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Thursday, December 05, 2013

Gift Guide Part #4: Your Twin Sister Who Makes Wacky Jokes And Lives 3,000 Miles Too Far Away.

Pumpkin cheesecake, $55, for obvious reasons.
Bay leaf wreath from California, $29.95, which is "exquisitely aromatic" and will look pretty in her home. Bonus: The leaves will dry naturally and can be used in cooking throughout the year.
Bear address stamp, $65.
Western wool coasters, $26 for four, plus a bottle of wine to drink together.
Zig zag cuff, $110.
Put an Egg on It, which proves that everything—from salad to buttered toast to leftover pizza—is more delicious with an egg cracked on top. $13.98.
United States cheese board (of her favorite state) plus cheese, crackers, honey, salami and chutney, $90. Party in a box!
Fair Isle leggings, $98, or socks, $16.50, to keep her cute and cozy all winter.
Ear acupressure massage, which targets the ear's "minefield of pressure points" and "sends the entire body into Gumby mode." How awesome does that sound? $35 for 15 minutes.
Jacks, $6.50, "just for funsies," as she would say.
A $25 microloan in her name to someone who needs it—such as a Kenyan farmer who wants to double grain production or a young Bolivian woman who needs school tuition. The coolest part: When the borrower repays the loan, the money returns to your account, and you can loan it out again to someone else.

P.S. More gifts for sisters, and the 2013 gift guide so far...

(Ear acupressure via NYMag; photo from Stay.com. Egg cookbook photo by Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)

43 comments:

Kait said...

love that "put an egg on it" book - too clever!

Caitlyn Mitchell said...

Jo, I love that you're including socially conscious gifts this year. It's a great reminder to all of us.

collette said...

Some of these are expensive/not practical, but the microloan stole my heart. Thank you.

Jessica Hart said...

I love the Mircoloan Idea!
Jessica
the way to my Hart

Shruti Kapoor said...

Love the microloan idea! Thanks for sharing!

Emily J. Stivers - Oh Happy Roar said...

Thanks for the Kiva suggestion! I hadn't heard of that option before (giving a gift card so the recipient can choose for herself)! I just bought one for a friend who will LOVE it, I'm sure :-)

Laura said...

i love these - especially the microloan one. every christmas, everyone in my family gets a 'charity gift'. i've ben gifted clean drinking water, chickens, art therapy, sexual education, bikes for girls to get to school :) we also do a 'wish tree' family, where you buy presents for the children of a local family.

i once gave my parents a goat for a family and i've never seen them more excited!

Laura said...

also - i put an egg on EVERYTHING. soft boiled eggs are my jam.

Alyssa Van Hofwegen said...

Cute ideas and tag lines :) love that you have Kiva on here! Always love reading your blog!

ashfiddy said...

Your gift guides are unbelievably awesome!

moni.zuza said...

Great gift guide. But you might want to check out our article on micro-loans and what to consider when picking one:

http://www.spoonfulsblog.com/featured-organization/combating-poverty-with-micro-financing

laurencapri said...

how about the Chris Messina dance routine from this weeks Mindy Project? "Sometimes the best gifts don’t cost a thing!" “I guess, if you’re, like, a poor mouse in a Christmas special,” she pouts.

Anna Alter said...

I love your gift guides! I just went to Kiva's site and made a loan, it seems like such a great organization. Then I wanted to find out more about them, so I did a little research and found some unsettling info. For instance it looks like the institutions that distribute the loans charge extremely high interest rates to the borrowers. You can read more on wiki or here: http://blog.givewell.org/category/kiva/

Just thought you might want to know!

Sara said...

Joanna, I just want to echo the appreciation for the microfinance loan idea -- such a wonderful alternative to the random things we sometimes buy just for the sake of gift-giving, and also the perfect gift for people who already seem to have everything. Thanks so much for spreading this kind of spirit.

Sara said...

Also, to allay some of the concerns about micro-finance, the reason the interest is sometimes high for these borrowers is that there's a higher chance they won't be able to pay the loan back -- much higher than a borrower with good credit, assets, etc. They're high risk loans -- and the interest rates are meant to absorb that risk to some extent.

Maywyn Studio said...

Your gift guides are fun, entertaining, and grounded in reality!

Jesse said...

i may need that 'put an egg on it' cookbook.

http://semiweeklyeats.blogspot.com/2013/12/theme-song.html

absolutelyextraordinary said...

Love the state cheese board and jacks! Fun!

Trina said...

I like the bay leaf wreath idea. If she lives in the Bay Area, she could actually probably forage a few bay leaves on hikes through the peninsula hills.

jamie said...

you are terrific at these! i spotted a similar pair of leggings at old navy that are adorable in person, for just $15! http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=87786&vid=1&pid=920267022

Isabel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jm said...

Great gift guide. I love putting an egg on salad and pizza - delicious.

frank said...

I loved Kiva, and as I see I'm not the only one! Didn't know the site before: but me and my boyfriend are now loaners to Vahid, a salesman in Azerbaijan, how great is that :)? best way to enjoy the evening at home, while a huge tempest is coming on Berlin..

Monica | Hola!design said...

put a egg on it! so funny!

Michelle Ash Latham said...

I love the bay leaf wreath -- what an interesting gift it would make!

www.ahealthymrs.com

lauravaughn said...

That pumpkin cheesecake is crazy expensive, but I bet it's soooo good. I was just eyeing those pajama pants...hopefully someone shopping for me reads this :) Haha

smalltownamericana said...

Heck, I would like to request that all these gifts be sent to me.

Alina - Thinking Creature said...

Love microloan idea.

Leah said...

Your gift guides this year are fabulous! I also love that you are posting socially conscious gifts. One of my favorite gifts of all time was mosquito nets for a family in need.

jm said...

Just reread this and love it even more,

Quinn said...

Put an Egg on it... perfect! Eggs, like sisters, make the world go round! :D

amanda june said...

Bummer, the AHeirloom cheese/crackers/cutting board gift set is sold out!

Jillian Manesh said...

love that wreath! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

Meredith T said...

The smell of that Bay wreath must be incredible!

And go Kiva! Thanks for including a gift idea that keeps on giving.

Regarding some micro-loans that include interest rates, some of Kiva's Field Partners do charge interest, but that's mostly to cover some of their operating costs. The highest ROIs (returns on investment) that the Field Partners receive are 2-3%, which goes to show how difficult it can be to provide loans to rural entrepreneurs. But feel free to look through the borrower repayment schedules and Field Partner profiles online to check out whether interest is charged and why!

Kiva tries really hard to lend money to people and projects that otherwise wouldn't get funding. If you're interested in impact investing you should definitely have a read of this:

Happy holidays everyone!

Meredith T said...

Argh my link didn't work. Check out the article on the Kiva blog titled "Catalytic Loans: How Kiva is pushing boundaries to make loans do more"

IronNapper said...

I love your gift guides! I can always find something for at least one person on my list (and usually something for me too!). Definitely getting a bay leaf wreath for my mom. Looking forward to seeing your guide for fathers/brothers.

Emily Woodford said...

I can not imagine being 3000 miles away from my twin sister! Love this post.

Paola said...

You should add punjammies to your list! They are the most beautiful Pajamas, made through the international princess project; their "mission is to create pathways to freedom for women escaping the ravages of sex slavery to achieve lives of hope and dignity"
They are absolutely lovely and support an amazing cause!
http://shop.intlprincess.org/

Michelle Panting said...

Great suggestions. Love the idea of the loan, since it encourages a more equal power balance when it comes to charity.

http://www.fullbellywornsoles.com

Heather Johnson said...

My twin sister actually does live too many thousands of miles away! These are great!

Michelle {lovely little things} said...

Love the bay leaf wreath, fragrant and chic!

uğur Aksu said...

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Sam said...

Really like these gifts! Awesome idea. My (non-twin) sister would probably love the kiva idea. :-D
For anyone else looking for good ideas, Jo featured one last year on her blog called the milktape which was a huge hit with my sister last year, also a good idea :)

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