Today is the 17th December, a day bound to strike fear into the best of us, for not only is it my mum's birthday (happy birthday Mum!) but it is EXACTLY ONE WEEK UNTIL CHRISTMAS.
If you haven't quite finished all your Christmas shopping yet, or if you've been holding back waiting for the perfect gift then do not fear, I'm here to help! If you're looking for something truly unique, special and memorable, then look no further than my guide to Charity Christmas gifts. Why not treat your nearest and dearest while helping someone else at the same time? Perfect for that warm and fuzzy feeling that we're all so obsessed with come Christmas time.
N.B. Obviously I highly recommend looking around these sites for their other gift ideas, these are just my selected picks!
As part of their 'Oxfam Unwrapped' initiative, for just £7 you can give a family affected by crisis food vouchers for exchange with local traders. Not only do the family get a decent meal, but you'll also be supporting local producers and contributing to the restart an economy often needs after local disasters.
For a donation of any amount (although £10 is probably a good starting point, Scrooge) you can write a message to women and children escaping domestic violence. The baubles, complete with messages, will decorate Christmas trees in various refuges to bring a smile to the faces of those who need it most.
Get this designer tea towel for someone crafty – it also comes with a sewing guide about how to turn it into a cushion! Not only is it organic but your money will go towards feeding and caring for hurt and abandoned animals this Christmas. How much good can you do with one present?!
Pay for one-fiftieth of a midwifery ward and provide all the equipment required to safely deliver a baby, including medicines and sterilisation, delivery and resuscitation equipment.
Edinburgh's most famous new residents are celebrating their anniversary this month after landing safely on 4th December 2011. £40 gets you the 'Bronze' level of adoption where you'll receive certificates, fact sheets, stickers and badges as well as the feeling of supporting the pandas and the zoo for a whole year.
Support women in remote villages in Ghana who can't carry enough produce to justify long trips to markets – these women resort to using their children for help who in turn are often injured and miss out on vital schooling. Feed a family and educate a child for £174.
The GREAT initiative provides support and finance to women at a grassroots level in order to redress gender inequality around the world. This bangle is expensive at £220 (although a lot cheaper than it's £10,000 counterpart…) but 100% profit goes to GREAT and you'll be doing your bit to target inequality, something that will collectively have huge long-term effects.