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Year End Gift Guide

There’s something about the pandemic that has made time feel suspended in animation. Yet here we are, the end of 2021 (and hopefully the pandemic) upon us, and with supply chain issues and dozens of cargo ships waiting in the Santa Monica Bay for the past months, it’s probably a good idea to get that holiday shopping done early this year. What to give? Here are some ideas to round out your Santa sack this year.

For the insomniac in your life, the Baloo weighted blanket is an indulgent, but healthy splurge. Made with lead-free glass beads and eco-friendly materials, this weighted blanket is machine washable and molds to your body. The pressure helps relax your nervous system and improves the quality of your sleep.

For your foodie friend, the New York Times Cooking App is an affordable gift that gives all year. With filters that allow for special diets (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, kosher) and specific cuisines (Indian, Thai, French, Italian), the Times cooking staff adds new recipes daily. You can create your own recipe box to save your favorites.

Juniperseed Mercantile is a zero waste bath, body, and cleaning product company based in Colorado. From vegan lip balms to toilet cleaning fizzy bombs to laundry stain sticks and reusable sandwich bags, giving a gift card or basket. You will be supporting small business and using sustainable products to help save the planet. Perfect for the environmentalist.

Philip Ashley Chocolates is a black-owned virtual chocolate boutique based in Memphis, TN. Featured in Martha Stewart Weddings and patronized by an international following including companies like Disney,

Philip Ashley boasts artisanal chocolates with flavors like Blue Note Bourbon Old Fashioned, Banana Pudding, and Red Velvet Cake. Both visually stunning and decadent, according to his website, you can order gift cards or signature piece boxes for the chocolaholic in your life.

Yeah, I know, Apple products are everywhere and it almost feels like technology is taking over our lives, but these Home Pod minis are aesthetically stunning and function as room filling speakers for your music, podcasts, or movies, as well as assistants that control your smart home. If your friend or family member is all in on the Apple brigade, don’t miss out on rounding out their collection.

Need a baby gift? Or want to give an educational and non-digital toy to a kid? Happy Mango, an African-American-owned business near Atlanta offers sustainable and eco-friendly nursery and nursing items, toys and clothing for mom and baby. Books, wood toys, Uncle Goose educational alphabet and periodic table of elements blocks, onesies, blankets, and body products round out a stable of really well-curated products.

Do you need to shop for an empowered person of color that likes to wear their strength on their sleeves? My Black Clothing sells sweatshirts and t-shirts with emblems like “thriving while black” and “black & educated.” They also make custom t-shirts for events and sell hats and mugs.

From Klara and the Sun by Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro and Harlem Shuffle by Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead to weepy favorite The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah and Concrete Rose by acclaimed YA writer Angie Thomas, 2001 boasted a lot of great reading material. Year End Best Of lists abound from Powells to Barnes and Noble to Oprah to The New York Times, if you want to see what the critics and book distributors themselves are saying, but the best way to figure out what’s good out there is to browse through your local independent seller and ask for their recommendations.

PopUP CleanUP is an African-American-owned commercial and event cleaning company in Los Angeles. If you have a holiday gathering and need pre, live, or post party cleaning, reach out for a complimentary quote. In the meanwhile, Happy Holidays and enjoy your shopping!

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