I am a big fan of Christmas and I have always been. I started holding on to Christmas as a strict tradition to follow in our small family with my mom and my brother, probably overcompensating my parent’s divorce. Each was to get a present for the other two and it was supposed to be a surprise. Years passed and I still love it. I love the journey of trying to guess gifts that people may enjoy. I don’t appreciate going to the mall the week before to get everyone something. I don’t find joy in that and I dislike buying irrelevant things just for the sake of buying. Instead as early as September when things come in my path that I think would make someone happy I start the Christmas presents box. Especially now as my niece and nephew in Australia are not close, I need to send their presents earlier to ensure they arrive if not by Christmas at least by January.
Anyhow this year I saw Oprah’s list of favorite things and I got giddy with excitement to create my own list of recommendations. Especially because some of the less known things she recommended such as Artifact Uprising, I have been using for two years. So brace up people here it comes:
1. Positive News Subscription
This is a must in a world where we are bombarded with highlights of dramatic and traumatic experiences to dangers at every corner, one has to put real effort into remaining optimistic and finding inspirational stories. One day I google Positive News and indeed found them. Their work in constructive journalism is so important as it highlights the amazing efforts of people solving problems in the world, keeping a positive outlook and making a difference. A subscription includes a quarterly beautiful printed copy with amazing articles and even the commercials support relevant business. Buy buy buy people, buy.
2. Koala Adoption
So far I have used Save the Koala for in memoriam tree planting but now I am considering for happier occasions. For Christmas, you can ‘adopt’ a Koala, of course symbolically, the koala does not come to your home but what a great concept to support them and also teach kids about Koalas, or make Koala-loving adults giddy.
3. McKean Studio
You know someone who loves a city so much they would wear it as a bracelet? Excellent so do I. I bought them for my sister-in-law for her bday and they are gorgeous. The artist based in Australia and makes bangles of cities she has visited.
4. 31 Bits
You would never think these beads are 100% made from recycled materials and mostly paper beads. Their jewelry is gorgeous and you are supporting the work of Ugandan women. Take the time to meet the artisans on their main website and buy buy buy because they are beautiful.
I keep meaning to do this for my nieces and nephews and may do it this year. I thought the idea was marvelous to make paper dolls inspired by family members.
Bucketfeet is a great avenue for beautiful shoes based on designs from artists all over the world. You are in part supporting the designing artist and you cand find some vegan shoes in there to make you the cool vegan on the block. Well Vegans are cool by default but even cooler.
7. We Are Well Made
This is a new discovery and I was extremely excited to try them. We are slowly filling our walls with various prints and one spot was quite tricky to cater for. We have a wall bed, a Murphy bed, and we wanted to set up a print in the wall space visible when the bed is down. The space requires a very small frame and without a glass. After some googling, I found these frames and they are beautiful and they work so well. Extremely flexible and easy to install too.
Now that you bought a frame then rush and buy some prints or who knows some original art from ArtLifting. The company is set up to give homeless and/or people with mental health problems support to create art and also the pride of earning from your work or passion. I keep spending 30 minutes here and here just browsing everything in there.
9. Book Pickings
You have to buy books for Christmas. Sounds imperative because it is, reading is one of the richest experiences in life and we have to keep nurturing and nourishing the quest for beautiful books. I tend to buy now mostly used books because I keep running into book fairs but if you are looking for good ideas the author of this blog has plenty. Because of her I discovered Maya Angelou, bought some beautiful children books and many more other on my wish list.
10. Rare Tea Company
A gorgeous tea company we discovered while leaving in UK. Henrietta’s passion for fairly sourced tea and the art of a properly made cup of tea is infectious.
11. Province Apothecary
Toronto made cosmetics which come in nice glass packaging and make skin look beautiful.
12. My Prints
Self-promotion alert. My little print shop has not been getting much attention from me, although I love still everything about it so here I am doing a bit of promotion here at the end.
There are many other things I can think of but it is best to stop and remember this is about enjoying making people happy. All these gifts assume budgets but if money is not available then still surprise people. I love receiving food gifts, or as I mentioned in a previous post I now am part of a small beading club so you can make jewelry or just write a thoughtful letter. Enjoy sharing thoughtful caring moments!! Let me know your suggestions if you wish.
Credit: All the photos are of the original websites where these can be found.