Socially Conscious Gift Guide

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The holidays are my favorite time of the year.  I love the weather, the lights, and the time with family. I also enjoy picking out gifts for my family. There is nothing like getting them something that you know they will love and (if we’re lucky with all of our schedules) watching them open it on Christmas morning.

The past few years, however, I’ve also started to feel some guilt around my Christmas gifts, both given and received. My husband worked in retail at Target for 5 years, and I know all about the craziness that happens on Black Friday (and really during any other holiday sale). We’ve turned the day after Thanksgiving into a day of consumerism. That isn’t what this season is about for our family, so my husband and I have made a habit of giving gifts of experiences.

But sometimes, “object” gifts are the right types of gifts. When that is the case, I like to do one of three things. The first is come up with a DIY gift idea. Something that we can put our time and energy into that will have a special meaning to the person receiving the gift. The second is to gift an object that will lead to an experience. Some of my favorite examples include special ingredients to cook with, sports or outdoor equipment for activities a person likes or wants to do, or something for an upcoming trip or vacation. Finally, if I find I want to purchase an “object” gift, I like to see what I can find from socially and ethically sourced shops. These have expanded way beyond the simple idea behind Tom’s shoes and Warby Parker, and the good ones offer items that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. I’ve included just a few options from my favorite places… if you don’t see something here you love, I promise you will find something once you visit their websites. So many beautiful gifts to feel good about spending money on!

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