If you’ve been outside your house in the last ten weeks you may have gotten the sense that it’s the holiday season. Such a pressured time, no? Intended to be a season for being grateful and count the many blessings that we have, regardless of our Occupy status, it’s easy to get segued by the relentless ads for stuff we don’t need.
Since Bug has been born I’ve really taken to consignment sales and stores, and I’m proud to say I’ve given people gifts I’ve found here (there’s still time to use the So Very Vienna coupon for consigned and new items at the Purple Goose in Alexandria).
Yet, there can be joy in selecting a new gift that is meaningful to the recipient as well as shares an inherent statement of thoughtfulness in its design. In that spirit, I’ve culled together my list of favorite gift ideas:
Gifts for a Cause
- Child Fund International. We just gifted a school uniform for student in Africa, in honor of a friend celebrating her first birthday. What better gift than the gift of helping others?
- UNICEF holiday cards. This is where I ordered holiday cards to send my clients. Help kids around the world in style. And, save the cards you receive for the St Jude’s Ranch for Children recycled card program to help abused, abandoned and neglected kids (they take cards year round).
- Kiva International. Give small business loans – as small as $25 – to people internationally trying to support themselves. I’ve reloaned the same $25 over several years to a woman opening a beauty salon in Iraq, a musician in Kazakhstan and others. The hardest part is determining who to give to.
- Heifer International. A friend once gifted us a goat for the holidays. Hard to beat thaaaaat. Help families in need earn skills and money for their livelihood.
Gifts from Vienna
- The Freeman Store. One year I got Drew a countertop jar with Vienna’s name on it. A nice keepsake.
- Great Harvest Bread Company. They have Apple Scrapple! And gift baskets. Located on Church Street.
- Other Church Street Businesses. Check out my roundup.
- The Fresh Market. I know, controversy abounded before they opened but things are smoothed over now, right? Well, they have some nice goodies – an old fashioned candy display, a nice coffee selection and silly good cinnamon raisin peanut butter.
Consignment Gifts for Kids and Adults
- Kid to Kid in Centerville
- Little Lords and Ladies in Chantilly
- Paddington Station in Vienna
- Purple Goose in Alexandria (see coupon above)
- Small Change in Reston
- Wardrobe Rescue in Vienna (upscale women’s clothes)
Gifts With Value and Flare
- Magazines! I love Experience Life Magazine, a great read for motivation to (realistically) live a healthy lifestyle; Baby Bug Magazine for infants is a precursor read to older publications like Ranger Rick and others.
- LL Bean – Built to last, like the awesome gigantic tote bags for a decent price
- Ikea – Cute stuff for good prices, built in a thoughtful and usually eco-friendly way. Bug loves her swivel chair. Sweden knows what it’s doing.
- Wolferman’s Gourmet Gifts. My mom has sent us the mega English muffins from Wolferman’s in past years. Yummy, I say.
- Experience Life Magazine.
- Nuts.com. Worthy of viewing due to the name alone.
- For Small Hands. A resource for families for crafts and toys that help kids empower themselves through learning and play.