Who is Stealing Christmas: Alternative Gift Ideas

by Sister Maureen Freeman, Province Leader

This Advent, I am distracted by the overabundance of Christmas paraphernalia in the stores and in the ads. How do we counteract the deluge of Christmas ads, cards, candy and music that has already begun?

Beginning to feel like I am somewhere between the Grinch and Scrooge, the words of theologian Diarmuid O'Murchu became a mantra in my head: insatiable consumerism. This Christmas glitter everywhere got me thinking about how I want to celebrate the seasons of Advent and Christmas.

Let's look at that insatiable consumerism. Does mean we don't give any gifts? I read once that giving gifts is part of our DNA as human beings. It's the way we connect with each other. The way we show gratitude and express our love. 

Don't let the almighty dollar and the need for more stuff steal Christmas this year. Let's try and be more creative. More creativity, less money. Inner child out, wallet in! 

Here are some ideas to get us started! Send us your ideas using our contact form and we'll share them here. 

No-to-Low Cost Gifts

  • Make your own gift card and offer your time and talent, like cooking or cleaning.
  • Host a movie or game night at your home. 
  • Put together a collection of favorite recipes. 
  • Organize a white elephant gift swap using items you already own.
  • Host a cookie exchange and give half to a local shelter in someone's name.
  • Gather a group of friends and family for a volunteer outing. 
  • Get creative with your gift wrapping - use recycled paper, newspaper or other materials. 

Gifts for a Cause

  • Gifts for Good: The Communicators for Women Religious are promoting unique gifts made by Catholic sisters and their ministries. 

  • Bombas Socks: Socks are the #1 most requested item at homeless shelters. Every pair purchased equals one pair donated. 

  • Equal Exchange: A fair trade initiative, Equal Exchange builds long-term trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound. Purchase their chocolates, coffee and other fair foods. 

  • Hand in Hand Soaps: When you buy a bar of these sustainable suds, Hand in Hand provides a bar to children in need of Haiti. 

  •  Sprout World:  Sprout World created the world's first sustainable pencil that you can plant after use.
  • Shop Local: Holiday markets, local vendors, your neighborhood stores. Support your community!

  • Memberships: Get experience-oriented memberships at places like a science center of botanical gardens. 


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