Skip to main content

The Mary Sue Gift Guide: Great Holiday Gifts That Give Back

When You want to Shop for a Cause

christmas presents

If you want to bring tidings of comfort and joy this holiday season, there’s no better way than giving gifts that also give back to good causes and to communities in need. Whether you want to support equality or disease research, you can do it with these gifts. Because the holidays are about hope and happiness for everyone.

Adopt a Narwhal

stuffed narwhal

If you want to save the oceans and other wildlife and support the unicorns of the Sea specifically, why not adopt a Narwhal from the World Wildlife Foundation? Your $55 will get you a species card, tote, adoption certificate photo, and most importantly, a plush Narwhal to remind you of the real one you’re helping in the wild! Don’t like narwhals? You can also adopt a sloth, a red panda, or even a pangolin! The WWF has dozens of options and they all go to a great cause.

Listen to your Heart Mantraband

Mantrabands make beautiful braceless with messages to inspire, but their Charity Band collection is our favorite because not only are you buying a beautiful piece of jewelry for your loved one, you’re supporting important charities. The “listen to your heart” band supports the American Heart Association and it’s also just really sweet and pretty!

Black Lives Matter Pins

These custom pins, made on Etsy by kaleihuluCA make an important statement and 50% of the proceeds of each sale go to the Black Women’s Blue Print, an organization committed to Black women working for racial justice. That’s an amazing cause and these pins are great. In general, if you’re looking for something special. Etsy is a great place to start and it has the bonus of supporting smaller (non-Amazon!) and minority-owned businesses!

LUSH Charity Pot

lush charity pot

If there’s one thing always want to see under my tree, it’s goodies from Lush. All their products are amazing and ethically made but whatever you buy this year, make sure to add some Charity Pot lotion to your haul. This rich lotion is made with cocoa butter, along with ylang-ylang and rosewood oils. It smells amazing and it’s super-hydrating. Plus, “With every purchase of Charity Pot, we donate 100% of the price (minus the taxes) to small grassroots organizations.” Get some from Santa and for yourself!

Christmas Cards from the American Cancer Society

If nothing else good has happened this year, 2020 has become the year of the pen pal. When we can’t be with the people we love and want to send something special—and also save the post office!—there’s nothing better than a letter or a card. And why not also support a great cause with your cards by getting them from the American Cancer Society? They have a huge selection of beautiful cards that you can even customize! It’s a great way to celebrate the season.

Nerdy Gifts from Stands
a stuffed moosein a shirt saying always keepfighting

Stands is a company that grew out of the Supernatural fandom, providing shirts, charms and so much more to nerds looking for unique gear that also supports wonderful charities. In their holiday shop this year you can get an “Always Keep Fighting moose” (which are going fast!) or a Destiel-tastic “For Love” charm or shirt, which benefits True Colors United, an organization dedicated to helping homeless LGBTQ youth.


blood drop emoji

This is not a gift I want you to put under a tree (unless there’s a vampire in your life you love very much). This is a gift that comes from you and helps the world. With hospitals filling and COVID raging, I know giving blood is scary right now, but that’s also why it’s vital to give blood if you can. And bonus, if you give blood now, the Red Cross will screen for COVID antibodies, so you may get vital information and more importantly, you’re helping people and saving lives.

(image: Pexels)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.