Holiday shopping madness is upon us, and it would seem as though everyone- Young, old, wealthy, or of humble means- Is out in force, buying up anything that could possibly be wrapped up in paper and topped off with a bow. I’m not one to advocate such excessive consumerism, but if it’s possible to make conscious purchases that aren’t simply wasted on meaningless plastic and glass, I personally would certainly be more inclined to fork of my hard-earned money. Shouldn’t a gift be something of actual value, and not just the numbers on a price tag? If no store has that “perfect gift” and you find yourself at wit’s end, looking to please the person who has everything, I have one little suggestion to throw into the ring.
One of the most thoughtful presents I received in a while was this beautiful bracelet made of paper beads, from a good friend who seems to know me better than I know myself. Thanks to Bead for Life, an organization that allows women from Uganda to sell their lovely handiwork, it’s possible to support those in need and give a lovely piece of jewelry to the loved ones in your life. It’s like donating to a charity, with benefits for all those involved!
Being a compassionate consumer means taking into account the welfare of animals, naturally, but I think that the well being of our fellow man is often swept under the rug in this equation. Think about what’s going into your store-bought gifts this year, and decide: Do you want something mass-produced that’s supporting sweatshops and suffering, or something unique, handmade, and actually bound to send money where it’s needed?