Sr. John Says: Explore other ways to give this Christmas


Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

Sr. John Michele Southwick, I.H.M., Special Contributor

There are alternative ways to give this Christmas.

Do you ever get tired of the hustle and rush of the Christmas season and lose sight of the whole purpose of Advent and Christmas? You spend so much time and energy looking for that perfect gift to give to someone who already has everything. What’s the point?

Well, there are some alternative gifts that can not only “give” to the recipient, but also to those in need. Fair Trade is a concrete way to buy handcrafted items from artisans and farmers from around the world. Fair Trade is an excellent example of giving a gift that gives back to the maker with a fair price for their work. There is no middle person that takes part of the profit. We will be having a Fair Trade sale on campus Nov. 24 and Dec. 3 in the Fireplace Lounge from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Also consider donating to organizations that help improve the lives of those most in need. For example, Catholic Relief Service has a gift catalog online where you can choose from health projects and education to water and emergency relief.

Go to and search for “gift catalog” in the top left hand corner, and it will show you all of your options. Imagine for only $30.00 you could buy a hand-washing station to protect children from diseases like diarrhea, cholera, and typhoid, or for the same price buy a family of six malaria nets to protect them from infested mosquitoes. You can make your donation in someone’s name. It reminds people of the true spirit of Christmas and those in the world who are far less fortunate than we are. You can make a difference not only to them, but also to those whom you give the gift.

Another idea is Heifer International, which allows you to give in someone else’s name to a favorite charity.

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