At this time of year, Christmas gift purchases are starting to take place. Even the most seasoned gift-giver can appreciate it’s sometimes hard to get creative and pick something exciting for your loved ones.

For a different approach that gives the same pleasure of gift-giving and receiving, but also helps someone else – why not try charitable gifts? There are so many to choose from, and so much good you can be doing with your usual gift exchange between family and friends.

To help you out, we’ve created a list of some wonderful charitable gifts out there. We’ve also listed some typical items you can buy for the same amount of money (taken from Google Shopping ‘Gifts’) – to show you just how much good you can do this Christmas.

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Gift: A bar of soap

Budget: £5

Why this gift?

A bar of soap is a simple gift that can make a big difference. Soap helps people to keep clean, which reduces the risk of many illnesses caused by their living conditions.

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The equivalent of:  Sweet Snuggles Mug and Sock Gift Set, Debenhams Penguin Pen, Juggling Balls – Multi

Gift: Feed a Family

Budget: £7

Why this gift?

Many of us are fortunate enough to have access to a hot meal – especially on Christmas Day, when there’s a huge focus on Christmas dinner. This £7 gift feeds a family in a time of crisis, giving them vouchers to buy food locally.

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The equivalent of:  Pencil Case In Black, Essential Origami, Dad’s Army Tin

Gift: Feed an abandoned cat or dog

Budget: £8

Why this gift?

This Little Good Gift lets you feed an abandoned cat or dog for a whole month. This is a great stocking filler for an animal lover, as well as the pets who aren’t lucky enough to have a home.

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The equivalent of:  Pug in a Mug Tea Infuser,  Cosy Sock Gift Box, 30-In-1 Games Selection

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Gift: 30 school dinners

Budget: £9

Why this gift?

This gift provides 30 school dinners for a class in an African school, giving full tummies so children can make the most out of the opportunities for education. Having access to school dinners is something we have come to expect for children, so it feels right to donate this as a gift.

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The equivalent of: Rabbit Salt & Pepper Shakers, Festive Breakfast Gift Bag, Chilli Growing Kit

Gift: A Sheep

Budget: £10

Why this gift?

This gift is specifically created for women living in poverty in rural Ethiopia. Recipients of a savings group are each given a sheep, to provide them with wool to sell at the market. This gift is an investment in someone’s income, which then goes on to help their families.

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The equivalent of: Christmas Chocolate Gift, Bath House Prosecco Handbag Treat, Gin and tonic bracelet

Gift: A Week’s Hot Dinners for a Pensioner

Budget: £12

Why this gift?

This Little Good Gift provides a pensioner at a day centre with a week’s worth of hot dinners. This gives them companionship and a warm meal at a particularly difficult time of year.

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The equivalent of: Baylis & Harding La Maison Candle Set, Personalised Bike Notebook, The Economist Digital Gift Subscription

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Gift: Winter Coat

Budget: £14

Why this gift?

The winter cold is difficult at the best of times, and so much harder if you don’t have a coat. This coat keeps a child warm, giving them more chance to keep healthy in the colder months.

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The equivalent of: Great British Tea Gift Bag, Prosecco Lover Gift Throw Pillows, Personalised Giraffe Drinking Glass

Gift: An hour of respite

Budget: £15

Why this gift?

This gift helps families looking after a disabled child, by providing them with a specialist babysitter so they can have a much-needed break. This time lets them take an hour out and treat themselves.

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The equivalent of: Personalised Box Of Men’s Gift Socks, Homer Simpson Novelty Head Slippers, Ideal Gift Idea, Sloe Bush

Gift: Give Girls A Head Start

Budget: £17

Why this gift?

Part of Oxfam’s Investing in the Future projects, this gift gives girls missing out on an education the chance to learn, develop and have access to a brighter future.

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The equivalent of:  Gifts Hugs and Kisses T-Shirt Boofle Dog, Outline Trivet, Jellycat Bashful Bluebell Bunny Medium

Gift: A Delivery Kit

Budget: £20

Why this gift?

This gift ensures that hospitals in Kenya receive the essentials needed to deliver a birth. It contains life-saving equipment, including soap, towels, surgical gloves and forceps. Considering that every year 40,000 babies die in Kenya, this is such a worthwhile gift.

The equivalent of: Lancôme ‘grandiôse’ Christmas Gift Set, Cosy Hot Chocolate Gift, Glass Pineapple Jar

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This research was provided by Bindman & Co Solicitors.