Most of us have someone in our life who's impossible to gift - "The man who has everything." "The aunt who's buried in her own stuff."
Many of us, rich and poor, feel burdened by our belongings at times. The more you have, the more there is to clean after all. I have it on good authority that even with maids, stuff can bury you and often does.
Then there's the guilt of consumerism; that feeling that even though new shoes give you a kind of orgasm, to shove another pair in your closet is a legitimate definition for sin.
Personally, I've all but given up allowing anything into my home that is not useful in some way, or that I truly do not need; I'm decorated out and my closet is perpetually vomiting it's excess all over my room (even if much of the stuff came to me used). There is no longer a single flat surface left in my home that I'm willing to use for the display of anything.
I know I'm not alone in this sentiment, and I live below the poverty line! If a poor sap like me feels this way, how many more are out there?
Not to the guy who has everything but to a family who needs it (so as not to starve) on his behalf. To steal from their website, you could give your mom a llama!
Since 1944 Heifer International has been facilitating struggling families around the world with gifts of livestock (and bees and trees!) in addition to teaching families/communities how to improve their lot with them. From their website:
When resources are scarce, it's important that livestock don't use up land reserved for people. At home in rough, mountainous areas of Latin America, llamas are a blessing to families with limited pasture land because they can eat the scrub vegetation that other domesticated animals won't eat. Llama droppings help fertilize topsoil — improving crops and reducing erosion.
Women weave their llamas' fleece into warm clothing to wear or sell. They load them up with goods for market and trek with them across rugged slopes at high altitudes. As they travel, llamas' padded feet don't damage the fragile terrain and their selective browsing doesn't destroy sparse vegetation.
Llamas and their kin, the alpaca, provide Heifer families with invaluable sources of transportation, income and wool, which is prized for making blankets, ponchos, carpet and rope
Llamas are remarkably disease resistant and require little care; they can carry small loads for distances over rugged slopes at high altitudes.
Honestly, I don't know what their record is, and I'm always a little skeptical after the perpetual scandals of the big charities with their overpaid directors, poor fiscal management and crappy organization, but they say all the things I need to hear. Even more importantly, they leave the "We're doing God's work and so can you!" out of it.
And they're not attempting to set up temporary refugee camps but rather helping real, struggling communities to institute sustainable change for the people that are willing to help themselves but haven't the resources to get started.
I can totally relate.