Welcome to the most wonderful time of the year! While gratitude still fills our hearts and leftovers still fill our bellies, let’s keep the celebration going.
In my home, after Thanksgiving, we observe Advent; a time of hope-filled waiting. We light candles and hang tiny ornaments on a time-worn sheet of flannel adorned with 24 little buttons. We mark time. We wrap. We pray. And we wait.
What we try not to do is to go to the mall, and so I’m sharing some of my favorite gift ideas for 2014, all available without leaving home!
Coffee – I love coffee, and my Amazon Wish List is filled with links to some cool products for enjoying home brew.
1. The World’s Best Coffee According to Lynn – Colectivo Coffee from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their Blue Heeler is the best. I cannot explain why good coffee comes from Milwaukee. I just accept it.
2. Capresso Froth PRO Automatic Milk Frother – Designed to create thick and rich frothed milk for cappuccinos, steamed milk for cafe lattes, and frothy hot chocolate, the new Capresso froth PRO automatic milk frother produces professional quality results with a quick touch of a button. Yum!
3. Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker – This year, I had the pleasure to make stovetop espresso with this little gem in Italy while visiting our daughter and son-in-law. You bet I would like to recreate that opportunity whenever I can!
4. illy, Ground Espresso Coffee, Dark Roast, 8.8-Ounce Tins – You need good Italian finely ground coffee to make good Espresso and illy makes the best we tasted.
5. Chemex 6-Cup Classic Series Glass Coffee Maker – If the power goes out this winter, and you want to be able to make a good cup of coffee, have one of these on hand. Actually, you might just want to use this every day. The Chemex Glass Coffee Maker has no moving parts and will work forever, unless it is dropped or in some other way demolished.
6. Grower’s Cup Coffee Kit – A clever gift for coffee-loving campers on your list, try this disposable genius. You brew French-press coffee in a pre-measured paper bag. Enjoy and toss! Genius!
7. Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker with Tote Bag – Apparently in one minute, the Aeropress will make 1 to 4 cups of American or espresso style coffee. This gadget looks like a fun one to try for the traveling coffee drinker on your list.
8. Timolino PCT-46K 16-Ounce Icon Vacuum Tumbler, Brushed Stainless – Keeps your coffee hot for three hours. Three hours, people. This is no minor league travel mug. And, the lid flips open for no-spill sipping.
9. Cuisinart SS-700 Single Serve Brewing System, Silver – Powered by Keurig – This appears to be the mack-daddy of Keurig-compatible brewers. Go big or go home. And those little Keurig pods make some great coffee!
I’m also committed to buying ethically and using fair trade products whenever possible, so my coffee of choice this year is from Tom’s, the folks who brought you the shoes. Tom’s philosophy: “As a company, we’re in business to help improve lives. Our latest mission helps our customers provide the most basic human need: With every bag of coffee you purchase, TOMS will give one week of clean water to a person in need. One for One.®”
If you want to know more about fair trade and ethical shopping, Relevant Magazine published a thorough article on ethical giving just this past weekend. It’s filled with thoughtful advice and links to vendors whose practices have been well-vetted. According to the article, it’s a guide to brands, online resources and retailers that are dedicated to helping you make ethical, environmentally responsible shopping choices.
In addition, I love these products:
- Nozomi Project – beautiful jewelry made with shards found in the rubble of the Japanese Tsunami, crafted by local women survivors. Beautiful products; more beautiful story.
- Punjammies – Created by women in India who wish to remain free from sex-slavery. Beautiful pajama pants. Important mission.
- Krochet Kids – Handmade items, signed by the craftsperson so you know who made it, Krochet Kids works with highly vulnerable women who live in poverty stricken regions of the world and empowers women with the resources to rise above poverty. I love their weekend bags, and their beanies are perfect for teens.
Be assured we are not getting anything in return for recommending any of these products or websites. We just hope our posts this week help you to have a season of joyful giving!