GIVEAWAY: Light Gives Heat

11.13.2012


This is my first giveaway and I'm pretty excited about it! I hope you will read my thoughts on the holidays but if you're not up for it you can scroll down to the bottom of the post and just participate in the giveaway. I don't have an ultra large following so your chances are greatly increased compared to giveaways on larger blogs. :)

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Every year as the holidays approach I find myself with a mix of emotions. Part of me loves giving and receiving gifts and all the fun and family time that comes with the holidays. We're planning to get our first REAL Christmas tree this year and I'm itchin' to decorate already. I think the spirit of the season is meant to be good. Taking time to cherish those close to you, spending time with them, creating traditions, giving thoughtful gifts to show your love, reflecting on the life of Jesus, giving to those less fortunate---these aren't bad things.

Yet, another part of me is disgusted by the excess that accompanies the holidays. Families go into debt for things they do not need. Kids get angry at their parents for not getting them the stuff they want. The spike in consumerism brings into sharp contrast the lives of those living in impoverished countries who barely survive much less spend hundreds or thousands on holiday experiences. And worst of all, the money we're spending on all this stuff we don't need perpetuates exploitation of people in other countries who are making these products. If you care at all about global issues, it's hard not to get a little upset in December.

It's a funny contrast isn't it? People find themselves more generous around the holidays. We ought to be living generously all year around, but there's something about Christmas that reminds you to give of your money and time for those less fortunate. And yet while volunteering is its annual high and giving is at it's annual peak, people are simultaneously going into unnecessary debt, struggling with depression, and wasting resources in alarming amounts.

How do you find the balance in a season like this. How do you enjoy the spirit of things and still have integrity and awareness about the tough stuff?

Every year I find myself trying to answer this question. I can't cancel Christmas. In years past we've tried to opt out of gifts---but even that is difficult when you have family that doesn't make that same choice. At best, we try to participate in the positive things about the holidays and lessen the negatives. I'm not ready to give up on Christmas, but I can start making better holiday decisions than I have in my past. Which brings me to my giveaway...


GIVEAWAY: Light Gives Heat

Christmas gives us a lot of opportunities to do good. We can volunteer at the city mission, give to charities, spend time with family, come together in worship and so many other positive things. One of the things I've been trying to do is be more thoughtful about my buying and giving. So when I find companies or nonprofits like Light Gives Heat, I get pretty excited.

Light Gives Heat is a non-profit that partners with local artisans in Africa to create consistent, long-term incomes for people who have come out of impossible situations. The result is handmade products and some pretty inspiring stories. You can read (or watch) all about Light Gives Heat and all the things they do by visiting their website:

www.lightgivesheat.org

Most of the handmade products you will find here are jewelry and other accessories. One of the things I love is that they do seasonal collections and look books. Often fair trade products aren't really marketed. They're just trinkets to buy to support a cause. Light Gives Heat gives their artisans work life. In a culture that loves fashion, here are things you'll actually want to wear that also support a good cause. Guilt-free fashion. And really, who doesn't love handmade jewelry? 

As part of their Holiday Give Back program, I am offering my readers a $25 giftcard to spend at lightgivesheat.org. 

What can $25 get you? Much to my surprise, a lot---two pairs of earrings, a necklace, or halfway to a handbag (with the artists story screen printed to the inside). $25 goes a long way. I'm used to products like these costing a lot to accommodate the transit or provide extra money for the cause. It's refreshing that these products are affordable and profit the artist directly. Here are a few of my favorites:


When I stumbled upon this site I got excited about the possibility of finding gifts for people at Christmas that would have some meaning and not perpetuate the negative aspects of the season. This is just one way to make positive choices around the holidays. 

Rules for Entering the Giveaway

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment with your name and e-mail address (or other way to contact you if you win).

Additional Entries: (Leave separate comments for each entry)
*Blog about this giveaway (with link)
*Mention or retweet this giveaway on Twitter (with link)
*Mention this giveaway on Facebook (with link)
*Go to lightgivesheat.org and comment back your favorite item on the site
*Like Light Gives Heat on Facebook
*Follow Light Gives Heat on Twitter
*Leave a comment with your thoughts on Christmas, traditions, consumerism, or anything else discussed in this post
Each reader can have up to 8 entries!

This giveaway ends next week on Thanksgiving (11/22) and the winner will be announced on Black Friday (11/23) just in time for some holiday shopping. 


16 comments:

  1. What a great cause! Here's entry #1!
    Liz Massingill
    lizmphotography@gmail.com

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  2. Oooh, I like the Eclipse necklace or Rosie necklace! I like a lot of the other items too -- they would make great gifts!

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  3. Okay, actual comments now:
    Half of my family is trying to move away from consumerism. We just don't see the point of spending money needlessly on one another. It's not the way we'd prefer to celebrate Christmas. I've been using this same thing with the other half of my family for years, telling them not to buy me a gift, and that I will only buy one for the young kids who don't understand. Nevertheless, I come home with a pile every year, of things I don't want or need. It's nice to receive presents sometimes, but mostly I just end up feeling icky over it.

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  4. Thank you for the give-a-way! April Miller, chicklet3@verizon.net

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  5. My thoughts on Christmas-I love Christmas, but I think the world is forgeting the TRUE meaning behind it! :(

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  6. Looks like a great cause! my email is sarabeth288@gmail.com

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  7. I really love your thoughts and comments here Noelle. I to, have found myself torn because of some of the same issues you have discussed. It helps that I don't live near my family, so as this may seem selfish, I am able to "opt-out" of the majority of gift giving. It does sadden me to think of all of the people around the world that are struggling to find food and shelter while we stand in ten hour lines to buy reduced priced electronics that we don't even need. While this doesn't mean that i will forego Christmas traditions all together, I will try to celebrate with my family and also keep others in mind. There are some simple things that we can do; things that I plan to do this Christmas season. My husband and I have selected an orphaned child to buy a gift for, an anonymous child who otherwise, wouldn't receive anything for Christmas. It's a small gesture but it does help to feel like we are doing something good. Other ideas include: setting a price limit for gifts you do buy and making home-made gifts that are more cost friendly and thoughtful. Most importantly, we need to remember to be grateful for all that we have and all that we will receive. Remember to find joy in doing for others and not simply in receiving/giving expensive gifts.

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  8. Win or not, this is a great giveaway and a fantastic cause. Thanks for sharing! Kori.clark11@houghton.edu

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  9. I mentioned this giveaway on twitter with link

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  10. So many great items available, it's hard to choose. My favorites are the kilombera scarf and the prisca necklace. Cant wait to start holiday shopping after seeing all that they have to offer!

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  11. Yay! Look at you doing a great giveaway :) Love the cause too - I'm in! dmccu5363@gmail.com

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  12. Yay! Look at you doing a fun giveaway :) for a good cause no less - I'm in! dmccu5363@gmail.com

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