For reasons including the fact that I feel overwhelmed in Big Box stores and I generally resist leaving the house in the cold and dark wee-hours of winter mornings, I’ve never been one to get particularly excited about Black Friday shopping. In fact, I can’t remember ever shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, or ever feeling like I was missing out.
But small business Saturday? I’ve gotten behind this concept since I knew it existed (which admittedly has just been in the past few years). When time and geography allow, I love perusing local shops with my sister, cousins, or friends who are in town and looking for stocking stuffers, teacher gifts, and unique items for family members. And whether or not I’m able to visit local stores, I always take time to visit the websites of my favorite online shops. Indeed, I’ve often been checking their inventory in the weeks leading up to SBS and I have been known to even have some items stored in my cart…
House of Joppa has no shortage of beautiful Advent items and Christmas gifts in their current collection, and I’m excited to share some of my favorites with you in these days leading up to Small Business Saturday.
Gifts for teachers, bus drivers, and other people who serve your family
Some of the people whom I most enjoy Christmas shopping for are the people who sustain and nourish my life on a daily basis through their hard work and generous spirits. It feels good to be able to say thank you with a thoughtfully chosen gift and a handwritten note expressing my gratitude. Because I often don’t know the preferences and tastes of the people who fit this description (I know my mail carrier’s name…but I don’t know how she decorates her house!), I like to go the route of “consumable” gifts for this crowd.
My go-to’s? Soap and candles!
Everyone uses soap, and especially moisturizing and delicious smelling soup is such a luxury. This beautifully wrapped Handmade Soap Sampler is a great choice. As for candles, I just know how much I love to receive an exquisitely scented, high-quality candle, so I have to believe that others feel the same way. When buying for more of an acquaintance than a family member or friend, I tend to go with a seasonal scent, like this Balsam Fir + Cedarwood + Juniper Berries candle.
Gifts for friends
I’ve gone through different phases of gifting and not-gifting to friends at Christmas time. I can remember that exchanging holiday gifts was a huge thing within my middle school and high school friend groups, and I always had such fun with it, but my college and early-adulthood friends were conveniently less into gift-sharing as those years of my life were the ones in which I had very little extra wiggle room in the budget. Now that I’m more comfortably situated financially, I love giving gifts to friends. This year, I’m especially drawn to this gorgeous Floral Pen Set; a journal that can be used to record prayers, ideas and reflections, or can serve as a reading log or guest book; and this fun and unique key chain.
Gifts for family members
I’m a little bit more specific when it comes to giving family members gifts — picking out particular items for particular people — but seeing as I get many of my family member gift ideas from others, I thought it was worth sharing some of the items that I’m leaning towards giving this year.
For my sister and sisters-in-law, I’m drawn to this Blessed Mother of Pearl Bracelet and this St. Michael bangle. Both would look beautiful alone on a wrist, or layered with other pieces.
I know my daughters and nieces would love this Heart Rosary Dish, which can be used to hold their rosaries or their barrettes, stick-on-earrings, and any number of the other trinkets that they so love.
For my mom, I’m leaning towards either this Our Lady of Tenderness Icon or this Be Still Wood Sign. Either would look great in her front entryway.
I can’t wait to give my Mother-In-Law these Vintage Book Storage Boxes. They are such a beautiful and unique gift, and great for someone who likes to keep the house both tidy and artfully decorated.
Whether you shop on Saturday, November 26th or some other time, know that when you purchase HOJ Catholic home decor, jewelry, and gifts, you are supporting a small family business full of products carefully curated from artisans throughout the world, many of whom share our Catholic faith. This is shopping that you can truly feel good about.