Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Meaningful Holiday Gift Guide

Can you believe there are only 6 days until Christmas?! That's right, 6. Less than a week! And if you're anything like me, you probably still have a lot that needs to get done.

A few of my friends from college organized a challenge through The Living Person inviting everyone to have all of their shopping and wrapping done 10 days before Christmas in order to be present during the holiday. But between traveling home to Ohio and finals week, there was no way I was going to have it done. Plus, the majority of my gifts are cards with IOU's (the classiest of course) until I get back from my trip to the Holy Land - only just over 2 weeks until we leave!!! - and that just seemed like cheating.

So now it's my second day home and I am searching the web for those last few presents as I attempt to recover from almost pulling an all-nighter to finish a research paper (#youwinagainprocrastination #imtoooldforthis). There are so many beautifully put-together posts out there: what to get for him, what to get for the book-lover, what to get your in-laws, etc. and they all have really great options that I would never have thought of (and some that are pretty obvious). But I haven't really seen a meaningful gift guide.

We get so wrapped up (pun intended) in the glitz and glam of the season that we can forget that it's not about the biggest or best present, but about those we spend time with.

Giving gifts to those we love can be very meaningful and a ton of fun. I absolutely love carefully selecting presents that I know someone will enjoy. So rather than be unrealistic by scrapping the whole gift-giving thing entirely, why not try to make your gifts more meaningful this year with gifts that give back?

Here are just a few suggestions.

1. FEED - Voyager Tote - With the purchase of this stylish tote, you provide 35 school meals for children around the world. Each item purchased through FEED is a fight against world hunger and every item includes just how many people you are helping to feed.

2. Ornaments for Orphans - Stuffed Elephant - There are over 150 million orphans worldwide and the purchase of these handcrafted, Fair Trade ornaments helps to employ local artisans and provide them with fair wages.

3. Mata Traders - Afternoon Allure Dress - This is one of my favorite Fair Trade clothing lines. I almost bought this exact dress on Small Business Saturday, but they did not have my size. Mata Traders and their beautiful goods ared geared toward empowering women, and "merge uncommonly vibrant style with fair trade practices to make an impact on global poverty - bringing living wages to artisans in India and Nepal."

4. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital - Black Plaid Scarf - St. Jude's is an organization near and dear to my family's heart so every year we try to give back by direct donation, purchasing from their gift shop, or both. They have beautiful gifts - especially around Christmas time where you can find ornaments and other items decorated with the artwork of some of their patients

5. Ten Thousand Villages - Peace Lotus Candleholder - Ten Thousand Villages is a Fair Trade store that can be found across the country and their products can also be found in other stores as well. They always have beautiful, unique items for any time of year and shopping fair trade is an easy way to ensure your gifts are providing fair wages to those who make them.

6. Unlock Hope - Human Kind Be Both Long Sleeve Tee- Unlock Hope is an organization dedicated to giving girls in Uganda the same opportunities as boys. Partnered with Think Humanity, they provide health care, good food, and a safe place to live as they earn better education. When you purchase one of their products, you are directly providing funds for housing, food, educators, etc.

There are SO many organizations trying to make a difference in the world and many receive a lot of the funding they need from products like these. If you want an even more direct option of giving, Catholic Relief Services offers the Gift of Hope through your purchase of on-the-ground needs, like a sewing machine for young entrepreneurs, or uniforms and tuition for students to receive an education.

Another great option would be for you and your loved one to spend an evening working at a local shelter or perhaps visiting those in a nursing home without family to spend the holidays with.

The options are limitless. What are your favorite ways to give back this season?



  1. I love this idea! These are gifts everyone can feel good about giving - and receiving!

    1. Thanks Rebecca! They're definitely some great choices and it makes them even more meaningful when they return the love. Thanks for stopping by!
      Peace, Sarah

  2. Nice bag and dress :)
    Fillia -

    1. Thanks, Fillia. There were some great items to choose from.
      Peace, Sarah