I just bought a goat and a half.

Christmas is coming closer, as every year. And as every year I am thinking what to give to people who already have everything they need. I don’t want to buy another book token or a jumper or a DVD. For me, Christmas is not about consuming and it is most certainly not about giving random stuff to other people. It is about giving time, love and support to the people we cherish.

So, today I bought a goat and a half…for a family in Mosambik…in the name of my dad and his wife. My dad will get a Christmas card that has the picture of a goat on it, and inside the card it will be explained what I bought for them. But, Jasmin, where do you buy a goat? you might ask. Here, you silly: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/oxfam-unwrapped But not only can you give a goat. You could give a chicken, safe water, health care for young mothers and their babies, school books…loads of things that are helping to fund a sustainable life for people who need and deserve it.

Other alternative gifts that you can keep in the back of your mind for the people around you who really don’t need another baking tin as a present:

http://www.zeit-statt-zeug.de/en/ – here you can print out vouchers/gift cards for giving time instead of giving things.

https://www.kiva.org/ – giving micro credits to people in various (developing) countries who then can build an independent life for themselves and help other people to do so as well.

https://worldbicyclerelief.org/en/ – donating  specially built, sustainable and long-living bicycles to rural communities in developing countries.

If you didn’t find anything you’d like to support, have a look around your own community. Maybe you’ll find a local project that you can support in somebodys name instead of giving them ‘just something’.