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With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about giving, and there is certainly a huge selection of celebrity designed and inspired merchandise on offer this season. A gift that benefits others may be the best gift of all.

Heading up the list of products being released in time for Christmas is a series of bracelets designed by Julia Roberts for fashion giant Emporio Armani. The bohemian style leather bracelets feature an etching of the tree of life, with the words “Revolution, Evolution, Devotion” – to signify the (RED) campaign – weaved in and out of the branches.

(RED) is a global initiative founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver to engage the private sector in the fight against AIDS in Africa. They do this by channeling funds from the sale of (RED) products directly into the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Giorgio Armani was a launch partner in the initiative, and has designed a line of clothing, accessories, eye wear, watches, fragrances, and jewellery to benefit the campaign.

40% of the proceeds from the Julia Roberts designed bracelets will go directly to (RED), and the bracelets will be available in both a men’s ($195) and a women’s design ($175) from www.emporioarmani.com on December 1, World AIDS Day.

“Julia has helped to create a beautiful accessory for both women and men,” said Armani. “These will also be a visible reminder of the part that we can all play in fighting AIDS in Africa.”

Also benefiting the (RED) campaign this Christmas is a new festive single by Grammy nominees The Killers. The multi-platinum selling group is set to release their second Christmas single, “Don’t Shoot Me Santa”, at the end of November, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Global Fund.

The single is a follow-up to last year’s popular release, “A Great Big Sled”, and will be released to radio stations on November 26, with digital downloads available on November 27. The video will debut as part of (RED)’s World AIDS Day celebrations on December 1.

More gift ideas to benefit sufferers of AIDS can be found in the 7th On Sale auction being held on eBay. Over $9 million worth of goods are up for sale in the auction, which runs until December 6, including the dress worn by Sarah Jessica Parker to Ralph Lauren’s 40th Anniversary fashion show earlier this year.

Over 30,000 individual items are available in the auction, being organized by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), with proceeds going to charities that provide care, services, and housing to those who suffer from HIV/AIDS. And in addition to money raised directly by the auction, the M·A·C AIDS Fund will match every dollar raised online up to $500,000.

The 7th On Sale began in 1990 as a partnership between the CFDA and Vogue magazine. This is the fifth time the auction has been run, and in the past the events have raised over $12 million for charities such as the American Foundation for AIDS Research, the AIDS Community Initiative of America, Gay Men’s Health Crisis, Greenhope Services for Women, the Harlem United Community AIDS Center, and the HIV Law Project.

Other celebrities to donate clothing and items to the auction include Fergie, Oprah, and Demi Moore. More information can be found at www.7thonsale.ebay.com.

And if you still can’t find the perfect gift, why not visit actor Colin Firth's new eco-friendly store in London?

Called “Eco”, the shop is set to open on December 1 in Chiswick, West London, and will follow the two eco-cafés Firth has already established in Notting Hill and Covent Garden. Described as an “ecological destination store”, the shop will stock a selection of fair-trade and ethical goods, as well as offering customers the services of environmental experts who can assist in “greening” their homes.

“I’m no eco hero,” said the star of Bridget Jones Diary and Pride And Prejudice. “I’m doing the shop because I think it’s a good idea. When you think about global warming, over-consumption, our energy wastage, it makes you want to improve the negative effects of your complicity in it. The thing is, if you have been given the privileges we have, if you have this many perks, surely you can help out. Rather than be a luvvie with a lofty opinion preaching to people, I prefer to do things, to get involved, put my money where my mouth is and learn something along the way.”

Happy shopping!

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