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by Lilli Cloud

One Christmas past, I was so lauded for the gifts I gave to a group of clients that I actually became kind of uncomfortable. “Amazing.” “You blew us away.” “Wow.” They couldn’t say enough nice things. I don’t remember exactly what I gave them, but I do know where it came from – the All Saints Alternative Christmas Market.

It would have been a donation to some great non-profit, and perhaps a box of cookies from the Homeboy bakery.

While it strikes me as a little sad that in our hyper-commercialized world a simple gift of helping someone else could be so mind-blowing, but apparently for some people, it is. Even for some really nice people.

I usually try to pick a cause of interest to the recipient or something that makes my heart sing. Then I share in writing or in person why I find it meaningful.

It’s not just a quick cop-out of giving someone a card. It’s a thoughtful choice of how to honor a friend or loved one by changing the world in their honor.

One thing is certain, if I don’t give a box of Godiva chocolates, someone else will. No one will lack the Christmas cheer that comes in a bottle of bubbly or a tower of toffee if I shop at the Alternative Christmas Market.

That’s the kind of stuff everyone buys. When it comes to gift giving, being like everyone else isn’t usually the goal.

Lilli Cloud HeadshotI don’t know how long I’ve been volunteering, but since I first heard about it, I was in. The fact that you can go shopping for non-profit donations like you’d browse through a craft fair is truly one of the coolest things ever. And if you really want ornaments and t-shirts, you can find that too.

By the time the first Sunday of December is over, most of my shopping done! And if I get there early enough, I can get a beautiful wreath to make my house smell like Christmas.

The Alternative Christmas Market is one of my favorite events at All Saints, and one I’m most proud to share. I love showing people how holiday shopping can be soulful, joyful and hassle free.

If Jesus, Mohammed, Moses and the Buddha were in search of holiday gifts, the Alternative Christmas Market is for sure where you’d find them. In which case, you definitely don’t want to miss this.

See the 2015 ACM Catalog here.
Read the How-to-Shop Instructions here.

More on the Alternative Christmas Market here.