I don't know about you but sometimes I think about Christmas and the amount of money that gets spent and wonder why we don't just donate it to charity? I mean it's very nice that Uncle Bob still gives us a box of chocolates, it shows he cares and that's lovely. When you think about it though, if he'd written in a card that he'd given that £3 to a worthy cause I think that would mean more to me....and my waistline.
I remember one Christmas opening up an envelope from my, then, fiance. It was a card from a well known charity saying he had effectively bought a chicken for a family in a distant country to help them thrive. I was delighted! Instead of spending a tenner on a DVD that I'd watch once, he'd put the money to a worthy cause! I remember trying to explain to others why I was so excited, honestly this chicken was just such a fantastic gift. Of course he did buy me other things too, but useful things like books that I will read instead of just bulking out the stocking with some tat that will go in the charity shop pile or, dare I say it, the bin on Boxing Day....a waste of money.
I'm actually writing this now thinking, oh dear what if my family are reading this? Well you know what? they know me well enough by now! They know that I only like useful gifts, gifts I will use, read, enjoy or gifts that will help others. So this rant hopefully hasn't come as a shock to them.
Where's this going I hear you ask? Well my point is that we can give gifts that will actually help someone's life. After all, shouldn't we all be thinking of others at Christmas?
Fair enough I hear you say, but I'd still like a present. That's fine, there's no reason why you shouldn't want a present too... and there's no reason why that can't happen. Which leads me on to the purpose of this post...
I was contacted last month by UNICEF who introduced me to their partnership with Claire's fashion retailer. Together they are selling a range of jewellery that not only fulfils the "gift" part of a present but also the "charity" side too.
For every piece of this jewellery sold, a £1 donation is made to UNICEF. This £1 could provide life-saving vaccinations for eight children or feed a malnourished child for a day.
So yes you are giving a tangible gift, but you are also helping in a small way to change lives.
I really like this idea and I plan to give a piece of this jewellery to my Goddaughter. She loves pink and so I know she will love this, but I'm also hoping that her parents will read to her what it says on the package. I'm hoping she will realise how lucky she is on Christmas Day when she is surrounded by gifts and family, and that maybe this small piece of jewellery will remind her to think of others as well as herself.
The UNICEF range of jewellery costs a maximum of £5 and is available from www.claires.com. A donation of £1 is made to UNICEF. You are welcome to add a further donation at the till if you should so wish.
So if you are still to do your Christmas shopping stop and think about what you are actually buying, why you are buying it and if really you are helping anyone by buying it.