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Last Minute Gifts with Good Karma

Thursday, December 19, 2013 by Marianne Elliott

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If you are anything like me, you may find you’ve somehow got to a week before Christmas without doing a lot in the way of gift-buying.

Here are some good gifts, with good karma, which you can either buy and have delivered online or which you can find locally, or have delivered to most places in a few days.

Gift Guide - Thumbnail

To have and to hold: beautiful things, made without harm to others

If you are in Australia or New Zealand, there is still time to get some gorgeous, natural, locally produced yoga wear and accessories from Bodha. I have the smoke-free incense burning at my desk as I type:

Tiny Devotions have malas to suit every moment and mood, the Guardian Mala has been my companion on my many travels this year and I  find it deeply grounding.

I’ve long been an admirer of the Wrap Up Africa project and I love these beach bags and totes.

If you are in the US or Canada, you can probably still get something gorgeous delivered before Xmas from one of the Afghan artisans on the Far & Wide Collective. Or order a gift card and let your loved ones choose their own treat.

Avoid shipping by finding a local retailer of the beautiful (and ethically produced) scarves and leather-ware from Live FashionABLE. I especially love Genet, which I received as a gift from my friend Karen, and which is a collaboration between FashionABLE and the ONE campaign.

If you are in Wellington, try Behome for ethically made and sourced jewelry, clothing, textiles and furnishings. These quilted bed covers are on my wishlist.

To experience and enjoy: gifts that keep on giving

30 Days of Yoga – my flagship online course, designed to give you all the tools and support you need to begin and sustain a home yoga practice, is currently open for registration and the next session will begin on 13 January 2014. Comes in Standard, Beginners and Busy People versions.

The Satisfaction Finder – from my friend and mentor, Jen Louden. I used this to learn how to structure my days and work so that I could actually feel satisfied at the end of each day. It’s a radical idea in a world of insatiability, and it will lead to greater happiness – guaranteed!

The Porridge Manifesto – from the wise & wonderful Rachel Cole. It’s hard to overstate the comfort of porridge for breakfast. Indeed porridge is the only recipe I’ve ever submitted to a cookbook. Rachel turns making porridge into a ritual of self care and love.

Quiet Your Inner Critic – I’ve learned an awful lot from my friend Tara Mohr, including the most useful tool I’ve ever come across for reframing (and quietening) my inner critic so that I can get on with my work, and life.

Box 'o Gifts

To share and transform: gifts that give to others

Another approach I’ve taken this year is to give gifts to someone who really needs them, in the name of someone who you love who doesn’t need them.

For example, this year instead of buying gifts for my parents, I spent the money I would normally have spent on them and (with the help of some generous friends) filled a box with gifts, food and drink for the local women’s refuge.

On Christmas day I’ll give each of my parents a card telling them a few of the things I love most about them – including the way they modeled generosity and community involvement for me – and letting them know that the Wellington Women’s Refuge is enjoying some Christmas festivity in their name.

There are lots of organisations offering gifts that give to those who need it most, but my favorite is, and has always been, Oxfam. Partly because they do such great work, and partly because the gifts are put together with style and a sense of humour.

Here are the Oxfam Unwrapped stores for:

USA – my pick is Support a Woman Entrepreneur’ – because that’s the fastest way to change the world.

UK – my pick is ‘Safe Water – because not much is more important than that.

New Zealand – my pick is the Gardeners Pack because my mum would love it.

Australia – my pick is the Piglet, just because.

To read: because there’s really no better gift than a book, right?

Still haven’t found the right gift? How about one of the books I featured in my best book list of 2013?

If you can, pop into a locally-owned bookstore and get a copy there. If that’s not possible, there is probably still time to have a book delivered from an online retailer. And if you are reading this at midnight on Christmas eve, there are always Kindle editions for the e-readers in your life.

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