I know it’s only the middle of November, but while I’m curled up on the couch with a cup of tea watching the snow float down outside, I can’t help but think about Christmas. I’m mulling over the perfect gifts to give, which is something I probably put too much thought into. I know the point of the holidays is not really to shower people with material things, but I really do enjoy giving gifts. It’s something I look forward to for months. I have a number of gifts that I’m making by hand that are currently works in progress, but there are always some folks who it’s difficult to make things for, so then I have to buy.
I love shopping for Christmas gifts online, mostly because it can be done in pajamas! Despite the cost of shipping, I think it ends up saving me money in the long run. It’s so much easier to shop around online for the best price for a particular item, than it is to drive from store to store to check prices. Of course it saves time and gas money too. It also stops me from being tempted to pick up things I didn’t plan on purchasing when wandering through stores.
For gifts which provide some charitable benefit, Kiva, Unicef, SERRV, and Heifer International are my go to websites. Kiva and Heifer International are both great options for the person who already has everything or the folks who are really hard to buy for. You can make a donation to a good cause in their honor, w/out giving them another material item to find space for. Heifer International even provides you with free “honor cards” which you can give to your giftee to explain your donation. Unicef and SERRV both offer beautiful fair-trade and handmade gifts, particularly some very nice jewelry.
My other best online shopping friend is Etsy. I love to support folks who are making handmade goods, and it’s always better for the environment to buy vintage rather than new. In full disclosure, this is a shameless plug for some Etsy shop owners that I personally know and love, not that they don’t deserve it!
My aunt and her friend have recently opened an Etsy shop, StichinMoms, where they sell incredibly reasonably priced fabric goods and quilts. I just love colorful pastels, so my personal favorite is this one…
My dad also has his own Etsy shop called bittercressMCM, which features quality, vintage, mid-century modern home goods. Picking a favorite from this shop is hard, but I think at the moment I have to choose these chunky owl book ends from Blenko.
Another Etsy shop that I like to order gifts from is EarthTenderCreations, which sells hand printed silk chiffon scarves that are made by my best friend’s mom. Every time I give one of these scarves, it’s a huge success. You can see why!
Below are a few other websites and Etsy shops that I like to buy from…
UsefulBooks is an Etsy shop that sells funky little handmade travel journals which use recycled paper and maps. I’ve had great success ordering from this seller, and she has worked with me to make my purchases personalized. I see that this shop has also started selling wedding guestbooks now, so I might have to get myself one of those!
RockyTopSoapShop is an Etsy shop that sells some delicious homemade soaps, and it’s actually a good source of gifts for the men folk in your life (if they’re in to beer soap and beard oil).
Daedalus Books has some of the cheapest prices around on books and calendars, and a really great selection. It’s hard for me to place an order w/out throwing in something for myself.
It’s time for another cup of tea, and time to get back to those half finished gifts that I mentioned before!