(This blog post originally appeared on The Huffington Post on November 15th, 2016 -- thank you to The Huffington Post for featuring our Gift Guide!)
It’s that time of year again — oh the Holidays.
I have never been more happy to see Christmas commercials filing my television than after barely surviving this past election in a top swing state.
Yes, please bring on the overly enthusiastic skipping elves, Santa getting stuck in the chimney, and glitter and fake snow jumping out of my TV screen. I’m so excited to embrace the fa-la-la-la-laaa-la-la-la-laaaaa.
All of these Christmas ads, though, can stress you out with the thought of picking out a meaningful gift for every person on your list.
Today, I’d like to help you with the ladies on your list. After all, I have considered myself a true expert in presenting ‘What a Girl Wants’ ever since my high school senior year when I performed Christina Aguilera’s famous song by that name.
If you’re feeling like I should have given you a humble brag alert, come close and let me set the scene.
Theatre Arts Class, Spring 2003. Small Town, USA. It was our final project, and we could choose between a dramatic reading or a “music video” performed live. Pretty much everyone in the class went the easier route of a dramatic reading.
With my eyes set on going to college to become Britney Spear’s backup dancer, I think I thought ‘Well heck, why don’t I just be an overachiever and throw in a song and dance to that challenge?’
I chose to wear a genie costume (because why not), a dance costume I had far outgrown height wise so I looked like a woman leading an 80’s workout video.
I’m pretty sure I had both male and female back-up dancers, but I can’t be sure. I was far too busy with my high kicks and hair flips and making sure I hit every word of the lip sync, as to ensure a 100 on my final exam.
It was a complete and utter tragedy from a social status perspective, but I did nail that 100.
And, today I want to present with great confidence the Holiday 2016 edition of What a Girl Wants.
Be it grandma, your son’s teacher, your best friend that always out-gifts you, or the random Great Aunt that tells you every year to not get her a gift (but you know if you don’t that you’ll be kicked right off the family tree), I’ve got you covered.
This gift guide is special. Each item on this Holiday Gift Guide provides opportunity to a vulnerable person. I’m here to help you find gorgeous gifts for every lovely on your list, while helping you gift with meaning, and to spread dignity across the globe. What a win, win.
Because here’s the thing. After the year we’ve been through, what you want, and what your gift recipient also desires is to know that we can be a part of something good. A positive narrative.
Here are my top do-good picks of the season!
1. The Alison Tote: A sleek spin on the everyday leather tote, made by vocation students in Honduras.
2. Zia Leather Leaf Earrings: The lightest earrings she’ll ever own, made by artisans at the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in Northern India.
3. Floral Keyhole Pocket Tunic: Offered in Cranberry, Mustard, and Royal Blue, this tunic looks fabulous on every body type and helps fund orphanages in India.
4. Sweet Grace Triangle Rose Candle: In a warm, peaceful, and pure scent, this gorgeous candle is poured in the USA and helps to feed a child in need.
5. Blanket Scarf / Toggle Poncho: The trendiest gift of the season and offered in 6 different patterns, these cozy pieces provide beds to orphaned children.
6. Serena Stacked Necklace: This goes-with-everything piece provides income to women at poverty level, combating the issue of child labor by offering children the opportunity to go to school.
7. Be Still Inspirational Cuff: A beautiful reminder for every woman, handmade by women stepping out of poverty in Mexico through a dignified job.
8. The Espe Bootie: Handcrafted in Guatemala, the textile on these unique booties was created on a back-strap loom by Mayan women in rural towns.
9. The Aspen Cardigan: An effortless Fall and Winter update to any gal’s closet that helps fund a safe house in Nepal.
10. Diamond in the Rough Studs: Available in gold, silver, or rose, these studs easily elevate any look and provide fair wages, on-site day-care, and medical check-ups to women in rural India.
11. The Gabby Necklace: This necklace is one of many in a gorgeous collection of Haiti made necklaces that is sending continued work to Haitian artisans that are supporting their families in the difficult months following Hurricane Matthew.
12. The Stephanie Cardigan: Coming in Olive, Wine, and Black, this comfy yet polished cardigan provides meaningful employment for women rescued from sex trafficking in Nepal.
13. Akola Glass Bracelet: Gorgeous glass beads from the African coast strung together with Ethiopian metals, hand-crafted by women who are transforming their communities.
14. Face & Body Coffee Scrub: Taking the fair trade coffee concept to the beauty industry, treat a friend to a luxurious boost with this scrub.
15. Black Leather Crossbody: For the woman who likes to have options, this buttery soft Ethiopian leather bag sends female artisans to school, and can be worn three different ways.
16. Arrow Hoops: A unique twist on a wardrobe statement, these hoops are made by deaf artisans in Kenya.
17. Bib & Burp Cloth Set: For your hip mom or mom-to-be, for every made in the USA set purchased, a set is made in Panama and gifted to a momma in need locally.
18. Druzzy Studs: Perfect for the young trend setter on your list, these pieces employ inner city youth that are first generation college students in the United States.
19. Hot Tamale Crescent Clutch: For the girl that has everything, this vintage indigo Hmong tribal textile clutch is constructed by the skilled hands of a refugee woman creating a new life for herself here in the U.S.
20. Knotted Fringe Necklace: Ladies of all ages will love this dress up or dress down necklace that is handmade by women who have found confidence and financial stability through their cooperative.
And, bonus tip: if you have someone on your list that’s the definition of ba-hum-bug, send them a passive aggressive message with this card. Because tis’ the season for stirring the pot and creating a little holiday drama, especially on the back of such a crazy election season (totally joking).
We hope our Do- Good Holiday Gift Guide has been helpful!
Cheers to you this holiday season, friend. By using your purchasing power for good, you are helping to write a positive story for our country and for our world. And that is something worth celebrating this holiday season.
Pssssstttt: Need a little more guidance? Click here for 9 gift guides, from hostesses to littles to the trendsetter to the classic gal (we've got your back!).