B&L's Great Gifts List - Le Finale

Not to send anybody into a blind panic, but it’s officially crunch time.  Christmas is less than six days away (GASP!).  That's less than a week, people!  If you’re anything like me, you have suddenly realized that the Big Day is upon us and have started scrambling like a mad person to get everything done.  This week you will find me frantically running around doing all of the holiday shopping I should have been doing months ago like a responsible, level-headed, organized adult.  If you are also feeling the pressure of the holidays building don’t worry. I gotchu.  In the final B&L Gift Guide I've covered some options that work exceedingly well as last minute gifts!  Gifts For Good are easy peazy last minute gifts because you can donate to many organizations in someone's honor.  BAM!  No wrapping required.  I *did* include some tangible gifts for good, too, because I'm all about supporting artisans and causes in all manners possible.

Speaking of supporting artisans, I've also created a section of great handmade gifties!  I've linked below to some of my absolute favorite products and shops.  Plus, you're doing double-good: you'll be supporting craftsmen and their holiday festivities by purchasing handmade and your loved ones will certainly love a one-of-a-kind item with a story!

Last but not least, ornaments are a suuuuper easy gift to get for everyone you know.  They are often on sale this close to Christmas, so if you need to save a buck they make a great option.  Many are personalize-able, too!

 

Kiva is a non-profit organization aiming to connect people around the world to alleviate poverty through lending. A loan for as little as $25 helps create earning opportunities around the world!

This gum company is focused on giving back to 7 (!) areas of need. All products are made in America and they partner with non profits making impacts both here in America and abroad. 

Hey animal lovers!  Soi Dog Foundation is a not-for-profit, legally registered charitable organization with branches in Thailand, the United States, Australia, the UK, France and Holland. Soi Dog helps homeless, neglected and abused dogs and cats of Thailand, works to end the dog meat trade throughout the region, and responds to animal welfare disasters and emergencies. An important and often over-looked cause, Soi dog works to better the lives and living conditions of the stray dogs and feral cats of Asia.

More sweet critters in need!  These adorable cards feature puppy portraits of shelter dogs in need of a "furever" home.  The project aims to make a difference in the way people look at throwaway dogs by coordinating with shelters and rescue organizations.  They have even reserved the first Thursday of every month to shoot any and all “dogs needing homes” and to post the pics on various rescue organization’s websites such as Petfinder.com and Facebook!  Always support the underdog!

TOMS has helped restore sight to more than 250,000 individuals around the world through their One for One® program.  Every TOMS Eyewear purchase not only gets you a sweet pair of shades, but it also helps restore sight to an individual through sight-saving surgery, prescription glasses, or medical treatment. With restored vision, individuals can return to living their lives without impairment . Adults are able to contribute to the household and no longer require extra care while children can refocus in school.


 

Dang this purse is HOT!  Crafted from forest-green faux leather, this chic vegan carryall is roomy enough to fit anything from work documents to a spare pair of flats.  With both top handles and a detachable shoulder strap, this bag will carry your from work into the weekend!  Not only is it cruelty-free, but proceeds benefit the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.  How sweet is that?!

The RxArt Coloring Book features 112 black and white pages designed for coloring, all of which have been designed by fifty-three major contemporary artists.  I'm totally geeked out about this---some of my favorite artists contributed!  The cover depicts Ai Weiwei’s colorful sunflower seeds from his Unilever Series.  There is also a page of Weiwei’s work transformed into adhesive stickers!  The five-year old in me loves the stickers, the grown-up in me loves Ai Weiwei!

According to the RxArt site, “This coloring book truly exemplifies our mission.  A hospital visit is often a frightening experience for a child, and this book is intended to take their minds elsewhere, easing anxiety.  It is intended to amuse, engage and spark imaginations, enhancing the healing process."  100% of the proceeds go to RxArt, and the coloring book will be placed in hospitals across the Unites States including Kings County Hospital, St. Luke’s Roosevelt, Metropolitan Hospital, St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital, all in New York City; Advocate Hope in Oaklawn, IL; among others.

A dreamy holiday blend of evergreen and balsam fir needles combined with rich woods and a sparkling citrus accord.  A portion of the proceeds from the sales of Sir Elton John's Holiday will benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

"Raven + Lily currently helps employ marginalized women in India, Ethiopia, Kenya, Cambodia, Pakistan, and the USA at fair trade wages to give them access to a safe job, sustainable income, health care, education, and a real chance to to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families.  Raven + Lily is committed to providing products that are made by hand, follow fair trade standards, and honor our eco-friendly commitment."  Awesome.   It's basically everything you could ever want in a company.

Here's a terrifying fact: Families with children are among the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population.  Sitting around the kitchen table, drinking milk and eating cookies is an image that symbolizes comfort and the idea of "home" to most of us, however, for the roughly 1.6 million children likely to experience homelessness each year in the United States it is an experience they probably will not have.  It truly breaks your heart.  The Sweet Home Project, started in 2001, helps homeless families move into stable lives and homes of their own by providing funding and support for low-income single parents to complete their college education and enter family sustaining careers. It helps parents break the cycle of poverty and thereby prevent homelessness for their families.

Dancing Deer donates 35% of the retail price of Sweet Home goodies & gifts, year-round, directly to scholarships as a pathway out of poverty. Each Sweet Home Gift includes one or more dark chocolate cookies in the shape of a house.  Such a sweet idea!  

The purchase of a fashionABLE product helps to create sustainable businesses in Africa by   focusing primarily on creating opportunities for vulnerable women.  That means that not only do you get a gorgeous item like this woven throw, but your purchase creates jobs so that women are not dependent upon charity and instead are able to become a vital part of a developing economy.

 All raw materials for Cooperative de Creation’s collection are sourced from Paris and locally in Bali.  The company also supports a community of farmers, washers, dyers, millers, knitters and sewers with a deep-rooted belief in quality.

Donations to the American Association of Caregiving Youth provide support, resources, and services for youth and teens to whom caring for a family member has become their primary duty.  Many of these children have been forced to drop out of school and halt their ambitions in order to take care of their incapacitated relative.  The AACY gives these kids their lives back by making it easier for them to return to school as well as by finding alternative care for the loved ones they have been responsible for.

Show your support by donating to the nation's largest and most effective animal rescue and protection organization.  While you're at it, adopt a furry friend for the holidays!

Another scary fact to make you feel bad about all those Christmas presents you bought yourself (sorry!):  One person in three in the world lives in poverty.  Don't fret, though.  By supporting Oxfam, you support an organization that is determined to change that statistic by finding practical, innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive.

Empowering families to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity – Heifer International's approach is about more than just offering a handout.  Remember that ol' Maimonides quote from the Bible??  " Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."  Well, Heifer helps bring sustainable agriculture and commerce to areas with a long history of poverty through the donation of animals which provide families with both food and reliable income, as well as agricultural products such as milk, eggs and honey which can be traded or sold at market.  

 

Nectar-flavored candies with the cutest little bees!  I bet these taste sooo much better than anything you can get at the grocery store.

I don't know what it is about little animal figurines, but I just love them! This shop has the most fantastic little bears...I want them all!

Well, this is downright amazing.  Add it to the "gifts for Bibliophiles" category, this shop creates charging docks for your phone out of old books with beautifully decorative covers.  No more hideously boring charging stations here!

I told you, there is just something about tiny animals that gets me.  But seriously, tell me this little llama with flowers in its hair isn't the most whimsically wonderful thing you've ever seen!

I'm petty sure I've reached stalker-status with Lauren Finkelstein's shop Self Press, but I just can't help it!  Every. Single. Piece she makes is more beautiful than the last!  You may remember her from the beginning of my obsession with her ceramics with this post from back in the fall.  It's official.  I have a total artist-crush on her!

Oh, pottery.  How I love thee.  Especially when you are speckled, organic and have swirly handles...

...also when you are gorgeously glazed and have fantastic patterns adorning your beautiful sides. 

This is the perfect gift for a couple (or, hell, an individual, too!) who just made the move into a new house.  

An essential statement for every kitchen.  There is just something so charming and homey about hand-stitched goods like this.

The coolest lamp I've ever seen, it's made of found driftwood! 

Seriously.  Animal totems.  I might have a problem. 

Oh my gawwd.  Handmade caramels with hand-crushed espresso beans.  This is why I am going to have diabetes before I'm thirty.    

The bad thing about living in a tiny apartment is the lack of any storage space i.e. closets/ shelves/ a garage/ an attic/ etc...  The good thing about living in a tiny apartment is that now I have an excuse to indulge my weird need to hoard baskets.  To store things in, duhhh. 

I'm positive I need this.  Just a sweet little ceramic sculpture of high-top shoes tossed up on a wire, there is something so happy and free about it!

 

 

I love these precious little European homes!

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A little artsy, a little fartsy, these ceramic ornaments are perfect for the artists and creatives in your life.

Every outdoorsman and wilderness explorer needs a canoe ornament for their tree!

This is gorgeous!  My favorite part is the juxtaposition of the vintage-style botanical illustration with the modern metallic faux-wood piece on the top!

I'm not sure why I love this silly little egg ornament so much, but I am really quite fond of it.  :)  It'd be even cuter if you paired it with a bacon ornament! 

Ahh, nothing like makeup and nail polish ornaments to please your teens and fancy ladies!

Crystals for your favorite hippie.

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I love love LOVE this dala horse ornament, and I bought these donut ornaments this year--they were totally worth it!  They even came packaged in a tiny little donut box.  How cute is that?!

Tea.  In an ornament.  Dreamy. 

Oy.  There ya go!  A whole butt load of gifts for everyone you have ever known and will ever need a gift for for the rest of your life (or at least this year).  You are welcome.  However, now that you have all these fantastic gifts, don't forget you have to wrap them!!!  No worries, I won't leave you hanging!  I'll have a post just for wrapping ideas and hacks coming up before the Holiday--to make sure you're the envy of everyone around the tree, of course!