This holiday season, some of my family and I decided to take a new look at the way we treat gifts. Many of us are fortunate enough that if we need something, we just go our and get it. I for one am very much of this mindset that I don’t need gifts from other people. If there is something I truly need or want, I simply go out and buy it for myself as does my wife and other members of my family. With that in mind we decided on a new family tradition that breaks away from the need to run out on Black Friday to fight crowds for deals on clothes and material things. We embraced Cyber Monday as it were and decided to Point, Click and Donate.
The basic idea is simple enough. Take whatever you would normally spend on each family member and apply that to a charity on their behalf. You spend the same as you would have on them, but without shopping for a perfect gift, or something completely useless they will never use. Why fight the crowds either when almost every charity has an online donation form. Of course this does not apply to our younger family members, they will still get real gifts under the tree.
As for Julie and I, we also sponsor a family with a combined set of funds that we would have spent on each other. We do this through a local organization known as the Share Program. We get a family with a list of things they need, and we go shopping for them. We are allowed to spend about $60 per family member, and we have a blast doing it. The real joy for us is knowing we helped out people less fortunate than us both in our community, as well as outside of it.
I have some of my favorite ones listed on this page, but below are some others we decided to use this year.