I prefer to give something that is useful, something the person wants, or has some special meaning in some way. Whenever I travel abroad, I bring back a handful of gifts for my close friends.
But, as life gets busy and my gift giving budget shrinks, I've turned to writing and mailing mountains of cards instead of trying to send gifts to everyone. The gift list is considerably smaller this year since we bought a house and will have to ship all gifts and it's just not financially feasible to go all out this year.
Many of our gifts will be things we picked up throughout the year, with the intention of gifting. Like honey from Glacier County Honey, wine from Ten Spoon or other Montana wineries, coffee from Montana Coffee Traders, something huckleberry and our photo collections packaged into calendars.
One of my favorites is Fresh Words Market. I love her prints and for each one sold, Rebecca gives 10 percent of its proceeds to women and children focused initiatives around the world.
Some of her prints will be coming your way shortly in the form of an awesome giveaway. Here's a preview!
GlobalGiving, Benevolent and Universal Giving gift cards can be used to support lots of different projects worldwide. And some of the cards are biodegradable.
Women for Women International lets you support agriculture, education, job skills training and more through their Gifts that Give Back as a gift to friends and family. Choose your gift and personalize a card to the recipient.
Bravelets let you support all kinds of causes, groups and other programs by donating $10 of each purchase to the associated cause.
The Brave Collection is jewelry handmade in Cambodia by artists who come from underprivileged backgrounds or suffer from disabilities. Each piece is made my hand and proceeds go to fight human trafficking, sustaining the work of fair-trade artisans and supporters join "a global community of dreamers and change-makers."
Same Sky provides jobs for women around the world who are living in poverty. Same Sky trains them as artisans and the woman can then earn 15 to 20 times the average wage in Sub Saharan Africa. Proceeds are reinvested in the program.
WeWood makes super cool watches from scrap wood and for each one sold, plants a tree.
The National Resources Defense Council has a collection of green gifts to support animals, marine life, plant a tree and more.
The World Wildlife Fund lets you adopt animal for someone or donate to specific programs. You can opt for the gift that goes with the donation, or to put the entire donation into WWF programs. I have to admit, I really love their plush pandas and other animals. Have I ever mentioned how much I love pandas? (Seriously. I once wrote to then President Clinton instructing him to do more to save the pandas. When I was about 10. I always go big.)
This one is super cool. Pangea Organics makes all these great beauty products and their bar soaps are made with palm oil grown on Organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified farms and the carton is made from 100 percent post-consumer newspaper, so it's biodegradable, compostable or plantable. The cartons are embedded with Blue Spruce tree seeds. How cool is that?
Adorable cards and stationary from Hooray for the Underdog support all kinds of animal welfare groups and shelters nationwide. How cute are those pups?
My dear friend Ally is going to love this one. Lush has a special line of products and for each sold, 100 percent of the proceeds go to groups that support the environment, animal welfare and human rights. Soft hands and save the world? Heck yes.
There's a bunch of iPhone cases you can buy that give back to charity. I have this one that supports World Hunger Relief. There's also ones like this, that support charity: water.
And if none of that works for you, head over to Ebay Green to find all kinds of products that are made sustainably and/or give back with the proceeds.
What will you be gifting this holiday season? What are your favorite gifts? Do you have favorite gifts that give back?