Black Friday, which has somehow earned the title of Christmas season kickoff even amongst Canadians, has come and gone. It’s also the day retailers start their pressure-inducing countdown, reminding everyone there’s only “24 more shopping days until Christmas.”
Before you really get rolling with the mad dash to the shops, we thought we’d suggest a few ideas that focus more on good giving and less on acquiring goods.
- Dads are notoriously hard to buy for. So the rest of the family can set up a Giving Group in his name. Everyone adds to it, and he has a nice Christmas 2011 legacy to pass on to a cause he cares about.
- Forego the cards this year. You can save the trees and some time by chimping everyone on your list a few dollars instead. Include the year’s update in your email that goes with the money.
- Ask your friends to do the same when it comes to passing out cards, chocolates, etc. Invite them to a Giving Group you’ve set up and suggest they put money in it in lieu of giving you other gifts or acknowledgements.
- Heading out of town for the holidays so you can’t volunteer at the food bank this year? Find it – or one where you’re going – on Chimp and give to it instead.
- There’s no time like Christmas to be teaching your children about charity. No need to hold back on the presents, but set them up with a Chimp Fund as well and a plan for a regular charitable allowance for 2012.
- Let’s face it, lots of gifts to your boss can be considered brown-nosing. Chimp him or her some money instead and plant the seed (read: need) for a Corporate Fund, which allows for employee matching.
- Another thing to face: No one needs 10 dozen different kinds of cookies. Swap your ladies’ cookie circle with a giving circle instead. Still get together, but bring a bottle wine and tell one another about the charity that got your cookie money this year
- Add money to your own fund before December 31. You help others when you send it on to charity, and you get a tax break for yourself.
Have any suggestions on how to expand on the common theme of “giving"? It's the time for sharing, too.