Gifts that Give Back.

‘Tis the season for sparkles and cheer and and seas of swirly twirly gumdrops. But above all, ‘tis the season for remembering something more – something higher – that is the whole REASON for celebration. This is the season of giving.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the giving went full circle and then some?

I mean, sure, you’ve been giving and giving and are preparing to give some more, but what are the gifts actually doing? Just existing? Living their lives in a box wrapped in shiny paper with a ribbon on top? That doesn’t seem very efficient to me. In this season of giving, I want to celebrate those gifts – and the companies behind them – that are doing an amaaaaazing job giving BACK.

On a serious note, we’ve all heard of so many struggles and heartaches around us in the past 365 days. Sometimes it seems like a neverending stream of hardship, everyone trying to push through to another day with hope of happiness on the other side. Wouldn’t it be nice if every business out there took part in changing the world?

Even though every business isn’t, there are plenty who are, and today, I’m shouting out four of my absolute favorites. These four are doing their part in making the world a kinder, healthier, smarter, happier place to be, and I’m all on board.

Since you’re still Christmas shopping (you know you are), cross off the rest of your list with these picks. There’s everything from that big gift she’ll never forget, to everyday accessories and beauty-ful stocking stuffers! If you’re passionate about helping sick children, saving the environment, and/or supporting and advancing education, this gift guide is for y-o-u.

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First up? The biggest, softest, comfiest, coziest, most luxurious fur blanket I have EVER wrapped up in – and I couldn’t mean this more. But…Don’t Freak It’s Faux! Really though, that’s the name of the company. Susie sells faux fur blankets, and for every five she sells, one gets donated to a sick kid in a local children’s hospital. (If you’re not tearing up yet, ask Santa for a heart.) If it means anything, the boyfriend already tried stealing it from me (in the greatest spirit of the season, I swear) and loudly proclaimed upon first seeing it, “This. Is. AWESOME!!! I’m never taking this off!” I couldn’t agree with his sentiment more, and I think this might be my all-time favorite item of the whole stinkin’ season. When you envision the perfect night in watching Christmas movies on the couch with your choice beverage and loved ones and cat, this is the dream.

Your grandma, mom, aunt, sophisticated sister or awesome best friend. Get one for all of them and you’ve just gotten a blanket, also, for a child in need. Now tell me that doesn’t feel sweet. (Use code EL10 for 10% off your whole order, just to make it a little sweeter.)

Faux fur blanket

My happy place. As seen on Instagram.

faux fur blanket

c/o DFIF. The best thing I have ever wrapped myself in ever. EVER. Code EL10 for 10% off yours!

 

Next? Orange Harp. Orange Harp is awesome, because every single item on their free mobile app is specially curated for its eco-friendly or socially conscious roots. (Download the app here and see my app review here!).  This Ecco Bella lipgloss is my second product by them; my first was this chocolate mud mask that I bought without knowing whether I’d want to put it on my face or eat it. Ecco Bella is cruelty-free, never testing products on animals. All products are vegan with the exception of a few that contain carmine and beeswax. But everything is gluten, paraben, preservative, water, and alcohol free, meaning you could smear it all over a baby’s face and it still wouldn’t do any harm or irritation. Perfect for sensitive skin and people who just care. Plus, it feels absolutely amazing on your lips, goes on flawlessly, and lasts like a champ. (Get your do-good body and beauty products for 15% off with code ERICA)

Ecco Bella lipgloss

My color is “Passion” – I could not love a berry lip more!

Ecco Bella lipgloss

c/o Orange Harp. Code ERICA takes 15% off your whole order. Kisses, E

 

I’ve been crushing on The Shine Project for some time now, so I couldn’t resist purchasing one of these fabulous hoodies when they went nearly viral on my Instagram feed. Ashley and her team employ at-risk, inner city American youth and teach them skills to help them make a living that they might otherwise miss. All pieces in her Threads jewelry collection are handmade by them. The proceeds they make go back to fund their college educations. I’m currently a college student, and a guardian angel family is helping me pay my way through. I couldn’t be more grateful for them, so I KNOW that these kids could not be more grateful for you. And all apparel has some awesomely positive saying or word on it to literally make you a walking inspiration.

The Shine Project Grey Thermal Hoodie

It’s thermal, so you can practically wear it out in the snow without being cold! (JK, ’twas freezing).

 

The Shine Project, Grey Thermal Hoodie

Shine baby, shine.

 

My latest love is Jacob’s Scarves. Born in Zhongshan, China, Jacob’s Scarves started with the story of a young boy – you guessed it! – Jacob. Company founder Kiri was teaching English and fell for a hardworking family in her building. They couldn’t afford Jacob’s education, Kiri was/is mega-passionate about education, and WHAM. Jacob’s Scarves was born, so you can wear your heart on your scarf and become an advocate for education as a basic human right. All scarves are responsibly sourced and help small companies and businesses, with half of all proceeds supporting advancing education. There are scarves, vests, positive prints and hats to get you in the giving spirit (and warm spirit amiright?). I’d been dying to get a blanket scarf since I’m always needing to hardcore bundle up, and this. scarf. is. perfect. It’s so BIG and warm and soft, and my cat approves (she fell asleep on it). Code ericaandjacob gets you 15% off your order!

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Get your Edinburgh scarf here. (For 15% off with code ericaandjacob).

Blanket Scarf

c/o Jacob’s Scarves. My new favorite scarf of the season, hands down.

 

 

Don’t Freak it’s Faux, The Shine Project, Orange Harp, and Jacob’s Scarves. Four amazing causes, three stellar discount codes, less than two weeks until Christmas, and one big fat smile that you’re going to put on quite a few folks’ faces when your gift goes full circle and gives back to the world.

 

Which gift that gives back is your favorite? Do you have a fave cause that you like to support during the holidays?

 

Sending some major HAPPY BIRTHDAY love to Tiffany (she’s a quarter of a century now!) and Taylor (finally a “twenty-something”!).

Finishing up what feels like a hundred Christmas cards to be sent all over the states – I’m pumped. Want a holiday greeting sent your way? Shoot me an email or a Facebook message with your preferred mailing address!

Sipping a new Celestial Seasonings tea (trying to wean myself off of red cups…my bank account tells me I might have a Starbucks problem).

Stocking up on the best $15 and under gifts, and those things you never knew your guy always wanted (but definitely needed).

Hoping you have the best Monday ever. Seriously.

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