In the last few years, I’ve started to cultivate a more conscious and thoughtful approach towards shopping: not only when buying for myself, but for the others as well.
This year’s gift guide, just like last year’s, is inspired by the same concept: of making fewer, better quality purchases, whilst supporting local communities, artisans and small businesses thrive.
I hope that you will keep these options in mind. Not just for this holiday season, but for the next year as well. I would like to add that I am not affiliated or sponsored by any of these brands, they are just products and companies that I’ve followed for a while, that I’ve enjoyed using (or my friends have) and am generally very excited for you to know about them.
For mamas and babies
Badger Products have been introduced to me by a friend from Belgium! as a new mama, she raved about the effective and gentle way in which a couple of their products helped her tackle some of motherhood’s challenges, especially the belly butter and the nursing balm.
The company is family-owned and family-run from the woods of Gilsum, New Hampshire. They carry a whole range of products that cover a multitude of self-care needs.
From bath and body, to nursing balms and oils, to face care and hair care, they prioritize the use of natural and organic ingredients. Their prices are affordable for the budget-minded individuals, shipping is free over 25$ and they also include one free balm with every order, which, coincidentally, I have with me right now as I write this blog post, and have been enjoying using in the past 2 months.
Read more about the company, their work ethics, values and practices, as well as their whole range of products, here.
For healthy skin
I thoroughly enjoyed discovering and following Sarah on social media and reading her informative posts. She is a MD who 7 years ago founded a natural, luxury skincare line that I have been itching to try. I have recently placed an order and am waiting patiently to receive it.
Remember when we talked about my commitment to completely finish using an item before purchasing another? that, coupled with my resolution to slowly eliminate all plastic wrapped skincare items in my routine and replace them with more sustainable and biodegradable options meant that I have been looking forward to purchasing their face and body soaps. Alas, I am almost completely out of my current face wash so I have ordered this one from their range.
For my next purchase, the one down below is on my list:
You can order sample sizes of all their products, and, what’s REALLY awesome is that they plant a tree with every purchase!
For the body
Thistle Farms are so much more than a company that makes natural bath, body and home products! they’ve created a platform of support and empowerment for women survivors of trafficking, prostitution and addiction. I encourage you to read more about their mission here.
They have lots of products to choose from! This starting set can be a great stocking stuffer and a way to introduce yourself with their products; there are lovely accessories like these earrings or this cashmere scarf to give and get. I am personally eyeing this handmade soap bar that has minimal packaging.
This candle that you can see down below would be a great gift to give this time of year! They also have home decor accents like pillows and throws, men and children’s items so there’s lots to choose from.
For the mind and heart
All of us are leading increasingly busy lives. But the 5 Minute Journal is such a simple and effective tool to use (for less than 5 minutes a day) that it makes for the perfect gift to give to others, or oneself, as a way to increase mindfulness and to garner the life sustaining power of gratitude.
Even though that the journal focuses primarily on practicing gratitude, it also enables self-reflection, introspection and clarity.
I have used it on and off in the past 2 years and I have noticed a difference when I do: I feel a sense of vibrant urgency, a strong sense of alignment between my wishes/goals/thoughts and actions which comes from writing down not only what I’m grateful for, but what I wish to happen and what I envision for my day to look like: what would make it special and more meaningful. The Journal has a morning and evening section, and it comes in an app format as well.
Its power is mighty on bringing your attention on what is, what you have and what is possible, regardless of your current circumstances. It’s almost like you can’t stay miserable and unhappy if you truly use the journal in a committed and dedicated way, every single day.
It makes for a great gift for all the busy people in your life that need just a bit of focused “me time” and a quick way to achieve it.
For the home
Mozaique Artisans is a social business aimed at supporting local artisans from Guatemala and Romania (so far) with the tools necessary to promote and sell their traditional handwoven crafts, sustaining their livelihoods and that of their community in the process.
It offers a global platform for their artistry to become visible, the process transparent and it fosters the preservation and continuation of singular arts and crafts. Here is a great article that details the process and its importance in creating ethical and sustainable business practices, as the founders of Mozaique are striving to do.
What is absolutely fantastic is that by ordering one of their rugs, their kitchen towels or bed throws, you are DIRECTLY impacting the lives of local artisans whose work support entire families and communities.
I really like this one down below!
This holiday season, I hope you are safe and warm! and I hope that you choose less items but with more meaning, remembering that the most important gift that we can give is our presence: open, engaging, attentive.
And if you must give things, let them be thoughtful, practical and useful items, the kind that show how much you care, not just for the recipient of your gift, but for the local communities that created it, and the planet as well.
Lots of love,
*photo found on pexels.com