Giving good this Christmas

How To | November 30, 2011

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.

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