If you’re anything like me, you love a good gift guide. Cup of Jo does the very best so I won’t even try to compete. But as much as I love a good gift guide, I’ve almost never ever followed one. For the bloggers in the room who aren’t making six figures… or even three figures… gift giving season comes with challenges. I wish that I could give beautiful presents to everyone that I love so dearly. I also wish that I could give generous contributions to everyone that I feel like deserves it! As an independent artist and an employee at a beautiful, small business, I’ve developed a newfound passion for supporting people who are pursuing their dreams. I’ve found how far even $5 can go when you tuck it into the hands of someone who could really use it.
So I have for you, the only gift guide that I’ll write this year. Every item on this list pulls double duty. That means that you’ll cross that gift off your list AND you’ll be using your money to do good. Either by supporting causes that you can get behind or by helping to support an artist/ local small business in keeping their doors open and keeping funds in your local community. This post is not sponsored at all–I just want to inspire you to think about where your money is going this holiday season. So here we go with something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read.
SOMETHING THEY WANT
Help an independent artist: Does your giftee love podcasts? Ask for a list of her favorites and buy her some swag in support of them! For me, I’d love a tote bag from My Favorite Murder or this sweet accessories kit from What Should I Read Next.
Buy local: Craft Coffee in McPherson, KS has the best swag I’ve ever seen. It’s high quality stuff that you’ll want whether you like coffee or not. This hat? Come on. Gimme.
Or further down the street, pop into Fox and Ash and see what they’ve got available because their shit is dope as hell. There’s just no other way to say it.
Support a do-good organization: I love and believe in the work that Noonday is doing. Have you heard about it? I’ll talk to you a little bit more about the work of Noonday in an upcoming post but in the meantime, I’ve had my own eye on this editor necklace for a little while now.
SOMETHING THEY NEED
Help an independent artist: Who isn’t constantly looking for the perfect travel mug? I love the these from a local artist, Daisy Friesen, here in McPherson! Follow her on Instagram, too, to see behind the scenes of all the work that goes into her beautiful pieces!
Get your girl friend a super unique self-care experience by setting her up with an incredible photographer. Kinzie Ferguson, The Empowerment Photographer, is based out of Kansas City and does such incredible work. She’s so easy going and just wants her clients to recognize their own beauty and world-changing badassery.
Buy local: If you’re in the Central Kansas area looking for something both functional (think: clothes, blankets, food, dishes) and unique, check out Connected Fair Trade. I go to the Lindsborg store but there are shops in Salina and Manhattan as well! No matter where you live, shopping local is going to give your person a gift that’s unlike anything anywhere else and you’re going to help someone local be able to provide for their loved ones during the holidays as well!
Support a do-good organization: You need holiday cards, right? Or… well, if you’re a certain kind of person, you’re going to need holiday cards. Check out these beautiful options I found on Chani Nicholas’ website, “100% of profits from these cards will go directly to FreeFrom, a nationwide organization creating spaces for healing and economic justice for survivors of domestic violence.”
SOMETHING TO WEAR
Help an independent artist: A Little Papery out of KC has designed this t-shirt that is both stunning and hilarious, somehow. Check out the rest of her site, too, because her art is exquisite.
Fellow Kansas blogger gal, Fat Girl Flow, just released her next line of merch after her Fat Bitch T-Shirt went viral! I pre-ordered my Fat Babe sweatshirt and I can’t wait to snuggle down in that darling all winter long. Let me tell you, fat people almost NEVER have access to wearable merch so I’m thrilled to throw my money at something like this.
Buy local: Head over to Hutchinson and check out Eliza Moonbeam Vintage. Azarah’s shop is gorgeous and her inventory is incredible. Follow her on Instagram to see her latest stuff. All the heart-eye-cat emojis.
If you happen to get there before Eliza opens for the day, head next door to Bluebird Books and grab one of their sweet, sweet, “Read books. Drink coffee. Fight evil.” t-shirts.
Support a do-good organization: My Sister has the best in Feminist t-shirts and their slogan is “fighting sex trafficking one shirt at a time.” I personally love their most recent partnership with Amber Tamblyn.
Another shop that I love to support is Unlock Hope. 100% of their profits provide equal access to education and healthcare to women and refugees. Their shirts are also super soft and accommodate a wide-ish range.
SOMETHING TO READ
Help an independent artist: Did you think I’d let this go by without plugging our magazine &/Both? Come on, you know me better than that. If there’s an art, poetry, women-owned-business lover on your list, stuff their stockings with a copy!
Buy local: Come to McPherson and knock out a lot of the people on your list on the cheap. Twice Told Tales’ tag line is “beautiful used books”. They’re lovely. And they’ll help you pick out something great for anyone on your list. Trust me, I work there, and that’s one of my most favorite parts of the job.
Support a do-good organization: Preemptive Love by Jeremy Courtney. “Jeremy and Jessica Courtney moved to Iraq in the middle of the war. The came face-to-face with the heartbreaking legacy of violence: thousands of children dying for lack of medical care. Preemptive Love is the firsthand account of their work saving lives on the frontlines—fueled by the discovery that the only way to unmake violence is to love first.” The Preemptive Love Coalition is one of the few charities that I give to every month. They do work that I believe in with my whole heart and one of their driving principles is “love anyway”.
BONUS! SOMETHING TO EAT
Buy local: Gift Certificates are key. Treat your friends to a hoagie or bowl of delicious, vegan chili at Noffy’s Sandwich Shop and Pub on Main Street, McPherson, KS. They also have fantastic cocktails. Last time I was in there, Ryan had a Chai Spiced White Russian. What are you even waiting for?
Support a do-good organization: Every time you purchase form Love With Food, they donate to a food bank!
And if you absolutely must order from Amazon (I get it, I really do)–let your dollar stretch by using an affiliate link!
A lot of artists and bloggers, like me, are a part of Amazon’s affiliate program. That means that if you buy anything through a specific link provided by the artist, at no additional cost to you, that artist receives a percentage of the sales made. A few family members of mine have even book marked my Amazon link so that everything they buy from Amazon sends a portion my way. I’m not saying that you have to use MY link but you can if you want to. And if you know of another blogger that you want to support, ask them if they have one! And if they don’t, shoot them a few bucks via PayPal. I can’t tell you the confidence booster that it is when someone asks for ways to support me financially because they believe in my work. It’s truly an incredible, tank-filling feeling.
Please, please enjoy this holiday season. Take what’s working for you and leave the rest. Know that you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Gifting is expensive! Let’s get creative and opt out when we can/ when we want to.