Smell is one of the most evocative parts of the holidays. Smoky fireplaces, homemade Christmas cookies, steaming cups of dark roast coffee, peppermint tea, melted chocolate warming on the stove. And vanilla lotion so good you can almost eat it. Here are a bunch of yummy-smelling things for your body, inside and out.
Food & Drinks
Just Love Coffee specializes in small-batch, artisan-roasted coffee. They sell everything from single source to blend coffees, and they offer gift ideas for Christmas. They even sell single serve cups that fit into a Keurig machine, and you can set up delivery for fresh coffee to arrive on your doorstep every week, two weeks, or month. They sell a sampler filled with an array of coffee in smaller sizes, perfect for adding to gift baskets. Their coffee comes from fair trade, direct trade, shade-grown, and organic sources. They are committed to sustainability and ethical practices. In the first two years of business, they gave over $200,000 to adopting families, nonprofits, and the arts. A portion of every cup of coffee that they sell goes to helping someone. Oh, and the coffee is excellent. Ethiopian is my favorite, and they sell several different varieties.
“Drink coffee. Do good.” Land of a Thousand Hills pays a fair wage to the farmers of Rwanda, helps them with their basic needs, and gives us quality coffee. They partner with farmers and local leaders to develop the coffee into a sustainable, fair income that meets the needs of the people. When you buy Land of a Thousand Hills, you get coffee that’s 100% Arabica, fairly traded, and roasted fresh.
Equal Exchange is your one stop shop for all things edible gift basket. They sell an array of coffees, teas, snack items, and gifts, and their website will entice you with candy bars, cocoas, and everything you need to make your Christmas cozy. They even sell beautiful wrapping paper. They had me at those two magic words: chocolate and coffee. Equal Exchange cares a lot about farmers. They partner with farmer co-ops to bring us fairly traded and organic products. Many of their products are vegan and kosher as well. If you’re planning a fundraiser or want to provide coffee at your church or school, they sell wholesale and equip you to re-sell their products. I love their holiday mini chocolates, great for sprinkling liberally in stockings.
The orange-infused bars have kicked our s’mores up a notch, and they have a really yummy-looking holiday line that’s both delicious and festive. I discovered this chocolate at Kroger, in the natural foods section, but I’ve also bought a bunch of it directly from the website. They have nibs and recipes available online, as well as gift boxes for the chocolate-lovers on your Christmas list. Theo describes itself as “the only Organic, Fair Trade, Fair for Life certified Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Factory in North America.” You can go to the website and learn allllll about how and where they source their beans, with maps and lots and lots of details, as well as a ton of information about the health benefits of chocolate (and of course, I’m always looking for more excuses to eat chocolate).
Lotions and Soaps
B.A.R.E stands for Bring Antiseptic Resources to Everyone. They have handmade soaps that make beautiful gifts, as well as everyday soaps for the whole family. And my favorite part is they partner with Kaberamaido CarePoint in Uganda through HopeChest. They have done hygiene classes and purchased vitamins and shoes for the kids there. They send soap with the visiting teams and are diligently working to find a way to teach the local women how to make their own soap using local ingredients. Also, if that wasn’t cool enough, their packaging contains seeds that you can plant in the ground to grow wildflowers. Their charcoal soap is apparently amazing, and each of my kids is getting a Lump of Coal in his or her stocking this Christmas!
My girls are going to freak out. They lurve some lip balm over here, and this is balm that soothes more than just our lips. Every Lasting Smiles Care lip balm purchase supports and strengthens the global community, improving the health and opportunities for children around the world. With every 1,000 lip balms sold, one child receives the gift of a cleft lip or cleft palate surgery in the same countries they organicall, ethically, and sustainably source their ingredients.
When we came home from Ethiopia with our daughter, she was terrified of baths. She wouldn’t sit down and stood tense and shrieking while I tried to be playful and gently clean her. One of my friends on Facebook, a Lush rep, sent us a huge box of handmade Lush bath fizzies and soaps to delight my daughter and take her mind off of her fear. She even sent hot pink princess wands that dissolved as she swirled them through the water. Over time, she was able to sit on a stool and play happily with her bath wands. Lush, and especially this friend, has a sweet spot in my heart. Well, Lush has a product called Charity Pot that contains fair trade organic cocoa butter. With the exception of sales tax, every penny that you spend on this product goes to to fund grassroots charities around the world. Slather it on and enjoy!
Karama champions the development of small businesses and provides access for artisans to a global marketplace – that’s us! They are all about restoring dignity for people living in poverty through creative and purposeful work. And I love that they invest in African teens through the Young Life program.
Slave-Free Christmas Challenge
This Christmas, I’ve challenged myself to shop my entire Christmas list from organizations that are helping people, not hurting people. Today, 27 million men, women, and children live as someone else’s property. Slaves are making the items that I’m buying to celebrate the birth of my Lord and Savior. Somehow I don’t think He’s blessed by the blood on His birthday presents. For more information on my Slave-Free Christmas project, click here.