Every November the first Christmas carol of the season hits the airwaves, and while other people are overcome with nostalgia and joy, I instantly break into a cold sweat and start twitching uncontrollably.
OH NO, I think as nearby shoppers stare at me with raised brows.
WHAT AM I GOING TO BUY HER FOR CHRISTMAS?
Within moments, I find myself rocking back and forth in the corner wondering what I am going to get my wife this year.
Unfortunately, I have a whole history of epic fails in this department in terms of buying my wife the perfect Christmas present.
For example, one year I was completely inspired to buy my wife a beautiful food processor.
Yes, that's right. I am that romantic. Nothing says I love you forever and for always like a food processor, right?
I watched as she unwrapped the gift, certain I was soon to be showered with loving kisses.
Fortunately I kept the receipt. Enough said.
I came home from work to find a plain brown package sitting on my front door step. As I leaned down, I saw the trademark red sticker that marks packages I receive from Graf-Martin Communications, the one that says "Today is a good mail day!".
Awesome, I thought as I grabbed the box. Must be some new books to review.
Seconds later my back had seized from the unexpected weight of the box.
Need Ibuprofin for my back.
A few manly grunts later and I'd heaved the box into the house.
My curiosity soon overcame me and I tore into the box. Most carefully of course. And imagine my delight when the box revealed a beautiful card made by an artisan in India who is blind! Next to the card was an absolutely DELICIOUS chocolate bar that I did NOT eat all on my own.
But what on earth is so heavy? I wondered as I carefully set the card and chocolate bar aside.
Further investigation revealed something that had me hooting in glee (bad pun, yes, but still true!). A set of "Midnight Owl Bookends" peered up at me from their protective layer in the box.
T'was all I could do to restrain my joy as I lifted them out and set them on my mantel:
Finally! A Christmas present she is going to love!
The tic in my left eye that I'd developed since hearing the words to "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" magically disappeared. I'd been saved courtesy of Graf-Martin and Ten Thousand Villages, who gave the owls to me.
So, you too can have a different sort of Christmas this year!
How, you may ask? Well, Ten Thousand Villages has an amazing assortment of gifts just waiting to be given to your loved one. The best part is that these products are made by people whose lives will be incredibly blessed as a result of you purchasing their item.
Here's more about the agency:
Ten Thousand Villages is the oldest and largest Fair Trade organization in North America, selling artisan-crafted personal accessories, home decor and gift items from around the globe. Ten Thousand Villages is a non-profit program of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), the relief and development agency of Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches in North America.
Ten Thousand Villages creates opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to our markets through long-term, fair trading relationships.
For example, the Midnight Owl Bookends are made by "Tara Projects":
Tara Projects works to change the lives of India’s “untouchables,” by eliminating unfair trade practices and child labour, fighting the exploitation of artisans and supporting Fair Trade and human dignity. Tara is a pioneering Indian organization in the field of fair wages, non-formal education programs for children and women, health and environmental awareness, adult literacy centres and further development for its member artisans. Numerous levels of committees with elected representatives from all sections of the project co-ordinate the production, design and marketing of handicrafts. Currently, nearly 1000 artisan families from 35 community-based artisan groups and workshops create products from all the major traditional handicraft lines of northern India. These artisans receive medical insurance, interest-free loans and advances, access to savings programs and skills training.
Now how cool is THAT?
So, all you desperate husbands out there, head on over to Ten Thousand Villages
There, you will find an amazing selection of items to buy for your wife. And wives? There is stuff for your husbands too! You can go to their website and find the location of their nearest store. Or you can have the product shipped to your home!
Here's a sample of some of their products:
Make sure you go check out all the things they sell!
As for me, I have to go quickly hide these owls so my wife doesn't find them before Christmas morn'....