The benefits of early holiday shopping are vast and, for the most part, obvious. You can tackle (at least) one of your holiday stressors in mid-November, check it off your list, and proceed to tree hunting, light stringing, meal preparations, etc.
But stress relief and procrastination prevention aren’t the only positives to a November gift haul.
The Amazons and Walmarts of the world have normalized lightning-fast shipping and, by extension, an urgency-free approach to holiday shopping. Lately, however, we’ve seen ever-increasing efforts to support small businesses. American Express introduced Small Business Saturday in the heat of the recession in 2010, and more recently, many activists are calling for consumers to spend their hard-earned money at black-owned businesses in particular. Not only does this offset the environmental downsides of major corporations, it also bolsters local economies and inspires younger generations.
In the spirit of the upcoming holidays, I encourage you to opt for a socially conscious stocking stuffer or two. Check off even the toughest to shop for on your list, and do so knowing you’re contributing to the fulfilment of someone’s biggest dreams.
For the person on your list who needs to unwind:
HunnyBunny Lemon Sugar Scrub | $20.00
HunnyBunny is a black-owned skincare business based in Washington D.C. Their products are all natural and must pass the “Owner’s Challenge” before hitting shelves (or online shopping carts!). If owners Nya and Zuri wouldn’t use the scrub, soap, or moisturizer, then you won’t find it for sale on their site.
This Lemon Sugar Scrub is the perfect remedy for dry winter skin, serving as both a gentle exfoliant and a rich moisturizer. Give the gift of relaxation, and do it with the peace of mind that comes with supporting a small business.
In general, BLK + GRN is a great Amazon alternative to keep on your radar this season. The site is full of black-owned, all-natural small businesses. All products are carefully curated and tested to make sure you (and the people on your holiday list) are getting the absolute best.
For the friend who just moved away:
Effie’s Paper Stationery Set | $18.00
While we all love a catch-up FaceTime call, there’s nothing like a handwritten note. Create a pen-pal habit by gifting your loved one an inspiring stationery set.
This “Joy Is Not Cancelled” set comes with 10 flat double-sided note cards and 10 pink envelopes. All this, not to mention the inspiring message, is packaged to perfection for your gift-giving pleasure.
Effie’s Paper founder Kalyn Johnson Chandler is a black “lawyer turned fashion stylist turned stationer/graphic designer” whose maternal grandmother serves as the namesake for the brand. Known for “writing a wicked thank-you note,” Mrs. Effie Hayes has been inspiring Kalyn’s lifestyle brand for years.
Check out the Effie’s Paper site for more gift ideas. From travel mugs to key chains, they’ve got you covered this holiday season.
For the makeup guru in your life:
Reusable Cotton Rounds | $17.99
If you’re a fan of SkinTok (skincare TikTok), or if you happen to be passionate about your personal skincare, you know that how you take off your makeup is just as important as how you put it on.
Many influencers have encouraged followers to make more sustainable choice in their daily routines, just like Alessa Miki. She posted about reusable cotton pads in a video titled “Random things about skincare that just make sense.”
Zero Waste Store has the fun multi-colored pack to brighten up your evening routine. Skip the single-use cotton, make the switch, and you will never go back.
These are selling out incredibly fast. One five-star reviewer remarked “I want to buy them for every make-up wearing person I know!” So act fast and check off “sustainable stocking stuffer” from your list.
For the wine lover on your list:
McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic NV New Zealand Sparkling Brut | $24.99
This Rosé is meant to honor the history-making, culture-defining efforts of black women. With floral notes and a green apple flavor, it’s to be enjoyed by all: the perfect bottle for any holiday get together!
Long-lost sisters Robin and Andréa founded McBride Sisters Wines in 2005. “As the work began, so did their reality as two fierce, female and forward-thinking leaders in an industry historically defined by tradition and gender. But, like countless groundbreaking women before them, Andréa and Robin saw every obstacle as an opportunity to chart their own path rather than follow the standard formula.”
With a mission to transform the wine industry, the McBride sisters are a great reason to celebrate all season long.
For the woman who inspires you:
The Little Market’s “Celebrate Women” Gift Tote | $12.00
A reusable tote is a great go-to sustainable gift for just about anyone on your list, and The Little Market does not disappoint.
From cute sayings like “here for the pie” to meaningful collaborations like “This is about Humanity,” this gift is a great way to encourage a sustainable habit and to put your money behind a worthy cause.
In fact, on the main site, you can shop by cause, supporting everything from homelessness, to disability rights, to human trafficking, etc. All products on the site — ranging from home goods to children’s toys — are “ethically purchased from dozens of artisan and producer groups in over 25 countries and sovereign states,” so The Little Market is a great resource for unique and thoughtful gift giving.
December will be here before we know it. Resist the temptation to wait for a late-December online order from a huge company. Put your money behind a product, cause, or business you believe in, and spread that love to every single person on your list.
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