Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: Give & Give Back

Usually I have gifts purchased or in view by the first week of December and am sitting in a pretty decent situation counting down the days until the 25th.  Usually.  For some reason this year is a repeat of last when I found myself in a bit of a frenzy, kind of stumped for what to buy and with only a couple tchotchkes tucked into the closet.  One thing I don't want to do is just click away at items on the internet to make it go away (although it is tempting). Giving meaningful gifts is half the fun of giving in the first place, so one thing I am planning to do is give at least one item that gives back to each member of my family.  It's really easy (at least for me) to get swept up in the excess of it all, even if I don't necessarily purchase mass amounts. And then without fail as I'm wrapping presents a degree of chagrin sweeps over as I think of thoughtful things left out that could have made an impact on someone else's life too.  So with that in mind here are a handful of wonderful goodies that can make a difference and do double duty at the holidays:
1. Pura Vida Bracelets - These are so cool to pile on and are the perfect stocking stuffer.  Pura Vida provides food, clothing and shelter for the 15 Costa Rican artisans who make these bracelets, and donates 1% of each bracelet sold back to The Surfrider Foundation, an organization dedicated to protecting oceans and beaches worldwide.
2. Glassbaby - I raved about Glassbaby last year (see here).  These votive holders are beautiful and come in a wide array of colors.  Different colors give to different causes, and one of my favorites to gift is the BFF.  A.  love the color.  B. 10% of proceeds go to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centers C. get your colors/sets here.
3. TOMS Shoes - I'm such a fan of TOMS.  For every pair of shoes sold, a pair is given to a child in need.  I recently had a chance to spend an afternoon at TOMS and left feeling so inspired and moved by the spirit of giving that permeates the company.  Everyone in my family is getting a pair this year.  Secret's out!
4. Made With Love Recycled Rubber Bracelets - made by a Women's Cooperative in West Africa, these bracelets not only provide the women who make them with a viable means of support, they are also sold to raise funds for L'Empire Des Enfants--a center for homeless children from the streets of Dakar, Senegal.  The center provides shelter, meals, education and training as well as works with local organizations to reunite children with their families.  I have a set of these bracelets and love them!
5. Mother and Child Candles - made in California by Maura Peters, all profits from these candles are donated to the Tibetan Healing Fund (THF) a not-for-profit humanitarian organization established to improve primary healthcare and education for rural Tibetan women and children in the Tibetan regions of the P.R. China.
6. Dutzi Design - this business is near and dear to me.  Founder Ariane Dutzi has become a dear friend and it's been wonderful to watch her business grow.  Ariane designs the bags and then empowers Mayan men and women, skilled craftspeople, to earn a living and set fair prices for their work as they bring her designs to life.

Do you consider/include gifts that give back in your holiday shopping?  If you have additional ideas, please leave in the comments.  I'm hoping to knock out some serious shopping this weekend!

30 comments:

Domestic Sweetheart said...

I heart the Dutzi Design handbags! Great post :)

cryskay said...

i love the idea of buying something and giving back! the best of both worlds. xx

Katie said...

I so wish I'd done this. Please send any and all apple recipes - the easier the better! (And PayPal info!)

Miss Caitlin S. said...

I'm with you, I'm kind of stumped about what to get people this year too. Love all of these ideas, very thoughtful- TOMs shoes really are just the best.

Josie said...

Brilliant? Brilliant. I put TOMS on my list this year!
xo Josie
www.winksmilestyle.com

marissa at the boot said...

very very very awesome. i also love those jess lc necklaces (each one has the proceeds go to a different charity) and they are gorgeous!

Lori said...

Such a great idea Carrie ~ I like to shop local as much as possible and support our little Mom & Pop shops right here at home. Anything that gives back to a charity is a great gift in my eyes. Happy week-end! xo

Closet Fashionista said...

Such a wonderful idea!! I would enjoy giving or receiving any of these :)
http://www.closet-fashionista.com/

Lisa Griffin said...

Really great post! Another option, slightly more expensive, is "Peace Treaty". They empower Afghan women to make beautiful scarves
In Dramatic Fashion

Phuong said...

lovely and so cute

Travel in Style

Jessica said...

The nordic print on the Toms is so freakin' cute. Perfect for winter!

Anni said...

Great post! Thanks for sharing!
<3
Anni

LyddieGal said...

I too am feeling lost as to what to buy people. I haven't purchased a single thing and I'm also feeling tired of getting "stuff" and nothing more. What's the point of giving someone a gift they aren't going to use, when you could be doing more?

Courtney Erin said...

I love this - such great ideas! Every year my best friend and I spend about $5 on a little token gift for each other and then donate all the rest of the money that we would have spent on a gift to a charity (usually animal themed) but I really love all your suggestions.

xoxo ~ Courtney
http://sartorialsidelines.com

Dancing Branflake said...

What?! You're giving your family all a pair this year? That is such an awesome gift. I love that you did this- it really shows that giving is so much more than presents.

ps... I love my Toms. I wear them everywhere. Just started wearing them without the no show socks and I still love them.

la petite coquine said...

I'm a stickler for thoughtful gifts, but I didn't even THINK about gifts that give back-how amazing!

Bonnie said...

I enjoy buying presents because of mantra: "One for you, two for me. One for you, two for me."
It helps.

http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Johanna said...

I love #6 - that feed bag is awesome. Please I love supporting local retail!

TheChambrayCountess said...

This is the best gift guide because of the layers of giving! I love the rubber bracelets and the bag and wouldn't feel guilty giving myself them in addition to gifting them :)

Grace - Stripes and Sequins said...

I love this guide - I love that everything gives back but how great the products are! A lot of "gifts that give back" are things I'd never wear/use - these are all faab! Great job!!

Ms. Givens said...

I used to have a bag like that one from Dutzi Designs.
I got it from Ida Red here in Tulsa.

Polly said...

Whenever I possibly can I love to buy gifts that pay it forward and I too love love love toms.

Alexa said...

Oh my goodness...love this. Seriously one of the best ways to give back this season, smart shopping. Thanks for this! xo

Bella @Bellgetsreal said...

I love the idea of the Dutzi design bags. so cute too.

Tracy D said...

Great post & a good reminder that you can give and give back. Thanks Carrie !

Krystal said...

AWESOME list :)

Kavery said...

Toms shoes are so cool and a concept that should be replicated everywhere.

Heather said...

Great gift ideas! I love TOMS too!
http://www.thedormroomfashionista.blogspot.com

yiqin; said...

awesome shoes <3

Annie said...

such a fun list! they're are some of the cutest Toms I've seen!

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