‘Tis the Season !

shopping-bags-sale-background_1085-7Holiday giving is a privilege. Sometimes this privilege brings on the emotional high of finding that ‘just right’ gift for that special person. Sometimes it brings on the low of having someone unknowingly discount the very thing we thought would make them happy. Most times it brings on the hope that our gift will convey the love we have for another.  Importantly, this privilege stems from the fact that we have had most of our own needs met and want to concentrate on what we want to buy or make for others.



blue_christmas_ball_png_clip_art-1178Stephanie Pappas, a senior writer at Livescience offers 5 tips for holiday giving. While it is probable that none of these will shock you – they stand as good reminders for those of us at ETI who work all year to offer ourselves, some knowledge and some material resources to people we care about in Tanzania. In turn, we receive friendship, knowledge, wisdom and gifts of relationship. So here are the tips.


  1. Focus on the person.

    Not surprising. Studies show that most people in the developed world tend to focus on the potential impact of the gift and the person’s response. Instead, it is suggested that the giver focuses on how the person will actually use the gift.

  2. Donate to good causes.

    Harvard Business Review reported that people appreciated gifts given in their name and that it created a “positive feedback loop” among the giver, the recipient and the cause.

  3. Give home-made gifts or hand-me-downs.  

    Pappas reported that over 20% of people in developed nations feel that a home-made gift or (the right) hand-me-down is more personal and meaningful than a mass-produced item.

  4. Don’t go overboard with anti-consumerism.

    Friends and family don’t want to be the object of a point. Material goods can enrich lives in many ways and the caveat is to not get caught up – giving out of obligation, keeping up or out-shining others.

  5. Give experiences.

    The last tip – and I’m sure there are many more – is to give an experience that can be shared. Time is worth a lot and to share it makes a lasting statement.

    People who shop Amazonsmile can claim Educate Tanzania as their charity of choice and when they do, ETI receives a portion of every purchase they make. https://smile.amazon.com/

Everyone at ETI feels especially blessed to have the privilege of sharing time and resources with our families, friends and colleagues both here in the U.S. and globally. Some of the greatest gifts we receive stem from the privilege of working shoulder to shoulder with the ETI family in this important work.

Best wishes this holiday season. 

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