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Holiday Gifts: The Surprises That You Did Not Know You Needed

Holiday Gifts: The Surprises That You Did Not Know You Needed

Whether you celebrate festive holidays or not, it’s a season of giving and your resident tree-hugger is here to share with you some unique finds! From luxury to thought-provoking, I’ve done the work to curate a list of impactful gifts. But first, let’s get into why giving can be so heart-warming.

Research tells us that the act of giving just feels good. More than that, being a generous person is linked to overall happiness and fulfillment, as it’s been shown to activate the reward system in the brain. One particular study concluded that generosity has an evolutionary tie to the desire of social connectedness. Community. Even if it’s just a one-time giving gesture without any expectation of reciprocity (like leaving a generous tip for your server at a restaurant), the underlying instinct is to further social connection.

I must acknowledge that giving can sometimes feel awkward and downright stressful. Especially when it’s a material item, so let me be the first to remind you that if gift-giving is overwhelming, keep reading because there is truly something for everyone on this list!

Starting with some traditional ideas:

For the beauty queens:
-This made-to-order deep conditioner by Lamissapple is perfect for all hair types regardless of climate. Extra special because of the founder’s ethics and mission to environmental wellness, the entire brand is committed to zero waste, so the packaging is glass and will add glamour to your vanity (
-Macrene Actives is an organic, dermatologist-created skincare brand with a mission to minimize if not completely replace the need for invasive cosmetic treatments. Previously an “insider only” brand, it has now expanded availability. (
-If you’re a diy-er, on a budget, or curious about ingredients beyond the beloved shea butter, check out Rainforest Chica for the highest quality of raw butters and oils directly from the Amazon (
For the culture connoisseurs: get curious about collecting art and visit a gallery near you. Minority-owned galleries are making a wave, and the largest African-American-owned gallery in the Southeast is ZuCot Gallery in Atlanta. They host private events and they even have merch. Win-win. (
For the kiddos: Free-to-download coloring sheets online. Some can be customized with the child’s name. You’re welcome.
For when the grown folks get together: Back to fostering community, it’s a special time when we can put our phones down and break bread with friends and family. Spice up that time with game night that includes conversation-building cards, like these Truthing Cards (

Now to the surprise gifts you didn’t know you needed:

Buy stationery to elevate your sophistication – stop sending texts and write that ‘thank you’ card;
Time off from work – I know it can be challenging, but invest in your greatest asset – you
Develop your “elevator pitch” – regardless of your field of work, what’s guaranteed to make you stand out is having a 60-second rehearsed answer for when someone asks, “Tell me about yourself”
Give your opinion! It’s your time to rise up and make big moves for yourself. With savvy, speak up at work, in that meeting, at that conference, or at home. It might cost you a little, it might cost you a lot, but there’s a reward in there for you that money can’t buy.


Browser, T. (2021). Giving is good – for others, but also for you. Retrieved from

Delton, A W., Krasnow, M.M., Cosmides, L., Tooby, J. (2011). Evolution of direct reciprocity under uncertainty can explain human generosity in one-shot encounters. Retrieved from

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