Why not add cultural heft and inclusion to your holiday gift giving this year? Giving to a meaningful charity is always a super option, but this list is more about an actual thing that can be wrapped up in eco paper and tied with a recycled bow.
Even if you’re buying mainstream presents, do a little extra digging. If there isn’t a diversity and inclusion statement on the shop’s website, consider moving into a kinder, more inclusive buying space.
Here are nine great gift ideas for this holiday season.
Lotteria de Comida
Lotterian de Comida is a bilingual card game with Mexican roots — Photo courtesy of Tracey Maurer
This eye-popping bilingual card game combines bingo with traditional Spanish versos – riddles and poetic clues that follow a trail across the foodways of Mexico and South Texas.
With Mexican roots that date to 1891, Lotteria de Comida was created by San Antonio food photographer Tracey Maurer. Already being used in schools by language and nutrition educators, it’s also a regular game night at San Antonio’s hotel Estancia del Norte.
Little Muffincakes is a diverse and affirming fashion line for kids — Photo courtesy of Little Muffincakes
When her children were growing up, Debra Raney was frustrated with the lack of products that reflected what her children saw in the mirror. After her grandson Ashton was born, she decided to do something about that. She founded Little Muffincakes in 2017, with the emphasis on inclusive products featuring unique character art.
Positive imagery is the backbone of the Ashton and Zhara collections, where babies and kiddos of color can be anything they want, from superheroes to ballerinas to astronauts.
Etsy artists celebrate diversity
Etsy is a platform for small makers and artists from all over the world – supporting any one of them over a mass market product makes a statement by itself.
Allyson Block Designs offers an affirming diversity mug, and Krayon Grid Sticks from the woman-owned Krayonshop has a line of oversized, handcrafted non-toxic crayons with blended colors and carved with positive words to learn and be (Amazing! Confident!).
We Are Fluide
We Are Fluide embodies expansive beauty — Photo courtesy of We Are Fluide
This beauty brand supports gender-expansive and LGBTQ+ people who are defying gender norms to express their authentic selves. We Are Fluide’s line of vegan, cruelty-free and paraben-free cosmetics range from glittery gloss and nail polish to gems for facial bedazzling to Otherworldly Pride T-shirts and affirming candles.
The Sampler Set is perfect for any young person coming into their gender identity or sexual orientation. He, she and they will feel heard, seen and beautiful – and that matters. A lot.
Women of Resistance poetry and tote bag
Women of Resistance makes a feminist statement — Photo courtesy of Beth D’Addono
The many faces of feminism are celebrated in the book “Women of Resistance” edited by Danielle Barnhart and Iris Mahan. Published by OR Books, a small but fiercely progressive publisher based in New York, the tome will appeal to feminists of any gender or anyone who is curious about what women are mulling these days.
It comes with a tote decorated with Laura Breiling’s striking portrait of contemporary womanhood that portrays women of different races, religions, sexualities and ages. It’s an affordable gift that makes a statement – proceeds support Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Museum shops that offer native art
Sante Fe artist Rebecca Kunz draws on her Cherokee roots — Photo courtesy of The New Mexico True Gift Guide
Museum gift shops are often a repository of interesting gift ideas. The handful that give voice to the native nations in the state of New Mexico do a terrific job of spotlighting local artists across cultures and nations. For instance, check out Albuquerque’s Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, a world-class museum and cultural center founded by the 19 Pueblo Indian Tribes of New Mexico.
Another museum to consider is the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. It’s the country’s only museum for exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the most progressive work of contemporary Native artists. The state’s gift guide also has a range of options.
Gifts for children with exceptionalities
Ring Around Bells is designed for stimulating play — Photo courtesy of Enabling Devices
Enabling Devices offers toys and crafts that help kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders soothe their impulses and stay calm. They also have sensory stimulating toys to help children develop their sensory awareness, as well as gift ideas for wheelchair users and light-filled presents for children with visual impairments.
Umby makes a difference
Every Umby umbrella pays for insurance for a family in need — Photo courtesy of Umby
The Umby Be Sunshine umbrella is a sunny yellow bumbershoot to ward off the raindrops. But it’s more, thanks to founder Anuja Jaitly, a social change executive with experience across four continents in the areas of education, health, housing and microfinance.
Made from recycled plastic bottles, and packaged in an easy-to-tote waterproof case, every umbrella sold supports a family in need in Asia and Africa with one year of health, agriculture, life or disaster insurance.
The Curly Contessa
The Midnight Baroque Bathrobe from Curly Contessa — Photo courtesy of Curly Contessa
Feeling underrepresented in the world of gifts, Kristin Farmer founded Curly Contessa in 2017, creating the curly girls’ guide to gifting that ranges from china and apparel to home goods, barware and garden.
Farmer is both the founder and artistic force behind the line. Her business empowers her, and illustration is a form of therapy that keeps her grounded. Farmer was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at 19, and at 29, with bipolar II with a borderline personality disorder. Her line celebrates differences with plenty of heart and soul.