Simplified and Socially Responsible Gift Giving

I realize that it is a tad bit cliché that my children naturally remind me of so many obvious truths in life, but so what? They do. My youngest child is notorious in our house for her creative spirit and artistic imagination, especially when it comes to the recycling bin. On more than one occasion we have come home to an empty recycling bin, replaced by her latest sculpture proudly displayed in the middle of the kitchen. It's gotten to the point that whenever we put something in the bin we have to ask ourselves if we're okay with that bottle or box being transformed into her latest art installation. This week, her creation was a nativity scene made from scraps of paper, an old plastic star and a meat tray. Come on . . . even the hardest-core "you are brainwashing your children with that moronic church stuff" have to admit that this is pretty darn cute.

In this simple creation, I am reminded again that joy and imagination are not always found in the flashy and the new.

In the same way, simplicity and responsibility are important traits to keep in mind during the holiday gift-giving season. And while we are far from perfect in the "don't buy crap" department for Christmas and other gift-giving occasions, we do try to instill the idea that we should be as responsible as we can when buying gifts. From avoiding environmentally harmful products to spending money in ways that help support a wide variety of causes around the world, we hope that our kids learn healthy ways to give, receive and experience the overwhelming nature of the marketplace.

This year, I have started a list of Socially Responsible Gift Giving Opportunities using While I do moderate it to avoid spam and/or other contributions that I don't feel are socially responsible, anyone can add to the list, "like" any number of them and let folks know if they have used them in the past. There are some great entries on the list, so I would hope that you would take the time to use the list for your own gift-giving, add a few suggestions of your own and share the list with other folks.

To get started click on the button below . . .

. . . or cut-and-paste into your browser.

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