Giving is such a powerful thing. During the holidays, choosing gifts that serve a purpose, keep up with our ideals and respect environmental concerns are paramount. Here are some gifts I think you will find have the meaning or experience you are looking to give to others.
1. Inner Peace Boots: Finding leather-free shoes can be a challenge. I was ecstatic when I found these boots for winter. They are leather-free and even have a peace sign on them. They are very comfortable and are all about the peace.
2. David Garrett's Rock Symphonies: My sixth-grade teacher, whom I have not spoken to since, well, the sixth grade but who is now a Facebook friend of mine, asked me if I had ever heard of David Garrett. I Googled him and was amazed at what I found. That began my fascination with David and his music. My favorite songs are "Teen Spirit" and the Michael Jackson medley.
3. Jai Seed Vegan eCookbook: My latest obsession is this cookbook. Rich Roll, a vegan and one of the fittest guys in the world, according to Men's Fitness, has created, with his wife, one of the best vegan cookbooks for the modern family I have found. I absolutely love this book. You can send it as a gift via e-mail!
4. Tree of Life Blessing Dish: Love this blessing dish! I have it on my dresser. It is a catch-all for coins and jewelry, but more importantly, it is a reminder of tolerance and peace. It is handmade in the U.S., consists of recycled pewter and is covered with a brassy finish.
5. Organic Carrot Cake: Words cannot describe how good this cake is. It is probably the best dessert I have ever eaten. The recipe was a family one that was passed down over the years. Each one of these cakes is handmade in small batches. All ingredients are organic.
6. Gaiam Organic Cotton Comforter: We spend close to 1/3 of our lives in our beds, so shouldn't they be a sanctuary? This comforter is the absolute best one I have found. It is just as snug as a down comforter but does not contain down. It contains wool raised from humanely raised sheep. The cotton is organic and has a 250-thread count. It is heaven, to say the least.
7. BPA-Free Tugboat : One of my challenges as a mother of a four- and six-year-old is finding my kids BPA-free bath toys. My concern is that most plastic bath toys are filled with BPA. This is the best bath toy I have found that is BPA-free. The kids love it!
8. Organic Jacket by Patagonia: I am in love with this jacket. It is organic cotton canvas lined with fleece made from 86-percent recycled content. It is such a warm coat. It comes in both men's and women's styles. I have actually been wearing the men's version and loving it. I love that it is recyclable through the Common Threads Recycling Program.
9. Organic Dog Bed: Our dog, Bosco, sure is going to be happy this holiday season! He is getting his own organic cotton dog bed! This bed is made of very durable organic cotton, and the filling is made from recycled plastic bottles. Also, this bed is made in the U.S.!
10. KIVA: Kiva.org provides loans that change lives. Giving back is one of the best gifts you can ever give. Giving a gift from KIVA is like giving 10-fold, because the recipient gets to go online and empower an entrepreneur in need -- halfway around the world -- in turn empowering the world.
Follow Sandy Henson Corso on Twitter: www.twitter.com/sandycorso