Monday, December 12, 2011

Last Minute Ideas for Christmas Gifts!

This is a little out of the ordinary blog topic, but I just ran across a terrific article in Shop Smart magazine, a Consumer Reports division magazine, a great magazine for anyone who likes the straight scoop on products. If you've got all your Christmas shopping done, YOU CAN SKIP THE BLOG TODAY! If you are like me, and still looking, this blog might help you today! The magazine doesn't take ads or free samples. They ran a section in the December 2011 issue for "Feel Good Gifts"--where to buy unforgettable presents for under 50.00. Many of the companies listed have interesting and beautiful gifts--if you buy one, you are helping to promote job and life skills to women, help the environment, and to benefit other wonderful causes. And no, I'm not getting any benefit from telling you this! I just thought this was a really cool way to do some gift giving this year. You can feel good about your gift even if it's never used or gets regifted! You still have time to order something if you want....If not for this year, maybe next! Most of the deadline dates are Dec. 15th and later...Here are just a few examples...I didn't put the links but sure you can find them from the titles... glassware made from recycled old soda bottles..order by Dec. 19th, shipping starts at 7.00, and returns can be made 30 days from shipping. bracelets made from old guitar and bass strings. Choose a bracelet made from strings from musicians like the Bacon Brothers or Carlos Santana. Ooooooh, that takes me back to my college days! Sales help the musicians' favorite music charities. Order by Dec. 15th, shipping starts at 4.00, returns 30 days from receipt. and other items crafted from candy wrappers, old albums and more. The company plants a tree for every bag sold. Order by Dec. 19th, shipping free for orders of 50.00 and more, returns 45 days from purchase. beaded jewelry made from recycled paper. Ugandan women make these, having been trained to start their own businesses. Start up funds are provided by this not-for-profit organization. Order by Dec. 16th, shipping starts at 5.95, returns 30 days from shipping. shirts that have the covers of classic and sometimes out of print books. For each shirt purchased, the company donates a book to communities in need via another charity organization, Books for Africa. Order by Dec. 15th, shipping starts at 6.00, returns 14 days from receipt.

There are many more to choose of a handmade toy, pillow or clothing help educate girls in India. is a place to shop for baby, kid toys and essentials. Round up your purchase to the nearest dollar and the change will benefit one of three children's charities. zero-waste recycling policy, so minimal packaging and all recycled...It has everything yoga, beauty products and stationery sets.  OK, how about one flowers grown using sustainable and fair trade practices and packaged with recycled paper and nontoxic ink. The site also sells fruit, chocolate and food baskets. Yum!

And that's just a few from a long list from the magazine...the photos of the products looked great, and I just thought, how cool to buy something that does some good in the world! Wish I had seen it sooner, but I'll watch for it next year. I don't know about you, but as I get older, I think more and more about my footprint I'm leaving in a world that's going downhill in a lot of ways as far as pollution, the environment and toxic chemicals, the way things are manufactured, government waste, the list is endless. I think more and more about all the plastic we use to cook our foods in, the disposable waste I generate because I'm too lazy to wash dishes. (Sparky, that's where I come in!) Yep, Eldo washes dishes, bless his heart, if only Sparky would cook!

I think, with the time I've got left, I think I should try harder to be a little more environmentally responsible! So I thought this was a great article, and I wanted to share it.....Today's photo is from the Everglades, a diminishing water wonderland that's being polluted and damaged from agricultural run off,  competition from human population needs, and because of tampering with Mother Nature. These are the roseate spoonbills that we saw at one of the preserves in the Everglades when we were here last year.....

Aren't they beautiful? One of the most beautiful birds we've seen in our visits to the Florida Everglades....We'll see where we are tomorrow....we don't even know! It's like a throw of the dice...we get up every morning and we say to each other, "Well, what do you want to do today?" Stay tuned......


  1. Enjoying your blog. You are in such a beautiful area!!

    There is a wonderful wildlife preserve called Ten Thousand Islands about 3 miles past Collier-Seminole SP heading east on 41. We were there last January and saw so many wonderful birds. Check out our link:

  2. Don't do gifts anymore ... but if I did, one or more of the sites you mentioned would make an excellent place to shop.