Alternative Giving

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Alternative Giving

Cyndi Jones

We were given a copy of your resource Alternative Christmas Giving through our church, St Mark's Episcopal Church in San Diego.

Here's a letter my husband and I have sent out. We have been doing a "Jesus Gift" for years. I don't remember when or how it got started. (I think his work gave him a grocery store gift certificate for Christmas one year and we thought it would be a nice gift at a shelter.)

Dear Friends and Relatives,

Bill and I, for many years, have had a personal Christmas tradition.  Some of you may know about it, but by and large it's private.

Every year at Christmas time, Bill and I look around and see where we can do a little good.  You know, everyone is on the gift list except Jesus, so we think of this as our Jesus gift. What would Jesus want this year?

One year it was a family that had very real needs because of an auto accident. Sometimes our denominational hunger program. Sometimes it's someone close to us. It is always different and always a surprise when we "see" what Jesus wants us to do or give each year.

Well, this year certainly was a surprise!

The biggest surprise was being "asked" to invite our friends and relatives to participate.  Widen the circle, to let others help.

This year, please don't give us candy or coffee, clothing or perfume, or.... I'd rather we do something more important. $10 here and $5 there... pretty soon we're talking real money.

This year when you ask, "What would Cyndi or Bill want for Christmas?"

We want a gift made to: ____
(a family or program that needs help)

Just so you can understand what we're talking about:

To provide _____ costs about . For example, that's roughly 4 lbs of See's Candy or 3 oz of cologne. It might be 6 tickets to a movie or dinner for two (no wine included). It might look like a book or two, or three CDs.

If you need to wrap something up for us, an empty box will do, or maybe a card that simply says "I love you."

God bless you this Christmas and always.


Other tools for alternative giving include "Gratitude Card" and Alternative Giving Card (Christmas or year-round versions). Samples come in the Christmas Campaign Kit in the Archives.

Page updated 11 Sept. 2013

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