The first Christmas after my mother died was really awful. She died in September, and for us that was way too close to Christmas. As the gift giving season approached I was all over the place trying to cope with the fact it was the ‘first Christmas without Mum’.
Oxfam had just started advertising their “Oxfam Unwrapped” range and that gave me something constructive to do. I was able to sit down with my husband and my children and pick a gift for Nanna. The fist year we bought chickens for a family in Africa. They got a gift that helped them put meals on their table, and we were able to give a gift in Mum’s name that helped us remember her in a positive way at a time when she was definitely missed. Even now she is still missed and I think she would enjoy that a week before Christmas we still sit down and pick out a gift that we give in her name. Last year we gave funds for midwifery training, because Mum was a nurse.
Friends of mine have also used this type of gift giving service when one of their nearest and dearest is terminally ill. They have still wanted to give a gift, but have recognised that if some one is terminally ill, particularly is they have mobility or dietary issues as a result, gift giving is a more complex act. I’ve referred them to the providers we have used for Mums present. The three providers that I have used are:
- The Smith Family – Joyspreader Charity Gifts –giving Aussie kids the chance to realise their potential through education – $15 to $1000.
- Oxfam Unwrapped – supporting Oxfam’s life changing programs around the world – $10 to $3000.
- Save the Children Fund – improve the lives of little ones all around the world – $10 to $75.