A Simple Alternative Christmas Gift-Giving Idea

Photo credit: Reneé Kirk

The time to do Christmas shopping is upon us. Are you ready? I know I’m not. I’m one of those people who dread Christmas shopping. I dislike how this annual holiday has become “Retail Christmas,” whereas the true meaning of Christmas is hard to find amid all the merchandise beckoning me to buy for the people on my list. I hate how I get caught up in impulse buying out of desperation for a great gift.

I’m sure we all have one on our Christmas list this year: the hard-to-shop-and-buy-a-gift-for person. These types might be the kind of persons that have everything, or if they don’t, they’ll just go get it themselves (my husband is one of these characters).

Maybe he or she is the type of person who lives a simplified life and doesn’t need or have the space for another “thing” or clothing item, tool, or gadget. Perhaps you have a farmer or rancher, farm wife or ranch wife on your list this year and you’re stumped on figuring out what to get him or her.

The people that challenge my gift-giving confidence, trip me up and cause me undo gift-giving anxiety. I go to great efforts to give gifts that people like, will actually use, will enhance their joy, and most importantly, that the recipient won’t re-gift to someone else! Every year I try in vain to figure out something special, something meaningful, or something useful, for the people on my Christmas list whom I have a hard time getting the perfect gift for.

This year, I think I’ve eliminated a lot of unnecessary holiday shopping stress because I’ve found the best gift idea that can be given to anyone and it has the spirit of true giving in it: donating the amount of money that I would’ve spent on a material gift for the recipient to the Rancher Relief Fund in the recipient’s honor.  You can donate a couple of ways; through www.ranchersrelief.org (also where ranchers can apply for assistance) or on the AgChat Foundation Inc.’s Rancher Relief Fund found on Razoo: www.razoo.com/story/Rancher-Relief-Fund.

I have given alternative gifts like this before–donating to a cause in honor of someone on my list, but this one is closer to home for me. Atlas affected people in my state (and neighboring states), county, and neighboring towns, who are in the same industry as my family, who have the same livelihood as my family and I do.

If you’re like me, you too, are already seeing the brilliance in this Christmas gift idea:

  • I don’t have to spend extra money on gas to drive anywhere and get this gift.
  • I don’t have to dodge traffic or fight crowds of people to get this gift.
  • I don’t have to comb my hair, put makeup on, or put on presentable townish-looking clothes to get this gift.
  • I don’t have to worry about sizes, colors, or styles.
  • I don’t have to keep track of the receipt for this gift.
  • I don’t have to hurry through chores, try to keep my clothes and shoes clean and worry about finding hay in my hair or clothes in order to get this gift.
  • I don’t have to be gone all day to get this gift!
  • There’s no wrapping paper, boxes, bags, plastic ties or packaging waste to deal with after this gift is opened.
  • This gift will eliminate the awkwardness that I got him or her something he/she doesn’t like.
  • Nobody has to keep track of and pack this gift when it’s time to go home.
  • Nobody has to dust it, hide it, or figure out where to put it after they receive it.
  • This gift benefits the giver, the recipient, and the people affected by Storm Atlas.
  • Recipients are going think I am so clever and creative.
  • This gift will restore the true meaning of what it means to celebrate Christmas: bringing cheer to others and demonstrating acts of humanity.
  • The effort it takes to get this gift will not leave me with a headache and being a crab afterwards.
  • This is a gift that will keep on giving. After the recipient receives it, others affected by Storm Atlas benefit from it. It’s a “pay-it-forward” kind of gift.
  • This is a thoughtful, meaningful, and useful gift.
  • This gift doesn’t require extra batteries or accessories to be put into use.
  • This gift does not take a long time to find, purchase, and take home.
  • This gift does not come in one more plastic sack to deal with.
  • This gift does not need to be hidden until Christmas.
  • A donation to the RRF is a positive reflection of gift-giving for Christmas.
  • And the best part about donating money to the Rancher’s Relief Fund in someone’s honor is that nobody can re-gift this gift! Yay!

This holiday season, I encourage you to consider giving a donation to the Rancher Relief Fund in honor of the people on your Christmas list  and spread some country help, hope, and cheer this year!


About ranchwifeslant

Amy writes a humor column based on rural living and ranch life from the southern Black Hills of South Dakota. She and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth generation cow/calf operation near Pringle; the Elk Capital of South Dakota.
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