Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, the holiday shopping season is in full swing. The end of the year is also the most popular time for charitable giving. Almost a third of online donations are made during last two days of the year. I think a donation to someone’s favorite cause makes a great gift, but if you want to give something more tangible, here are six gifts that give back:
1. Plywood People Tall Tote, $10
This tote is made from upcycled materials from billboards in Atlanta and Charlotte. They are handmade in America by refugees, and bags like this one provide English classes and essential items to these refugees.
2. FEED Wine Bag, $22
I’m always looking for wine bags for hostess gifts. Buying this one provides five school meals to kids in need.
3. Cookies for Santa Gift Set, $10
This fun set includes gingerbread cookie mix and a cookie cutter and 100% of proceeds benefit St. Jude Children’s Research hospital.
4. Mud Pie Baby Socks, $7
Ten cents from each purchase of these adorable little socks support the March of Dimes.
5. iSanctuary Necklace, $30
This necklace was made by a human trafficking survivor who is paid 100% above fair trade wage. Jewelry sales help provide opportunities and jobs for survivors in India and the United States.
A few years ago, I used to play the game Rock Band with friends and our fake band was called “Quarter Life Crisis.” The name captured that stage of working at low-paying jobs and figuring out post grad life pretty well. I also rocked the vocals.
Now that I’m 30, it feels like I have grown out of the quarter life crisis phase, but I think I may be in the midst of a third life crisis. It may seem irrational, but 30 is the age when people start to think that there may be something wrong with you when you aren’t married, your Instagram feed becomes dominated by pictures of babies, and panic about being single starts to set in. I’m confident about all aspects of my life the majority of the time, but the moments when I start to worry about the future seem to be more frequent lately.
Am I saving enough for retirement? Should I go out more often to meet people? Am I going to turn into a cat lady (even though I’m allergic to cats)? These are all questions that occasionally stress me out, and keep me from blogging as I focus on work, volunteering and other attempts to be social, and avoiding cats. With all that said, especially in this season of gratitude, I’m extremely thankful for all I have, but also a little confused about how to make the most out of my life. If you have some advice, feel free to enlighten me.
Speaking of advice, thanks to the random people who have emailed me with eHarmony advice (despite of the lack of new posts on this blog). I’ll share that I tried online dating again. It was horrible again. I would write about a series of laughably bad first dates, but I’m pretty sure a couple of those guys know that this blog exists and I don’t want to increase the awkwardness.
I believe that continuing to focus on saving is a big part of overcoming my third life crisis, and my goal is to take more time to write about it.
Image Courtesy of Sira Anamwong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net