in their honor. World Vision also provides a Personalized Card describing the gift purchased.

 Presentation is Key

Wrapping the gift card and ornament is another great joy.  I use extravagant paper and ribbons to highlight the meaningful gift.  The love and attention I put in the packaging helps build expectation.  I collect floral picks, charms, greenery and tags throughout the year to embellish the package.  These beautifully wrapped gifts can even be used as Christmas themed centerpieces!

 Themed Gift Baskets

I have also created Themed Gift Baskets as special way to package my INTENTIONAL GIFT. My World Vision item provides the central theme. I then enhance the Intentional Gift by finding specialty items that compliments the theme including an ornament.  My Honey Bees for Christmas blog gives you great ideas on how to create your own honey-themed basket.

INTENTIONAL GIVING makes Gifting with Purpose a very special gift indeed. It makes gift giving so less stressful and so more deeply meaningful!

Proverbs 19:17 
“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.”