It hasn't felt like Fall at all around here, so when the temperature finally dropped below freezing this past weekend it hit me: the holiday season is around the corner! What the heck am I going to buy everyone for Christmas? So if you're scrambling like me to find a unique gift, let me help you out with some cute things I found on my hunt.
Fun For All Ages
Coloring books were a hot item last holiday season. But I didn't see anything on the store shelves that really caught my eye. But these coloring books featuring Northwest Coast First Nations & Native Art are gorgeous! Great for kids and adults! You can find all three of them online at Native Northwest.
I also saw a great coloring book that the ladies in your life might appreciate. Sacred Feminine is a coloring book by Anishinaabe artist Jackie Traverse. The beautiful and intricate works of art within depict images of strength, resilience, and empowerment. With each image, the artist explains the symbolism and meaning represented. The first of its kind, Sacred Feminine is intended to heal and educate readers and colourers of all ages.
Powwows.com has also stepped into the world of coloring books with this first edition of Native patterns inspired by designs you'd see at pow wows on blankets, beadwork, and regalia. Check it out before the price goes up after December 1st!
Pow Wow Fanatic
Show off your pow wow pride with this cute design from Alarue Apparel. Sizes range from S all the way to 4X!
They say all Native babies are born with a full head of hair, but a full braid?? Haha! These cute baby onesies have a cute design on front and a looooong braid on the back!! Perfect for all those new babies in the family. Sizes run from 3-6 mos. up to 24 mos.
Gifts for the Chef
Tea towels come handy when you're cooking up some tasty treats in the kitchen. Help clean up the kitchen in style with these tea towels from Totem Design House in Canada. Multiple styles are featured on the website but I fell in love with the twin hummingbird and sun motif and also the frog design.
The hummingbird towels come in four color options. Printed on white organic linen-cotton with green, turquoise, deep purple or rich plum water based inks. The Haida Frog Motif comes in two options: 1 Black with Turquoise + 1 Ivory with Turquoise OR 1 Black with Green + 1 Ivory with Green. Printed on black and white organic linen-cotton with green or turquoise blue ink water-based inks.
Here's a gift that's great to keep on hand for an unexpected cousin that drops in. Everyone loves handmade gifts and these handcrafted, all natural soaps are perfect. These robust 3.75″ x 2.8″ bars come in three different scents: Sunrise Sage, Sweet Birch or Sea and Cedar.
Good Morning Christmas by Bedré Chocolate – $42.96
Did someone say chocolate coffee? Mmmmm, just the perfect thing to get you out of bed on a cold winter morning. This would also make a great host/hostess gift for an after dinner treat.
The Good Morning Christmas package includes two 12-ounce bags of Bedré Chocolate Coffee (one Milk Chocolate, one Dark Chocolate) and one Bedré mug with 15 assorted Meltaways. Did you know that Bedré Chocolates is owned by the Chickasaw Nation? Yummy chocolate and Native-owned, double score.
Gifts That Also Do Good
I shared a necklace from this company last year but it's too good not to share again. Her Braids donates 10% of their profits towards the David Suzuki Foundation's Blue Dot Movement.
“When seven out of 10 provinces representing more than 50 per cent of the Canadian population have recognized our right to a healthy environment we turn toward the ultimate goal: amending the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
– The Blue Dot Movement
How fitting that they have a pendant that is shaped like a water droplet, one of our most precious resources.
And since protecting the water is a big topic these days in Indian Country, show your support for Standing Rock with this Mni Wiconi long sleeve t-shirt from Urban Native Era. Proceeds from the sale of the shirt go to www.StandingRock.org.
For the sharp dressed men in your life, check out these cotton ties designed by Tammy Beauvais (Mohawk Nation). Available at Beyond Buckskin!
What lady doesn't appreciate a beautiful piece of jewelry? You really can't go wrong with any of the selections on Beyond Buckskin's online shop. They have bracelets, necklaces and more from Indigenous artisans across the land. I picked out a couple of pieces that I know I'll be picking up for loved ones.
There are several different colors to choose from with these Earth Glam necklaces but I really loved the turquoise color. This beautiful tiered necklace features three layers of long dentalium shells interspersed with large double faceted beads in turquoise and iridescent rainbow black. Designed by Beyond Buckskin owner Jessica R. Metcalfe (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) and made in the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota, this necklace blends the natural imperfections of shells with the glamor of faceted sparkling beads.
Another necklace that will definitely make a statement is this Navajo basket necklace designed by Navajo artist LaKota Scott. They feature various colors of 26 gauge wire woven around 14 gauge aluminum wire. Several different colors to choose from!
I also love these beautifully designed earrings from Rebel Tribe Design. Pueblo designs with urban flare! This business is a smaller business so please check their website to see what they currently have in stock!
Especially in this day and age of constantly being on our phones, I think it's a great idea to go back to the basics with a good book. Here are a few books that I think would be a great addition to any household library.
Emmett “Shkeme” Garcia (Santa Ana Pueblo) is co-owner of Emergence productions, a cultural exchange program for American Indian youth, and the lead singer of the Native Roots. In this children's book, Garcia tells of a Santa Ana Pueblo legend in which the animals' spirit Leader created the sun, moon, and stars by using woven yucca mats and hot coals. He selected certain animals to climb from their homes in the Third World up to the Fourth World. Coyote however is not one of them but he sneaks in anyway. You'll have to get the book to see what happens in the end!
Joy Harjo is an internationally known performer and writer of the Mvskoke-Creek Nation and the author of ten books of poetry. A critically acclaimed poet, her many honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Josephine Miles Poetry Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, and the American Indian Distinguished Achievement in the Arts Award. In this book, “swirling images laden with both myth and personal meaning illustrate this unique, poetic tale by author, poet, and musician Joy Harjo, of the joys and lessons of a girl’s journey through birth, youth, and finally adulthood.” I think this would make a great gift for any young lady.
Tanaya Winder is a writer, educator, and motivational speaker from the Southern Ute, Duckwater Shoshone, and Pyramid Lake Paiute Nations. In her debut collection, she “sings the joys, glories, and laments of love. Love is defined by familial, cultural, platonic, and romantic bonds in these emotional and thoughtfully rendered poems. Her voice traverses the darkness in a quest to learn more about the most complex of subjects.”
And if the choices here are too overwhelming, or you’re afraid of getting the size/color wrong, you can always give a Gift Certificate or Gift Card.
Here’s a list of Native-owned businesses that offer that option:
And you're going to need a cute card to put your gift card in. Check out these beautifully designed Holiday Cards by Loren Aragon AKA ACONAV. Greeting card set includes a combination of 3 festive holiday designs by Loren Aragon, “Ancestral Beat”, “Full Power”, and “Winter Blessing”. Quantity 5 of each design for a total of 15 cards, blank interior, envelopes included. Dims: 4.25″ X 5.5″ (folded).
I hope this guide has been helpful. Just click on the bold links below each photo to be taken to the website to purchase.
Feel free to also look back to our past Baby, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Gift Guides for other ideas. I try my best to make these lists all about Native-owned businesses or native-designed gifts so please think of them the next time you’re shopping! And if you have any Native owned business suggestions, please send them my way. Would love to help shine a light on your business!
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
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