4 creative ways to give back this Christmas

Last minute shopping, Christmas parties, wrapping gifts, traveling—the holidays can be the most wonderful time of year but also the busiest and most hectic. Here are a few ideas for you to think beyond the hustle and bustle of the season and give back.

We all use Amazon to do our online shopping, right? But what you may not know is that with the AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. All you have to do is go to AmazonSmile, select a charity of your choice, then continue your Amazon shopping like normal. It’s a simple way for you to use what you’re already doing to support local charity.

  1. Buy from companies that support and empower women

There are so many wonderful companies that have amazing gift options while supporting human trafficking survivors, employing underprivileged women, and working to end poverty. Here are just two organizations out of many that do incredible work:

Thistle Farms sells natural home and body products—like delicious-smelling candles and soaps—all handmade by women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addition. Thistle Farm’s mission is to heal, empower, and employ these survivors by providing safe and supportive housing, the opportunity for economic independence, and a strong community of advocates and partners.

fashionABLE’s mantra is “beautiful products by women who have overcome.” They are a lifestyle brand focused on ending generational poverty by working with women who have often overcome extraordinary circumstances. They sell everything from purses to shoes to jewelry and accessories. fashionABLE manufactures directly in the communities they wish to impact, both locally and globally, creating jobs and ending the cycle of charity dependency.

Before you shop, consider a company that offers both the products you’re looking for AND a commitment to giving back.

  1. Do a random act of kindness

It can be for someone you know well or someone you don’t know at all. Surprise your parents, partner, or roommates by doing something for them around the house for no reason at all. Or it could be for a random stranger – I love hearing stories about customers in drive-thru lines paying for each other’s meals or strangers at Starbucks purchasing drinks for the person behind them. That kind of kindness is what truly brings joy at Christmas and get us out of our own hustle-and-bustle.

  1. Consider those who are alone this Christmas

Christmas can be a really difficult time of year for those who are alone, have lost loved ones, don’t have family members, or are dealing with tough circumstances that just don’t go away at Christmas. You might be going through a situation like this, or know someone who is. What’s something out of your daily routine that you could do to encourage someone feeling extra lonely this Christmas?

Here are some ideas: bake cookies, write a note of encouragement, pay them a visit at their home, visit the elderly at your local nursing home. We all need to be reminded that we aren’t alone – but for those grieving or facing difficult circumstances, a little bit of love and attention goes a long way.