Tingomo Guide to Meaningful Holiday Gifts

HELLO TRAVELERS! Here it comes... holiday shopping season. It can be a little overwhelming, all the sales, the spending, the lists. Here's some easy ways to make your holiday shopping count for more this year.


After you've recovered from Black Friday, and before the madness of Cyber Monday, take a day to shop businesses that give back to people and the planet with Shop for Good Sunday. Organized by the folks behind DoneGood (a chrome extension that helps you shop ethically), there's lots of gifts for everyone on your list, and every company they work with is making a difference. This year, Tingomo is doubling our donations to our non-profit partners for every kit bought on Shop for Good Sunday.


Social enterprises like Tingomo are businesses that have a higher purpose than just making money. Some of them directly fund a non-profit, like our friends at Would Works.

Their gorgeous charcuterie boards and fun bottle openers make the perfect host or hostess gift for holiday parties. The artisans behind the boards are working their way out of homelessness, one goal at a time, and your purchase helps them get back on their feet. Check out the Social Enterprise Alliance's holiday gift guide for more great companies who care.  


Shop Main Street Keep dollars in your community and supporting local shops and artisans. If you can't find a store that suits you, Etsy has a feature to search locally.

Find a pop-up market to discover a ton of new favorite gifts, visit a pop-up market or craft fair. You'll find hundreds of one-of-a-kind items and meet the makers behind them. If you're in the LA area, come visit the Tingomo booth at UNIQUE (12/2+3), MOSAIC (12/3), RENEGADE (12/9+10) or NIGHT MARKET (12/16). We'll have free craft activities in the booth, and with so many great vendors you can knock out all your shopping. 

Tingomo Guide to Meaningful Holiday Shopping: Unique LA Pop-Up Market

SHOP FAIR TRADE If you are shopping beyond your city, you can still shop small by looking for artisan-made and fair trade items, like those on Ten Thousand Villages, The Little Market, To The Market, and Local + Lejos. We're particularly fond of the Zulu beadwork from House of Yimama, which provides opportunity for women in South Africa. 

Tingomo Guide to Meaningful Holiday Shopping: House of Yimama


This season, you'll feel so good about giving to those who need a hand up.

Donate to a favorite cause on Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving). At home, create an advent "calendar" box where every day you give something. Sponsor a Christmas for a homeless family, by signing up to provide gifts and meal. We give our kids a small allowance every week that they can put in a "spend," "give," or "save" jar. They can't touch the "give" or "save" jars all year, but on December 1 they get to open them and choose a charity to receive what's in their "give" jars. 

Volunteer in your community by searching idealist.org or volunteermatch.org, or go to feedingamerica.org to find your local food bank. If you're in LA, we recommend LA Kitchen and Alexandria House - both have family opportunities. 

Give a meaningful gift: Kiva, Global Giving, and Heifer Project offer gift cards that transform lives around the world. For-Purpose Kids offers toolkits and subscriptions that inspire kids to make a difference in the world and Silly Street games and puzzles build kids' character through play. Give a gift that teaches kids about world cultures through this pack of cards of world games, or (of course) a Tingomo Passport Craft Kit subscription.  

Tingomo Guide to Meaningful Holiday Shopping: For-Purpose Kids Silly Street


And if shopping just makes you want to throw your hands up, do it! And then put those hands right to work coming up with some crafty goodness to give as gifts instead.

Get crafty - make someone a travel journal, bead a necklace, make a mosaic, create a frame collage including pictures of the two of you, knit (our friends at Make.Do have kits for gorgeous scarves or house slippers), whatever you enjoy! 

Make time for a craft date. Traditional crafts are almost always done in groups - it's as much about the time spent together and the strengthening of social bonds as it is about the product. Gather friends for holiday crafts. Or give the gift of a craft date: collect materials for two and a favorite snack or beverage, and give a "craft certificate" for some quality time making, creating, and connecting. If you're stumped for ideas, you can always grab one of our Tingomo kits (they make two of each craft; I recommend Yarn Art for crafting while chatting) but if you scroll through pinterest or watch some YouTube tutorials you'll get lots of inspiration.