It is that time of year. Time to get a gift for those you will be celebrating the holidays with.

It can be tricky to get the perfect gift for someone. But if it is a thoughtful gift whose purchase will have a positive impact on those who made it and who will receive it, you can bet it will be appreciated.

So don’t fall into the trap of buying consumer driven gifts that have been made by people working for pennies a day. Let’s be honest, supporting large corporations that take advantage of cheap labor is really not in alignment with the holiday spirit.

Let’s find gifts that were made with love and care, and that will enhance the lives of those who receive them.

1. Give the gift of health & wellbeing – Buy a gift certificate for a massage, yoga class, or spa package. You will be supporting a local business and your gift will nourish your loved one.

2. Donate to a great cause – Give a gift that keeps on giving. Sponsor a child in poverty on behalf of your loved one. Didiayer Snyder has built a school in Haiti and can use your support to give the gift of Education.  http://www.chmiusa.org/

3. Buy a Sheep and Promote Women’s Empowerment! Heifer is a great organization that makes gifting life changing gifts easy. You can pay for the training for a women to start her own business. Or gift a sheep which will provide a family warm clothing, milk and income through sales of extra wool.  http://www.heifer.org/gift-catalog/index.html?isource=HDGCJ13AD0003

4. Support a local artist or artisan. Your community is full of talented people who make jewelry, soaps, bath salts, handmade chocolates, music, paintings, photographs. Find them at a local market or through Etsy’s new search engine that helps you locate local retailers. https://www.etsy.com/local?campaign_label=new_at_etsy&utm_source=adhoc&utm_campaign=new_at_etsy_121313_8829026750_0_0&utm_medium=email&email_sent=1386969181&euid=TeBpfXblbYb6yq350XGeBqjwBkdI&eaid=76944844&x_eaid=15ed25bb80

5. Buy one of a kind jewelry through Etsy, and you can even help customize the piece, like this necklace that showcases your handwritten dedication. You can explore Etsy for hours and find incredible artisans who are making beautiful gifts all across the US.  https://www.etsy.com/listing/161456151/personalized-necklace-actual-handwriting?ref=br_feed_45&br_feed_tlp=gifts

6. Make something yourself! Nothing says “I care” as taking the time, effort and creativity to make a gift for your beloved. Bath salts are a very easy and appreciated gift. Check out the incredible DIY projects that Didiayer posts for inspiration! http://athomewithdidiayer.com/create/create.html

7. Give toxic free beauty products to your lady friends. Did you know that most beauty products in the USA contain harmful chemicals that can interfere with women’s hormones and are even linked to breast cancer? Many ingredients in US products are banned in Europe because of their toxicity. And yet every lady needs a nice lipstick… so gift her some natural cosmetics. You can find some at Whole Foods or your local Food Coop.

8. Buy Fair Trade products that ensure the workers are being fairly compensated for their labor. Fair Trade USA has a holiday guide with great gift ideas that have their ethical stamp of approval.  http://fairtradeusa.org/holidays/gift-guide

9. Buy conscious clothing, like this gorgeous Nepalese scarf. Ten Thousand Villages finds beautiful jewelry, clothes and crafts handmade around the world and ensures the product sales help pay for food, healthcare and education for artisans who otherwise would be underemployed.  http://www.tenthousandvillages.com/hats-capes-and-shawls/

10. Date night! Gift a fun day around activities you both enjoy. Maybe you will take your friend on a hike and then a soak at a spa, or maybe you will go to a paddle boarding class together and then enjoy a picnic on the beach. Nothing says “I love you” like planning a day with opportunities to connect, laugh and make memories.

Remember to think outside the box, gift from your heart, steer away from “stuff”, and your gift will truly bring more holiday cheer and joy!

shapeimage_1-3

Written By, AHWD Wellness Expert – Marysia Miernowska