Here are a few things I have been loving for the holidays, wink wink nudge nudge.
My particular decision during the holidays is to either make each thing that I give (paint, bake, make, sew, crochet, draw, print etc)...or make sure that I buy from artisans who hand make their goods. It feels so much better to give something that you know was made with love and care, and that the person who made your gift was treated fairly (so important!). The only exception I make to handmade is books: because, lets face it...books are wonderful and lovely and great, and no one is handwriting a million of their awesome books, right? If you can: buy from your local bookstore. The extra money spent and not saved on Amazon or other big box stores goes directly into your community...and doesn't that just feel oh so nice?
If you don't know where to look in your area to buy local handmade, check out local museums and art centers, as well as galleries. Many times the unique and original work there is absolutely affordable and one of a kind. Here are some pieces that I happened upon at a local Art Center in Westchester NY.