9 Last-Minute Gift Ideas For People Tired Of Giving The Same Christmas Crap
We’ve all done it, right? I know I have.
It gets to stupid o'clock on December 24th and you still don’t have anything for your niece/aunt/best friend’s sister-in-law’s kid. You mentally calculate how much wine you have consumed, decide you are good to go in half an hour and pile into the car for a late night Kmart run.
But it doesn't have to be this way. This year, things can be different.
Over the course of this year, I have had the privilege to hear about some really fantastic organisations and initiatives that work really hard to make the world a better place. So instead of my ill-advised 1AM dash to a shopping centre this coming Tuesday, I’m going to try and support some of them instead.
If you’re thinking about doing something similar, here’s a handy list...
Share the Dignity distributes sanitary napkins and handbags full of toiletries and other beauty/hygiene products to women that are homeless, at-risk or dealing with domestic violence. They also
Perfect for: The whole family. Why not pack the bags together on Christmas Day? (Granted, this may still involve a trip to Kmart, but at least the trip is for a good cause.)
SisterWorks is a not for profit organisation in Melbourne. Their purpose is to empower refugee and migrant women to find work in the local community. You can support SisterWorks by buying some of their sustainable products or food hampers. Or you can book yourself and a family member in to one of the workshops run by the women they support.
Perfect for: Younger siblings and cousins. Give them something you can do together for Christmas.
The Pyjama Foundation is an organisation that matches ‘Pyjama Angels’ with children in their area who are in foster, kinship or another form of out of home care. Pyjama Angels are trained to deliver a ‘love of learning’ program to the kids, in the hopes that it will improve their confidence and help them to keep up with their peers in the classroom. They are always looking for new volunteers, and you can also donate presents for the kids at Christmas time, or some much needed funds to ensure they can continue training people to deliver the learning program to foster kids across the country.
Perfect for: The teacher in your family. Let’s face it, every family’s got one.
Care Australia is an Australian charity and international humanitarian aid organization that predominantly works with women and children in the fight against poverty around the globe. Their programs focuses on providing emergency services, healthcare, food provision, empowering women and girls, ensuring that children have access to education and adults have access to practical training.
90% of their funds go directly to their programs and crisis support, with 3% going to administration and 7% going back into fundraising efforts. You can get involved by giving a monetary donation on behalf of a family member, or by participating in one of their volunteer activities.
Perfect for: Your Mum. The best care giver in your life.
Given that men are three times more likely than women to die from suicide, organisations like MensLine are really important to ensuring that support is there when people need it. The help line provides counselling for men who are going through a tough time, and the website has heaps of great resources for men about fatherhood, separation, grieving, domestic violence, relationships and more.
They are also affiliated with Changing for Good, an organisation that helps men end their use of violence in their relationships. Donations help the organisation to continue providing these services free of charge to men and boys across Australia.
Perfect for: The best men in your life.
World Vision’s mission is to educate and support vulnerable children across the globe. They take a holistic approach by working in communities, not just with individuals. The organisation has been operating for over 50 years and in that time has supported over 100 million people around the world.
As well as making a donation to World Vision, you can also buy a ‘gift’ for someone this Christmas. $40 will get you a goat or some sport equipment for the kids. $50 will train a maternal health nurse. And if you want something closer to home, $30 means you will support Indigenous children in Australia to access early learning opportunities in their community.
Perfect for: There are so many tangible gifts available, you can find something for anyone.
Oxfam Australia is a humanitarian organisation working in 79 countries to provide immediate relief, and then ongoing sustainable development to communities that need it most. Their range of gift cards include clean water, a well, veggie patches, chickens and more (they have some excellent puns to boot).
Perfect for: Dads. Who else will appreciate a card that says ‘I got you a quacking good gift this year.’
The Indigenous Literacy Foundation aims to provide literacy skills to children in Indigenous communities. Their programs focus on reading and instilling a love of books from an early age, which helps children in the classroom.
They work with over 280 remote communities in Australia where books and resources are scarce. You donation helps them to continue working with the kids and provide the communities with books.
Perfect for: The kids in your life. Pop a note about their donation in a book for them to unwrap.
How could any list about worthwhile Christmas gifts be complete without the RSPCA? Not only does the organisation do important animal advocacy and education in every state and territory in Australia, they also operate shelters for animals who are still looking for their forever home. They give them medical assistance and lots of pats and walks.
You can become the 'Guardian Angel' of a homeless animal or make a donation on someone else's behalf. The RSPCA also run animal care courses that you can take.
Perfect for: The animal lover in your life.
So there you have it. Nine organisations you can support this Christmas in lieu of the midnight Kmart dash. You’re welcome, and have a safe and happy new year.