Gifts with heart


I love giving gifts. I pride myself on being able to pick out just the right thing for my nearest and dearest (with the exception of my husband, for whom I can never get it right...). I also love lists. An appreciation for catalogues and gift guides seems to be genetic: Dad and I read through hardware store junk mail together and my son collects those advertising brochures canny marketers tuck into toy packaging. 

Now, about these pictures...

The photographs are by Javier Diaz (Santa) & James Pond (all others) and are my way of poking fun at the consumerism unleashed by the festive season. The whole cycle of waste and want is insane... Someone once gifted my husband and I a "chamber of commerce" on our wedding day. I loved this idea of our wedding being the catalyst for the business success of others.

Don't get me wrong - I've just publicly declared my love of the Christmas flat lay and the hardware store bargain bin, but the challenge I'm giving myself is to up my game in terms of shopping well and giving well and in being conscious about the impact my money can have in the world.

I've already texted multiple friends the link to Bethany Douglass' gift guide for kids on The emphasis is on presents that will have a long life - things to be enjoyed for many years and then handed down. This clinched the deal for me, as I'm all about encouraging my own children to embrace generosity instead of consumerism. Given that Bethany homeschools her four kids, I'm trusting that she's got an eye for what keeps children entertained! She even opens her guide with the line "gift giving is my love language". Perfection.

I couldn't find the link for gifting a "chamber of commerce" but I'm a big fan of the World Vision Gift Catalogue - it's perhaps the most amazing list of long-lasting gifts around, including the opportunity to gift a "small business loan" or an "economic empowerment fund". A nice way of changing the world one gift at a time. Double perfection!  

And, if you know of any great ethically- and environmentally-correct gift guides, then please send them my way :)