Beautiful Between

living fully in the now & not yet

Christmas gifts that give back: world-changing presents for everyone on your list

“Every time you spend your money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want” by Anne Lappé via Change Co

Are you as overwhelmed as I am with the frenzy of the holidays?

All this rush and rustle wears me thin. I love the holidays, and I love giving gifts…but the process of pushing through stores and the tide of commercialism makes my heart a bit sad this time of year. I want to vote for a world where gifts are beautiful, meaningful, and ethical.

Last week, I mentioned in my newsletter that Micah and I skipped Black Friday. Instead, we  spent the Sunday before Thanksgiving wandering through the winter Good Makers Market here in Nashville. We’re blessed with a city that’s creative hotbed, but also full of people who want to make a difference in the world.

The Good Makers Market highlights ethical businesses. Many are social enterprises, organizations that use business to address and solve big problems in the world. They sell goods and services that fund good work in the global community.

Many social enterprises focus heavily on empowering individuals in need through training and resources that allow them to permanently overcome challenges. This is the world I want, so whenever possible, I try to cast a vote for businesses doing good work that I believe in.

Mission Lazarus

I connected with Heidi and Mark at the Mission Lazarus booth, tears in my eyes as they shared stories of the change happening in Haiti and Honduras through education, economic and community development, access to healthcare, and more. Young men and women become artisans in several disciplines,  You can find all sorts of goodies in every price range in their shop, from cord organizers and artisan coffee to beautiful, handmade leather products. Plus, they’ve got special discounts going now through December 12th on their 12 Days of Christmas page!

Light Shine Candles

Anna’s eyes sparkled when I asked her about Light Shine Candles and their impact around the world. Her passion was riveting as she talked about helping people use their unique gifts to help communities and rise from poverty through Global Outreach Development International. The Harvest scented candle smells like cozy winter holidays, and there’s even a monthly candle subscription box, guaranteed to keep your home smelling heavenly!


edPack’s goal is simple: “to eradicate poverty through education.” They do this through creating beautiful, minimal backpacks and giving a portion of every sale to organizations that educate and empower women otherwise trapped by poverty. Here in Nashville, they partner with Thistle Farms. edPack also works with Mi Esperanza (Spanish for “my hope”) in Honduras.

Branded Collective

I fell in love with Branded when I first moved to Nashville. I saw their delicate bracelets in a coffee shop and, once I heard their story, was enamored. Human trafficking, in all forms, is a cause close to my heart, and Branded partners with End Slavery Tennessee to empower survivors to become artisans. I love my tiny brass bracelet and the fact that I can read the story of the woman who made it on Branded’s “Letters” page.

Thistle Farms

Thistle Farms Is a well-known, Nashville-based social enterprise with a track record of truly changing lives. This organization welcomes women caught in addiction, trafficking, and prostitution off the street, then connects them with all the resources they need to move forward.

I love to wear their Healing Oils as a light fragrance. My favorite scent (“Inspiration,” a delicious bergamot-cardamom blend) was discontinued, but all of their current scents are delightful as well. You can also find candles, lotions, and other beautiful handmade items.


There are so many more organizations that are doing great work! If you didn’t see the right gift for your loved one, let me know what you’d like to see. I’ve got more in the works for you 🙂 It may not be possible to always buy ethically made, world-changing goods, but we can cast some votes for the world we want this Christmas.

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