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Meaningful Gifting Ideas

I started this post yesterday, and it became a tome on my philosophies of going without and our own move toward making Christmas more simple.  And I may post that, really I might, but for today I decided to scrap that and share ideas and links of meaningful giving.  Because, in  order to simplify gift giving, without scrapping the whole thing, we are working hard to give more thoughtful, meaningful gifts. No big toys. No shopping at boxed stores.  Just simple ideas and supporting companies that are making a difference in the lives of others.  Because, in my opinion, if a gift is going to be purchased, I want my purchase to help others in some way.

So here it goes . . .

1. Homemade gifts

Go on Pinterest.  Search Google.  There are TONS of great ideas for homemade gifts.  There are your standard: Mason Jar Cookie Mixes, Bean Soup Mixes, Homemade Christmas Ornaments. If you are adventurous you can make candles, all natural body butters, bath salts.  Or go simple, with cookies, cakes or fudge. 

Homemade gifts are wonderful to get and give because they convey thought and time.  You have taken the time to make another person a gift.  That is so much more special than a gift card.  Really, it is.

2. Personalized Coupons

This is one that we will be gifting our children this Christmas (shh, don't tell them).  You can make a simple coupon that the person receiving it can redeem at anytime they wish.  For the kids, the coupons can be for a date with Mom (or Dad) , a field trip day (if you homeschool), a family movie night (of their choice), a pizza night, a hug, reading time with Mom or Dad, etc.  These can also be made for your spouse.

3. Gifts that give to one in need.

I LOVE these!  Heifer International and World Vision have AMAZING gift catalogues where you can search and buy a goat for a family, a building for a village, seeds for a farmer, etc, etc.  World Vision even has options where you can buy a necklace, blanket, etc made by families in need.  These gifts can be given in the name of a another.  Ann Voskamp has written eloquently on how gifting in this way has affected her children, so I will not belabor this, but these are gifts that are truly given to those in need.

*I am going to make a plea for adoptive families too (well, really the orphan they are trying to adopt).*

Seriously consider donating money to a family who is in the process of adoption.  You are gifting an orphan a home by helping.  The costs to adopt can be crippling.  If they are running a fundraiser, help out by buying an item.  If they have a Paypal link on their blog side bar (hint, hint ;-) )hit "donate". 

And when you need a gift for someone else, give one that really counts  . . .

The following are companies/gift ideas that are great options if you are looking for a meaningful gift and a gift that not only gives to the one getting the gift, but to another as well.

4. 147 Million Orphans

I have spoken about this company a great deal.  But they sell t-shirts, jewelery, handbags.  Many of these items are made by artisans from Uganda and Haiti and sold to help them out of extreme poverty.  All profits go back to these communities by aiding mission trips, building homes and buildings and providing food for the poor and orphans. 

And, after checking out their website, if you would like to buy any of their items, please see my post here on how you can help us fund raise for our adoption by buying items from 147 Million Orphans through me.

5. Sevenly

Cute, trendy clothing, jewelery, handbags and prints.  All have an incredible meaning.  All help support amazing causes.  Their charities change each week.  Months ago, I bought a shirt that helped to raise money for orphans in China.  I feel even more in love with Sevenly, when I read the label area of the shirt and saw Matthew 22:36-39 listed with the quote "Why We Love'.  Awesome.

6. Give Jewelery

This amazing company sells bracelets made by artisans around the world.  The sale of 1 bracelet gives one child meals for an entire week!

7. Visiting Orphans

Raises money to help support missions to serve orphans around the world.  They sell t-shirts, jewelry and a variety of other items.

8. Connected in Hope

Can I just tell you, I LOVE scarves!  But, I cannot STAND the cost of them.  I refuse to go to Target and pay $30 for a scarf, I just do.  But, Connected In Hope sells scarf made by artisans in Ethiopia.  Their mission is to Empower Women and Strengthen families.  Their scarves are beautiful and reasonably priced.  Each scarf comes with a tag with the name of the woman who made it, and a note card that you can send back to have given to the women who made it.   So each time you wear the scarf, you can pray,by name, for the woman who made it and her family.

9. Freeset Global
Makes bags for gifting and for personalizing to sell too.  All proceeds go to help women around the world remain out of the slave trade.

10. The Apparent Project

This company doubly blesses.  All items are made by artisans in Haiti.  And Apparent Project then connects with families fundraising for adoptions, etc and helps them raise funds.  They have some really cute handmade ornaments right now.  See their facebook page that has links to families sell these great items if you would like to buy.

Whew!  I hope this helps some! 
Now, please share some ideas you may have too!


  1. Kiva loans are awesome in my book. My money has been reinvested in multiple people more times than I can remember. The link is

  2. I LOVE this post, Katie!! I'm sharing it today on my FB pages!! There's a few organizations I've never heard of here - so I've got to check them out!! Thank you! Hope your Advent is blessed and your Christmas is merry!! :)

  3. Katie,
    I love your list! Thanks for sharing it.
    Hope things are going well, have thought of you several times late,y I need to shoot you an email:)


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