It was at least ten years ago that my father said we were no longer exchanging Christmas gifts. He was not being a Grinch. He was saying we have too much already. My Dad wanted us to give gifts to those who were truly in need. Giving to others became our family tradition. Gifting with Purpose has been central to Christmas ever since.

My parents chose the World Vision Gift Catalogue as their source to provide life sustaining items to families in developing nations. This nonprofit organization has designed a meaningful way to give in specific amounts. You can shop according to your budget and interests. We choose gifts in honor of each family member. There are now dozens of wonderful organizations that have Christmas Gift Catalogues including Oxfam, Heifer International, International Justice Mission.

Our Family Built A Well

Since my father’s proclamation every year I have purchased farm animals, 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 in Bangladesh in honor of our families. It was deeply rewarding.

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 Gift with Purpose.

Match The Gift With A Christmas Ornamentxmas 13

I wanted a special way to present my Gift with Purpose and stumbled upon the idea of a Christmas ornament that represents the item purchased from the World Vision Catalogue. It is a fun project every year to find that perfect figurine. I have found ornaments for cows, goats, school buses, bees, sheep, ducks and blankets. Etsy has been my best source for unique and hard to find ornaments. They can hang on the recipient’s tree as a beautiful reminder of the gift donated in their honor. World Vision also provides a Personalized Card describing gift which I include with the ornament.

It’s All In the Presentation

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Gift is wrapped in sumptuous paper embellished with floral and fruit picks.

My creative twist on Gifting with Purpose is seen in the wrapping. I use the most extravagant paper and ribbons to highlight the meaningful donation inside.

The love and attention I put in the packaging helps build expectation. The wrapping itself becomes a gift. I collect floral picks, charms, decorations as embellishments throughout the year to make the wrapping beautiful.

One year my sister used her wrapped ornament  as the Christmas dinner centerpiece before opening it! I was deeply flattered.

 Themed Gift Baskets

I have also created Themed Gift Baskets as special way to present my Gift with Purpose. My World Vision purchase is the central theme. I then enhance it by giving specialty items that compliments the donated gift. An ornament is always included.  My Honey Bees for Christmas blog gives you great ideas on how to create your own honey-themed basket.


Gifting with Purpose 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.”