I've always gone out of my way to support women-owned businesses. And local. And women of color. That's always been a focus for us at The Wonder Jam. After last week, I realized that there are a few tangible ways that I can focus my efforts right now instead of reading articles and feeling sad. I can donate. I can support these businesses by providing pro bono photography and design so that these businesses continue to grow. I can also connect people. It's EXTREMELY important to meet people who are different than you. No matter where you live, who you love, what language you speak, what you look like or what you believe...it's important to practice empathy and ask questions when you don't understand someone else.
In an attempt to better connect people, I knew I had to bring back my gift swap this year. I skipped it in 2015 but this will be the fourth time that I've hosted it! If you'd like a recap of past years, you can search "swap" in my search bar up top.
For those who haven't participated the last three times, here’s the concept:
- If you want to participate – you’ll be required to come up with a gift or card to send to someone else in another state/city. All the contents of your basket/package must be local products from YOUR city. For example; I might send someone a Luciana tee, a special something from HOMAGE, or a Candle Lab candle with a few trinkets and a Brim Papery card!
- You sign up to participate in the swap by filling out the form below. It will require you to give me your full name, mailing address, email, dietary restrictions and spending budget.
- I will then match up the participants to the best of my ability and email you all with the person that you’ll be gifting! I will do my best to make sure your spending budgets are the same.
- Over the past five years I've had too many people who never received a gift. I felt really awful about it and will try my best to make sure this doesn’t happen again this year. I will be sending reminder emails but if you aren’t sure you want to participate – then don’t! In the end, I can’t control the outcome so I hope that (no matter what happens), you just enjoy the act of giving.
The entire point of this swap is to GIVE (while sharing a bit of your town/city). We all hold so tightly to our stuff and stress about money so much that we forget what it’s like to just do something special for someone else. Don’t feel like you need to give your recipient something “perfect.” Let the gift share a little bit about who YOU are instead. I hope we all make a friend and can connect with someone who we might never cross paths with normally.
Here are a few guidelines, however, to ensure this all works out smoothly:
- You must sign up by Monday, November 28th at 6pm Eastern. The signup form will disappear by then.
- You will receive your gift recipient’s information late Monday evening, November 28th. Feel free to start shopping or planning before you get this information!
- Due to the many dietary restrictions these days, please refrain from sending perishable food. Candies or spices are fine.
- You must mail your package by New Years Eve AT THE LATEST! This isn't necessarily a Christmas swap but rather something fun to finish off (what felt like) a tough 2016.
- If you live in another country other than the US, feel free to sign up and if someone else in your area signs up too – I’ll match you! If there’s not a match, I’ll notify you via email.
- Lastly, if you bail and just flake out – you’re kind of a meanie. Don’t sign up for this if you don’t think you won’t be able to follow through. Don't tempt me this year or I'll publicly shame you on the internet :)
Well? What are you waiting for? SIGN UP! AND SPREAD HOLIDAY CHEER!