It's that time of year where you may be agonizing over what gifts to get your friends, family and coworkers. Over the years, my giving has evolved. I used to think the more expensive the gift, the better. Also, I felt a rush bouncing from big box store to big box store. Don't get me wrong, I still love me some Target, but along my giving journey, I've discovered small businesses with fabulous products that are reasonably priced and needed my support more.
There is a secret to giving a perfect gift, listening and paying attention to those around you. What do they love? Enjoy? What makes them happy and their face light up? That's how you discover what gift to purchase for those closest to you.
Finally, I'm a fan of giving useful gifts. Gifts that don't collect dust or create clutter.
2019 has been a year of giving gifts from small business owners, and I wanted to pass along my favorite gifts to give, to make your Christmas shopping stress free this year.
Big Hug Lap Blanket: I remember the first time my friend Arona showed me her "Big Hug Lap Blanket"–I was in love. The sophistication and simplicity of the blanket, with the opportunity to write notes of encouragement, is why the blanket made my list. The Big Hug is a gift that can be given to anyone, but I love the idea of gifting it to the grandparent who already has everything and customizing the tags with notes from the grandchildren.
Buns Soapbox Soaps: If you follow me, you know that I not only believe in giving to others but finding simple ways to give to yourself. One of the ways I give to myself is buying and using homemade soaps. Soaps make great stocking stuffer, or a gift to have on hand for a female postal carrier or service people in your life. Don't know what scents to choose? Sweet scents like black raspberry vanilla and energy are two of my favorites.
Fireside Coffee Co. Sunday Morning Medium Roast: It's only been in the last couple of years that my mornings began with a warm cup of coffee. I wasn't sure what to purchase, but when I popped into one of my favorite boutiques, Aster + Gray, I purchased a bag of the Fireside Coffee Co. Sunday Morning Medium Roast. Due to the flavorful blend, I can drink it plain with no creamers or sugars. If you have a coffee lover in the family, check out the Fireside Coffee Collection and snag a bag today and pair it with a fun coffee mug.
Come with Me Devotional by Suzanne Eller: I'm a book lover and could have filled my entire list with my favorite books, but you and I both know that list would go on for days, as I have many "favorite" books. But this is one book I've gifted more than any other book and it's Suzanne Eller's Come with Me Devotional. The devotions are simple, biblically based, and the book is small enough be carried in your purse, but also looks beautiful on the nightstand. My friend Suzie is currently battling breast cancer, and I wanted to show my love, by my community supporting her books. At the time of this post, the devotional was on sale for $8 in the P31 Bookstore, which is a spectacular deal! This book could be combined with the Fireside Coffee for a cozy bundle. Make sure to add a bookmark, and a note of encouragement inside.
Lemons and Grace Body Candles: I gotta admit. I'm not a big fan of candles, but when I met Lynn, the owner of Lemon and Grace for the first time, I was drawn to her story, design and unique scents of her candles. The clean and modernly designed candle, blends into any d cor, and adds a heavenly fragrance to any room.
BNutty Peanut Butter Sample Pack: I met the co-owner of BNutty this past weekend at a market and I had to buy the gift pack. It's an amazing deal and a gift to give to the peanut butter lover in your life. If you have lots of stockings to fill, the 2 oz jar is a perfect stocking stuffer. Do you love to make gift baskets? A jar or two, with homemade jams and bread, with a spreader would make a delicious gift, for the foodie in your life. Did I mention the peanut butter is, sweet, and the perfect spread for apples or dipping?
Pops Kernel: I connected to the owner, Timeko, via Instagram. We've never met in person but chatted on the phone and often text notes of encouragement. About this time last year, a box of Pops Kernel arrived, as a gift from Timeko. Friends, my husband and I downed the bags within a couple of days. Snag a bag or two of this popcorn (the windy city flavor is my favorite!) and purchase movie tickets for the movie lover in your life.
Shop Forward – #4ThingsTote: Do you have a friend that loves bag? What about books? A sports mom? I recently bought myself a #4ThingsTote, and I'm smitten having a bag that expresses my personality. I love the versatility of the bag, and the colors are neutral, so it goes with any outfit. What four things would you want on your bag if you received it for a gift?
Bonus Gifts! Giving Gal Products: I have exciting news. As Giving Gal continues to grow and evolve, The Giving Challenge book, has been updated and redesigned. I'm in love with the new colors and design! Remember, each copy of The Giving Challenge donates three meals to a child in need through Rice Bowls. Also, I can't guarantee The Gratitude Challenge will make it in time for Christmas, but who doesn't like receiving a surprise after Christmas?
Happy Holidays and Happy Giving,
Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of “The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life”
P.S. I'm not paid or don't receive any compensation for recommending these products. Until this article posted, the owners didn't even know were selected for my list.