Okay, it's Christmas Eve. There's still one extremely hard to shop for person on your list, and you're stuck. He or she didn't seem too enthused about the chia pet last year, so you have got to find something meaningful.
Okay, last minute, simple, easy, and meaningful -- Big Bad Wolf's got you covered.
Go to the following website: http://www.heifer.org. (Well, not now. Read the rest of the steps and then come back and click on the link.)
This is the website for Heifer International: an organization that does an awful lot of good in the world (unfortunate moniker aside).
Here's how: Heifer International provides families in starving nations around the world with livestock essential to building a sustainable way of life. Following the "teach a man to fish" axiom, these animals aren't sent to be butchered, but rather to become part of a thriving, self-sustaining farm.
Goats, for example, provide milk for growing youngsters and fertilizer for growing crops. A flock of chicks will grow into a hen house that provides eggs daily for a family as well as a surplus that can be sold at market.
This is the abridged version of the project, but I know that you're in a hurry. At some point you ought to peruse the whole site, but for now just scroll over the tab that says "Give" and click on "Online Gift Catalog."
You will see just over twenty different items with prices. A donation of a heifer is $500 or a share of a heifer is $50. A flock of chicks is $20. Honeybees, pigs, llamas - all of these critters will help needy families move from poverty into prosperity. Click on a picture that looks interesting, and read about how a little thing like a flock of baby ducks can change a village for the better.
Once you have decided on the creature or combination of creatures that you think will hold meaning for your gift recipient, go ahead and check out just like you would on any other online merchant site. Once your transaction is complete, you can create an e-card for your gift recipient with a link back to the site, so they can see how the gift given in their honor can impact a starving family.
You can also print out a card if you want - there are even folding instructions.
There. The shopping is done, and you have given the best gift you can give - hope.
Followed in a close second place by Elmo Live.
I'm joking, of course, but there is also something to be said for a gift that won't get shoved in a drawer and re-gifted next year.
This time of year, everyone is always saying, "It's the thought that counts." Well how about a thought that feeds people as well?