December Gift Guide 2012 [Part 4]

When thinking about what to put in a “gift guide” I never know exactly how to go about it. Do I put things that I think I would like to receive from people? Should it be things that I expect others would like? Or should I focus on things that most people do not already know about? Well, instead of giving myself a headache, I will just do my best to incorporate all those thought processes together into a hopefully comprehensive list!

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1.      BEL13VERS Foundation: You do not need to be a hockey fan to appreciate Jack Jablonski’s story. You do not even need to be a fan of sports, however it may hit home stronger for those who are. When I was introduced to Jack’s story about a year ago I visited the site and watched a video that inspired me instantly to buy a t-shirt and donate towards the Foundation. There is a unique feeling in helping out a family that you have never met and probably never will meet.

2.      Make Your Presence be the Present: You know that crazy neighbor who you try to actively avoid day in and day out? Well try accepting the invitation they gave you to their Holiday party. Even if you are dropping in for only a few minutes, your presence can mean more to someone than any product you could buy at Best Buy.

3.      A Barnyard?! When you meet someone who you are planning on buying a gift for during the holidays and they tell you that they want a cow or a goat for a family in a 3rd world country, it really makes you understand that the things you were hoping for this year may be pretty small in comparison. Purchasing an animal to give to a family which will then give the offspring of that animal to another family. Thus, making it the gift that keeps on giving. Heifer International & World Vision are two organizations that offer families the gift of livestock!

4.      A Trip Down Memory Lane: I think anyone can appreciate getting a homemade gift for the holidays. Seeing that someone you care about put time in his or her busy schedule to sit down and craft something for you has a way of making you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. If you are thinking about crafting something this year, think about making it something that has special meaning between the two of you. Maybe it is an inside joke or something that the two of you experienced together years ago that still sticks with you. Receiving something homemade can feel good, but receiving something homemade that was made specifically with you and only you in mind can feel even better. [Photo Credit]

5.      Donors Choose: If you feel like making a donation for the holidays, Donors Choose is something that may be of interest to you. There are teachers all over the country that do not have the ability to let their students live up to their potential. With Donors Choose you can pick a category, for example: Math. You then can look at the stories by art teachers and donate a few bucks here and there for supplies to help them get a project off the ground. You can really feel like you are a part of the children’s work and be blessed with receiving pictures and updates from the children as they pursue the project.

**No one has asked us to feature any products - these are simply things we love and want to share!

Ben Heydt is the Media Director for The Authenticity Project, you can contact Ben at

Check out December Gift Guide 2012 Part 1 Part 2 and Part 3 in case you missed it!