First I would like to recommend the beautiful rosary bracelets made by my friend Shana. She made the one in the photo for me after I asked specifically for one with flat beads with different colours on either side so I could be distracted by the children during a decade and still not forget where I was. She's a lovely lady - a homeschooling mum of 8. The rosaries are well made-mine has proved to be baby proof! A lovely Christmas gift.
I also recommend Aid to the Church in Need- they sell a good selection of cards and small gifts, some of which are olive wood items made by the beleagured Christian community in Bethelehem.
Chris Holden at St Anthony Communications is offering a membership of £3.95 a month. Check out his tapes, bookes, CDs and DVDs. I think supporting the little man is good.
I also recommend Family Publications
I haven't bought anything for Christmas from the RNLI but they are a great charity and save many many lives every year.
I also order some extra stuff from the milkman. He is self employed and trying to earn a living to care for his family. I am a great believer is supporting the little man, especially the self employed ones. On this note I will probably buy some stuff from the Deli where my son works.
This does not mean I don't shop at the biggies like Woolies-they employed one of my children too for a while. I am well aware of how difficult some of our older teens are finding it to get a job and the 'biggies' employ a lot of people.
I have bought a lot of fair trade stuff over the years-but I am less certain about it as a system and am holding off this year. Anyway how many sheshem wood boxes can anyone need?
Of course I am avoiding Oxfam and Cafod and Christian Aid the condom pushers.
We make a lot of pressies-mincemeat, jams, cakes, cookies, Turkish Delight, tablet, fudge etc. and we make some of the cards we send as well, but I do still shop a bit.