Holiday gift guide: 30 meaningful gifts under $50

Does your holiday shopping list look anything like this?

iPad 2: $499. Kindle Fire: $199. UGG boots: $150. Long lines. Busy parking lots. Good finds for $30 are now good finds for $50 -- and it's really a bargain if your $300 gift is reduced to $200 in a Black Friday sale.

If this sounds familiar, you can save your anxiety and checkbook this year by giving a gift whose impact will last much longer than the latest version of that electronic device. Celebrate the true spirit of Christmas this year with a gift that can change lives. Use this as your guide to some meaningful (and inexpensive) holiday gifts from World Vision's partners, our Gift Catalog, our U.S. programs team, and our Maximum Impact items!

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$35 per month: Sponsoring a child is the best Christmas gift you can give. World Vision sponsors help provide children with the basic building blocks for a better life: clean water, nutritious food, healthcare, education, economic development, and more. And child sponsorship provides such benefits not just for the sponsored child, but his or her family and community as well.

$25: Help fund a small loan for a hardworking entrepreneur who lives in poverty. One in every five people in the world lives on less than $1.25 a day. But through World Vision Micro, you can give a small business owner the help he or she needs to escape this cycle of despair. And when the loan is repaid, it's recycled to help even more entrepreneurs in need!

Starting at $24: Shop GIVEN, the new apparel line for men and women, inspired by World Vision. And today through Sunday, get FREE shipping on all orders! (Use code "THANKSGIVING" at checkout.)

Starting at $25: Give loved ones a GIVEN gift card and let them pick out their own gifts this year.


Get a $20 gift certificate when you sponsor a child at a Family Christian Store location. Family Christian is also offering special deals on Black Friday -- framed art and ornaments are 50 percent off, some DVDs are 75 percent off, and many other great deals line the shelves.

Starting at $12, buy your Christmas coffee this year from our partners at -- and know that your morning cup o' joe is helping those in need in Africa.

$24.99: Every Hearts For Hearts Girls doll wants to make a difference in her life, community, and culture. When you buy a Hearts For Hearts Girls doll, a portion of the purchase price is donated to children’s causes in the girl's native country.

$50: In the Christmas-themed VeggieTales® DVD "Little Drummer Boy," Junior Asparagus relives the tale of the Little Drummer Boy traveling to meet the Son of God in the manger.

$45: The songs on "The Story" CD take timeless biblical stories and provide a new context into how God’s story of love and redemption intersects with our story.

$20-45: Purchase tickets for "The Story" tour, a Christmas spectacular presented by World Vision that features many of your favorite Christmas carols, as well as "The Story," a musical journey from Genesis to Revelation.

Starting at $20: This Christmas, join World Vision and Thomas Nelson in putting God's Word into action by buying a Thomas Nelson Bible at a U.S. Christian retail store.

$50: Purchase a copy of "Outlive your life" by Max Lucado. This book will encourage you with inspirational guidance for making a real and lasting difference in your world.

$20-50: Purchase tickets to a Christmas concert by a World Vision recording artist tour in your area! It's a great way to get into the Christmas spirit.

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Choose a gift to donate in honor of someone special, and get a free card to let them know. Browse among more than 100 gift ideas online. Your gift will bring help and lasting hope for a child, family, or community in need.

$25: Two chickens can help give children and families a lasting source of nutrition and income.

$30: Five fruit trees -- including apple, orange, mango, and other healthy fruit trees -- help provide the vitamins and nutrients growing kids need.

$25: The gift of clean water, sanitation, and hygiene in communities can help cut child deaths by more than half!

$18: Three ducks for a hungry family will provide hundreds of large, protein-rich eggs throughout the year.

$50: For this small donation, you can provide $550 worth of clothing. Thanks to our generous corporate partners, your gift will multiply 11 times to ship and distribute brand-new jackets, shoes, shirts, dresses, pants, and much more to children and families in need year-round.

$32: Help provide the gift of education! Your donation will help pay school fees and provide essentials like school uniforms, textbooks, backpacks, and school supplies -- helping ensure that one child in poverty can receive what he or she needs to get an education.

$35: Help provide hope for sexually exploited girls. An estimated 2 million children are enslaved and abused in the global commercial sex trade. Most of them are girls. Your gift will offer girls assistance like medical care, nutritious food, non-formal education, vocational training, compassionate counseling, and, where possible, reintegration into a loving family environment.

$50: Donate a share of a dairy cow. Dairy cows are capable of producing 120,000 glasses of milk in a lifetime, making them a gold mine of health for parents and children alike.

$50: Contribute to our relief response for the Horn of Africa food crisis. The most severe drought in decades is threatening the lives of more than 13 million people in the Horn of Africa. World Vision has launched an emergency response to the drought and food crisis, working to provide life-saving essentials to the most vulnerable children and families.

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$25: Help provide Christmas gifts for children right here in the United States! This Christmas, help American kids get warm clothes, books, toys, school supplies, and more.

$25: With this small donation, help provide $150 worth of necessities for children in the United States. Thanks to corporate donations, your gift multiplies to help deliver basics like new clothing, shoes, and more to help U.S. children living in poverty.

$48: Help feed a U.S. family for three days! Your donation will provide Family Food Kits, which include nutritious meals like oatmeal, lentil soup, pasta, and a bean-and-rice casserole.

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Give a donation in the name of someone you love -- AND get a gift for yourself or someone you care about!

$35: A charming Ugandan bracelet is handcrafted by women in Uganda actively engaged in caring for children in their communities who have lost parents to AIDS.

$40: This beautiful, handcrafted Thai bracelet was made in a project that helps protect vulnerable girls from exploitation.

$50: A delicious, 12-ounce fair-trade coffee set includes flavors from Ethiopia, Sumatra, and Costa Rica. The coffee is blended by and delivered in a gift bag of African fabric hand-sewn by local women.

$50: The Hole in Our Gospel, a book by Richard Stearns, president of World Vision U.S. and former corporate-sector CEO, shares Rich's personal story of obeying God, whatever the cost. It delivers a passionate call for Christians to change the world by actively living out their faith.

$25: Give to where needed most. Millions are suffering in the midst of war, famine, poverty, and neglect, and it can be hard to decide exactly where your money can do the most good -- which makes this general donation fund the perfect choice.

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TELL US: How else are you choosing to give meaningful gifts this year? Share with us your other meaningful and inexpensive gift ideas!


    I love the World Vision catalogue. My mom and I thumbed through it together over Thanksgiving, and a couple of the pictures made me teary-eyed. Mom almost bawled at the picture of the little girl in Mongolia with her new coat.

    I like to give a World Vision gift tucked inside of a book. Since Mom got so choked up at the little girl with her coat, I bought her that one. I'm going to put the certificate inside of the book "A Question of Faith" by Tor Constantino (, which I think would be a great book for her Bible study to read together. Hopefully she'll agree!

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