Stories

Gift Giving and The Real Meaning of Christmas

With Christmas around the corner, we’re interviewing ChildFund supporters to find out what the festive season and Christmas gift giving means to them.

For Kate Tilley the joy of Christmas comes from helping others and spending time with loved ones, not purchasing material goods.

“Every Christmas my family and friends get a lot of ‘stuff’, some of which they don’t really need,” Kate says.

“It’s not about getting more ‘stuff’ but about helping others who are not as fortunate as us.”

Kate says her family and friends are from relatively affluent backgrounds so they already have many of the things they need and want.

Christmas Gift Giving That Gives Back

Instead of buying traditional, “physical” presents, Kate has been buying Gifts for Good for her family and friends for more than a decade, helping children and their families living in poverty access essential needs such as clean water, nutritious food, and education.

“By spending the money I would have spent on their gifts with Gifts for Good, I can invest in the future of our planet and assist people far less fortunate than us.”

Over the past decade, some of the Gifts for Good that Kate has bought include ducks, water filters, and study sets. She’s also helped clear bombs in Laos, allowing children to play safely and families to farm.

Kate Tilley (middle) has been buying Gifts for Good for more than a decade. Her godson Steven Palmer (left) and Steven’s brother Daryn are some of the lucky people who receive the gifts at Christmas.

A Card That Says More Than “Merry Christmas”

Her Gifts for Good are carefully considered and she ensures the accompanying cards she gets to give her family and friends say more than just “Merry Christmas”.

“When I buy Gifts for Good I try to focus on things we take for granted, like food, health services and education,” Kate says.

“Each person on my Christmas list gets a letter from me that explains why I am not giving them a ‘physical gift’, and why I’d rather spend the money on Gifts for Good. I explain that, for me, the real joy of Christmas is sharing time with friends and family, so that’s my Christmas gift for them all instead of physical gifts.”

What Charity Gifts Can You Buy?

This year’s Gifts for Good catalogue includes the usual goodies that make great gifts for children, such as:

The gifts will go to children in need in countries as near as Papua New Guinea and as far as Zambia.

Why Give Charity Gifts This Christmas?

Kate says she hopes that buying Gifts for Good prompts her family and friends to think more broadly about the spirit of giving.

“I would like to see everyone buy Gifts for Good,” she says. “It also helps younger people in my family, such as my nieces, nephews, and godchildren, understand that there’s no Santa for many children in other parts of the world. By forgoing just one present from me, they’ve helped make a difference to a family that doesn’t get any presents.”

Want to give gifts that make a difference this Christmas? Learn more about what’s involved, where your donation goes, or browse our gift catalogue here.

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