Charity Christmas gifts from charities such as Oxfam, World Vision and Christian Aid are proving to be a great solution for yuletide shoppers, looking for something meaningful to give their friends or family.
The presents though are not the run-of-the-mill charity Christmas gifts you would expect.
Those finding themselves stuck at the last-minute for that ethical, but ever-so-slightly alternative charity christmas present have been considering - wait for it - a pig, an apple tree, some chickens, a flock sheep of even a new toilet.
The charities says that people love their charity Christmas gifts because they really value the unique charity gifts they can buy for their friends and family, while changing the lives of some of the world's poorest children and families. They can also be purchased quickly and easily online and the charity takes care of the rest.
Instead of simply giving more unwanted clutter to friends and family, the Christian aid agency has come up with a range of 50 charity Christmas gifts (see column on the right of this page) which you can give to developing communities - on behalf of others.
From a ox to an HIV education system, a wheelchair to a bicycle, you can order and send your charity Christmas gifts all online too. All you have to do is visit the web site, choose a price range and select a gift with the details of the friend on whose behalf you are sending the present. The charity then sends a special card to your friend or family member, telling them what has been given on their behalf.
The charity has something for every budget too, from a water filter or a fruit tree for a fiver, through to complete furnishings for a school.
Oxfam are also providing charity Christmas gifts. Oxfam's alternative gifts collection is part of the charities ethical initiatives to help some of the world's poorest communities make their way out of poverty.
The gifts arrive in the context of the charities long-term development programmes. Community leaders and local committees helped by World Vision staff identify their needs and priorities, including the gifts featured in their alternative catalogue. This, the charity says, means the gifts that are bought are really needed- and will be treasured when they arrive.
Oxfam is one of the world's leading relief, development and justice agencies. It is also one of the largest- presently helping more than 100 million people in nearly 100 countries in their struggle against poverty, hunger and injustice, irrespective of their religious beliefs.
Oxfam's Alternative Gift selection is now several years old. The results are admirable as well as ethical. Over 5,000 children have been immunised against six childhood killer diseases. Over 12,000 fruit trees have been planted, growing produce both to eat and sell. Almost 3,000 children have had their sight restored through cataract operations.