I start my holiday shopping in January. Yes, January. When I see something that I know one of my family members, friends, neighbors, or kids’ teachers would love, regardless of the time of year, I buy it right that very minute and store it until the following December. This shopping method keeps me ahead of the holiday game, and alleviates a great deal of the stress I once associated with this busy time of year.
At the end of November I check my list (twice) to determine for whom I still need to buy gifts. Despite the fact that I start shopping a little earlier (alright, A LOT earlier) than most people, I still find myself without presents for some of my harder-to-buy-for family members and friends. These folks always seem to have everything they need and want, so instead of buying sweaters they won’t wear or picture frames they won’t use, I purchase “gifts” in their names for those in need through the American Red Cross Holiday Gift Catalog.
Here are a few of my favorite options from this year’s catalog:
- Reconnection Workshops ($30 and up) After returning from deployment many service members have difficulty readjusting to home life. These workshops are led by mental health professionals and help restore military families by teaching communication skills, anger management techniques, and how to recognize signs of depression and PTSD.
- Hot Meals ($30 and up) In the wake of a disaster, many in affected areas find themselves without food and/or water. American Red Cross volunteers provide those in need with hearty, comforting meals to give them strength for the challenges ahead.
- Vaccinations for 25 Children ($25) Measles still kills an estimated 330 people – mostly children – every day. This gift provides children with a lifetime of protection against this deadly disease.
- Emergency Family Kits ($100 and up) When international disasters strike, many families find themselves with next to nothing and barely able to survive in the blink of an eye. The American Red Cross sends Emergency Family Kits, which contain a cooking set, toilet paper, toothbrushes, water containers, and blankets, overseas to help these families through their first few difficult weeks.
Take a moment to browse the 2014 American Red Cross Holiday Gift Catalog. Perhaps you’ll find the perfect gift for your hard-to-buy-for family members and friends!