The Spirit of Mr. Hanky: Alternative Gift Giving

Since this is my husband and my first Christmas together, lots of people seem to be making a big deal as to what we are going to get each other. Honestly, I have never been a big fan of the over-commercialization of Christmas and the sense of obligation many people feel to buy something for everyone they have some sort of connection to. Also, since we did just get a bunch of wedding gifts last month, I can’t even remotely think of anything we actually need.

So, what did we decide to get each other to celebrate our first Christmas as husband and wife? Drumroll please….POO.

Through Oxfam America Unwrapped, you can donate manure to be sent to a developing country in honor of your loved ones for a mere $12. Better yet, donate a double load of poo for $24 and twice the effect. Here’s what Oxfam’s website has to say about the importance of this unique gift:

“No need to feel like a stinker when you give twice the manure to a loved one. This green gift transforms waste into power—agricultural power. Organic manure increases crop yields and is cheaper, greener, and safer than chemical fertilizers. So, show your loved ones that you really “give a $%@#” for our planet. And pack a punch by giving twice as much!”

In search of the perfect Charlie Brown tree, we couldn't resist this flocked tree with blue glitter and a gold star garland. In lieu of putting presents under the tree, we had the cards we received from Oxfam with pictures of poo.

I have long been a fan of alternative gift giving, and I wish more people would donate a goat, a flock of chickens, or medical supplies, sponsor an HIV awareness event, or support micro-lending to aspiring women small business owners instead of buying me another item I probably don’t need.

Here a few more of my favorite sites:

Heifer International – An organization devoted to eliminating hunger and poverty, you can donate livestock and plants to people in developing countries. From my travels in East Africa, I’ve met some of the recipients and can say that what this organization is doing is great.

ELCA Good Gifts – An effort of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. You can sponsor things like mosquito nets, school uniforms, immunizations, water wells, and various Lutheran-affiliated projects around the globe.

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