GoodyGoodyGiftSwap

Welcome Christmas Time!

If there is a time I love more than birthday's (especially mine) it is the Christmas season! For me shopping is fun, but getting to shop for others is even better! Here are three of my favorite ways you can spread the holiday season this year:

1. Goody Goody Gift Swap

Crafters and Bloggers and cute presents — oh my! This swap allows anyone interested to sign up and then be paired up with another interested gifter to create, gather, paint, construct or shop for a thoughtful gift for them! This is so fun to see what you will get - who knows, you might even be paired up with someone from across the world!

2. World Vision Gift Catalog

World Vision has had a special place in my heart for  a long time now, and what I have loved every Christmas season is when their Gift Catalogue comes in the mail. You can choose a gift or gifts for people around the world to be blessed with this Christmas —including ducks, goats, cows and even clean water. Pick something out with your family, or gift a few chickens in a friends name, either way this is a gift that can't go wrong. 

3. Operation Christmas Child

Another great way to get multiple people involved is Operation Christmas by Samaritans Purse. Grab a few friends and head to Target or Walmart and fill a shoe box with gifts and life necessities for a child in need. Don;t forget to write a note and send a picture - this could be a fun way to have a pen pal! Feel like you don't have time to shop for all the items, let Samaritans Purse do it for you by building a shoe box online here.

Don't forget that today is #GivingTuesday!  Now that Black Friday has past and Cyber Monday is gone, find the charity or company of your choice and refocus on the holiday spirit of giving by donating today. Not sure where to give—check out the site for a list of companies or head to your favorite charities site to give.

Let the Christmas Season begin!

Gift Swaps & Goodies

I had the opportunity to participate in two gift swaps this Christmas season which were so much fun to be apart of. The first one, Christmas City Swap, is curated by Allie Lehaman of Be Up & Doing . Being her third year curating the event, s lays out the concept so simply : sign-up; be paired with a random swap-mate; purchase a gift for your swap-mate locally, from your hometown; send your gift before the new year. What I thought was really cool was the person your sending to is not the same person you're receiving from, so it is one giant swapping circle. Love this!

I received a beautiful and simple statement necklace and some great natural lip balm for my gift. The necklace has quickly become a staple piece in wardrobe - I think I wear it now three or four times a week.

Since I still live near my true hometown, but live in a different suburb of Chicago I picked a few items from both my hometown and some local Chicago makers to send to my swap-mate. My most favorite item being chocolates and a hand-made candy cane from Grahams Chocolate shop, delicious!

The second gift swap is the Goody Goody Gift Swap curated by Jenna Cantagallo. The idea is to create, gather, or shop for a thoughtful and personal gift for your swap mate. This one you are paired up with the person you are sending to and will receive from. I loved the idea of creatives around the world exchanging intentional and beautiful handmade gifts. You can see a lot of the gifts and processes here, #goodygoodygiftswap

I loved putting my gift together for  my swap-mate, Paige. She told me she loved traveling, glitter and her puppy. Among my package, I included two prints - one of her puppy, Poppy, and a travel quote; a glittery heart from BanDo; and then some small, monogramed cards. 

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I loved gathering and creating the gifts for her. She sent me the cutest package including a great calendar by Sugar Paper and even a gift for my cat. Now that is one of the fastest ways to my heart.

I loved getting to participate in these great swaps, and am already looking forward to participating next year. If you are interested in participating next year - I know, I know its months away - watch out for the sign-ups in November. Can't wait for Christmas? Check out the Handmade Valentines Day swap curated by The Stationery Place.