As of this year, Brad and I have begun changing the way we think about gifts, especially for one another. If we actually need something, we buy it if we can throughout the year, and we don't see the use as much anymore in having a lot of "things" just for the sake of buying each other a gift. This is part of why we have begun opting a lot more for homemade gifts, as you know, and even donation gifts. We hear about it more it seems at Christmas, but there are so many great organizations that have gift catalogues or online donations you can make in someone's honour all year around. From World Vision to Care Canada to Heifer International to Free the Children to the World Wildlife Fund, there are options for most anyone.
One organization that really stood out to me is Changing the Present. I love their name, and the website is great. You can browse through all sorts of different causes, the categories including basic needs, community, environment, heath and safety, and opportunity, to find one that will be meaningful to your particular recipient. They are even divided up into price ranges, recipients, and occasions. Prices start at just $1! You can check out some of my favourite causes here.
Since Brad is into technology and saving the environment, I chose a related gift for him as a graduation present. (He just graduated from UBC-O with his Bachelor of Science. I'm so proud!) His gift was installing a solar cell for arrays on the roofs of apartment buildings with the nonprofit organization Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future.
I think these are great gift ideas for the person who has everything or people who are particularly passionate about a certain cause. It's also a way to reduce consumerism and consumption of "things" and "stuff" we don't really need and help others and our planet.