3 Unique Gift Ideas + A Giveaway!

I have a deep love for gifts, both giving and receiving. Perhaps the latter is embarrassing to admit, but oh well. For me, gifts symbolize deep thought, care, and love for a person. When there’s an opportunity to give, or a need arises, I simply ask, “Lord, what does this person need to feel loved and cared for? How can I minister to them in this season?”

That extends far beyond birthdays and Christmas. It involves thoughtful living and presence. Sometimes the gift God invites me to give them is my time: showing up on a too-full week with a toilet bowl brush in hand and hands ready to fold laundry. The gift could also be listening to their verbal diarrhea of their pain or circumstances and offering prayer, or a smile, or a hug. The gift could be dropping off an item you know they love, or what they need.

The best gift is one that reflects presence and feeling known. Those are the ones that have the most meaning to me. Yet there are times where the easiest thing, and necessary thing, is to buy something for them. The gift of presence can often be felt through the gift of presents. HA. See what I did there?

It’s November first everyone. I’m not promoting a rush to the mall. But there are some incredible small + local businesses that I love (and the people behind them!) that I want to promote. If you’re like me, you want to make sure that what you buy or invest in can support real people and real families (and not just give all our money to those corporate conglomerates). Except Indigo, because well I will probably always be convinced to buy copious amounts of things from that store.

As you think about gifts for friends and family this season (or any point in the year), check out these small + local businesses and see if they would be the perfect fit for you. Also each business is Instagram based right now but if you don’t have Instagram and want more info send me an email erinfordwrites@gmail.com and I’ll connect you!

Plus it’s really fun to brag and be proud, and support these incredible women:

1. Humble + Heartfelt

Steph is a first-time mom this year and it’s been a joy to cheer her on. Her vulnerability shows me that motherhood is hard. But it’s also full of joys and triumphs. She’s started to share her motherhood journey on her new blog called Motherhood & Maplesyrup - will you check it out and share it with a new mom? She blends practical mom stuff with her own journey, and relates it to the gospel. I also had the joy of sharing her story about Faithfulness as a brand new mom earlier this spring in my Faithfulness Series.

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When she’s not nursing and raising a newborn, you can find Steph on Humble + Heartfelt, this new business she’s creating. I guess for Steph having a baby has ignited her creativity? She’s creating handmade felt and embroidered accessories, both with a baby spin and for non-babies like me too!

She’s launching an Esty shop soon and you can catch her at a couple of upcoming craft shows in Milton + Hamilton:

MCRC’s 4th Annual Marketplace, Sat Nov. 17 @9am-2pm at Southside Community Church in Milton (200 Main St. East).

Make Room Christmas Market, Sat Nov. 24 @9am-1pm at New City Church in Hamilton (28 Rebecca St, downtown). *This market is raising money to sponsor a refugee family.

Based in Milton and mails or delivers.

2. @thissetythat

Irene is a mama of 3 incredibly cute and fierce kiddos, and a creative outlet for her is searching for vintage treasures. She does it for us and she does it for herself! Win-win. Shopping on Instagram and seeing beautiful images of objects that I want-in-my-house-right-now is so fun. The prices are totally affordable and you get unique and quality stuff.

As much as I LOVE going to vintage stores, I don’t have time to go all the time. So Irene goes for me and I get to see the best of her finds available to buy. The first DM/comment gets it, so you gotta be fast. Here are examples of things she sells:

Based in Westdale, Hamilton for pickups.

3. Michaella Illustration

This girl can draw. And design. Michaella specializes in drawing houses and buildings to create a unique and personalized gift. Give her a photo and she will draw and design it with watercolours. What an amazing gift for parents, family, or even yourself! Maybe it’s the home you grew up in, the church you’ve invested in your whole life, or a special place you want to remember and enjoy in your home.

Based in Guelph and delivers or mails artwork to you.

My first IG Giveaway!

I’m excited to share that I will be launching a Giveaway on Instagram with one of these small + local businesses starting Mon Nov. 5. You can check it out and enter by going to my IG acct @eglenys to see the collab and all the details.

Want to be eligible for some bonus entries? Subscribe to this blog by Mon Nov. 5. You’ll snag behind-the-scenes content and bonus draws, as well as stay connected with all my recent writing and get fun seasonal content! There will be stuff not shared on Facebook so it’s easier to journey together via your inbox.