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Best Charity Gift Ideas for Christmas—Christmas Guide

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charity-gift-ideas-xmas-1XMAS CHALLENGE
Christmas Guide - Day 1: Top Charity Gift Ideas

Christmas
time can be magical again when we rediscover the meaning of care and sharing. That's why our Xmas Challenge Day 1 opens with best charity ideas. Today's little guide will help you get good karma while enabling good deeds and charity, and evading fraud and disappointment. 

DONATE 2.0
It's easy to donate in 2012: you can support non-profits by buying beautiful Christmas cards, calendars or photographic art.
Just keep in mind that even though these companies will really use donated money for a good cause, some of the money always goes to support the organisation itself.
It's a good idea to opt for social giving and charity greeting cards if you look for actual gifts.

With www.photocircle.net, a social photo sharing platform, photographers and buyers support community projects in the region where the special picture was taken.
With unicef.org (unicef.de, unicef.fr for local branches) possibly the most famous NPO where you can shop seasonal greeting cards, calendars, and agendas.

SUPPORT A BIG CAUSE
But what if you and your family and friends are just "have it all" and you're looking to enhance your giving routine even further?

Some families spend their former Christmas budgets to support a charity of their choice - and to give friends and relatives smaller gifts with a meaning.
Friends of mine applied their charitable Christmas decision even to their wedding; they supported their favourite charity by asking wedding guests to skip the gifts and to donate instead.

So if that's something you had in mind, remember: use your donation budget wisely by picking a trustworthy charity (view below).
Add to the non-commercial Christmas feeling by giving presents of "better kind": invite all your friends and family for a great Christmas dinner at your place; have a great time together; and also tell them about the charity you chose, why, and how the donated money helped make a difference. Trust me, if you've ever ranted about "bloody commercial Christmas" and "I want to escape this all", you will appreciate this deeper - and better - meaning of Christmas.

The best you can do is concentrate on a project that calls to you. You will not be able to donate to everybody. There are humanitarian projects, disease research projects, wildlife preservation projects.
Be sure to choose a trusted organisation/ NPO, because sadly, there is a lot of fraud.

unique charity-gifts-christmas

You might want to visit your country's charity/NPO monitoring organization for more ideas, details and advice on transparently working charities:
Austria kwt.or.at
Germany www.dzi.de
Switzerland www.zewo.ch, www.each.ch
UK charity-commission.gov.uk
USA www.charitynavigator.org

And here are some of our ideas for trusted charities/NPOs...
...Engaging in humanitarian projects:
unicef.org - unicef.de - unicef.fr
oxfam.org - oxfam.de - oxfamfrance.org
msf.org
tdh.ch
amnesty.org
caritas.org

...Nature and wildlife:
greenpeace.org
foei.org - foeeurope.org - bund.net
vsfg.org - togev.de - vsf-suisse.ch

...Medical research:
www.jimmyv.org
www.aidsunited.org
www.krebshilfe.de

SUPPORT A LOCAL PROJECT
What if you are looking to support your community? This might seem like a heavy-duty research at first, but finding a local project that you can support and watch grow is extremely rewarding.
Try and find a local retirement home or a team of doctors who help the homeless. Find a local animal shelter if you care for cats and dogs (it's all the way better than giving a puppy!) - or any other community angel.
You could research at your city's municipal website or browse the pages of your city's or even neighborhood's newspaper or online resource.

KARMA BONUS:
In doing good the organized way you not only make a difference, but feel the original magic of Christmas. So jump on the bandwagon and you're totally prone to Christmas Market guys waving rather untrustworthy collecting boxes.

UPCOMING: Christmas Guide 2012
Tomorrow: Time and luxury - best travel gift ideas for your partner.

—by Nath Fedorova

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