The Common Good

Fair Trade Christmas Lists and Links

So the stores are playing Christmas music and down here in Texas the highs are only the 70s and 80s, so the holiday season must be upon us. But as we gear up for the celebrations, the spiritual reflections, and the traditions, now is a good time to start deliberately planning how we can make this Christmas a just Christmas. In other words, how can we subvert systems of oppression and exploitation through our holiday habits. And while I think some of those habits might need to be reevaluated, some of them are beautiful and hold special meaning. So while I am wary of over-consumption, we still practice the giving of gifts in my family. I just do my best to therefore try to make my consumption ethical.

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So I'm excited by Trade As One's campaign this holiday season to encourage all of us to buy Fair Trade gifts this Christmas. We turn our traditions into a way to help and love others through such purchases. And if enough of us do it, we can make a big difference. They write:

Think about this: Just One Fair Trade purchase from every American churchgoer this Christmas would lift one million families out of abusive poverty for one whole year. Let's make sure that when gifts are given, they speak of the sort of world that Jesus came to show us -- one where the last is first, where the poor are included, the sick are healed, and the captive is set free.

Fantastic idea. And they created this great video to help get the message out there.

There are numerous ways one can support Fair Trade or other justice causes this Christmas. We are excited this year to find a Fair Trade Chocolate Advent Calendar. And I take time with the kids to support families around the world by purchasing animals from Heifer International. But there are numerous places online where one can find Fair Trade items to give this Christmas. I've listed some of my favorite sites below. But all it takes is just a little tweak to our holiday habits this Christmas to help show love to people around the world.

Clothing and Accessories

Food, Coffee, and Gifts

Other

So have yourself a merry little fair trade Christmas. Celebrate traditions and do some good while you are at it.

Julie Clawson is the author of Everyday Justice: The Global Impact of Our Daily Choices (IVP 2009). She blogs at julieclawson.com and emergingwomen.us.

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