What to get someone who has everything he needs? That is a dilemma that many of us face during the holidays or at birthdays. It is something I struggled with every year I had to shop for my dad. He doesn’t like gadgets, he likes the occasional movie but probably wouldn’t watch it more than once or twice and he doesn’t really want anything. This last part used to baffle me. How can you not WANT anything when someone else is buying?
For years, when we would ask what he wanted for Christmas his answer would always be “Donations to a food bank”. For years I ignored him because I didn’t really believe that it’s what he actually wanted and for some crazy reason I didn’t consider it a real gift. Finally one Christmas I gave in and donated money to a local food bank. This was the first time in a while that he looked truly happy with his gift. And the “Finally, someone listened to me” comment also sort of tipped me off to his true feelings. I know he always appreciated anything we ended up getting but I could almost see the mental eye roll that screamed “Oh, another shirt!” (Side note: I have bought him A LOT of shirts over the years so I can sort of understand the reaction).
After that I was a believer. I have no idea why it took me so long to figure out that supporting deserving charities and helping those in need is an amazing gift. This one gift can touch so many people, from the person you are donating on behalf of, to the person or family receiving the donation, the organization that can continue their work because of the money received and all the volunteers involved. What I love about this, other than helping a deserving family, is that I can choose how my money is spent. I can buy chickens or a goat for a family, I can chose a gift that will directly impact a young girl or buy vaccines to improve the health of children developing countries. Many of these options will be matched by a government, foundation or organizational partner so your money goes even further. There are also many amazing charities that help children here in Canada. Help feed hungry children through breakfast programs or buy school supplies.
Suddenly, the most difficult person to buy for has become the easiest with endless possibilities!