For space geeks, it’s an awesome time to be alive. From the Great American eclipse to Cassini’s swan song, 2017 was a big year for space stuff. And with new, weird exoplanets popping up all the time and propulsion innovations bringing us closer to Mars, the future’s looking equally far out. So for all the stargazers on your list, we’ve assembled a constellation of space-inspired gifts to make the holidays merry and bright as Alpha Canis Majoris.
They may be specializing in philosophical theories or complex scientific methods. But when it comes to determining what’ll make them feel at home in their new land far away, they may draw a blank. Good thing you’re the expert on them. Pamper your scholar from afar, but in, you know, a totally chill way. Consider these presents the grownup equivalent of slipping a special note into their lunchbox. Each one shows you care and keep them close to your heart—even as they spread their wings and fly.
We know it’s the little things that count, but sometimes you want to show someone you care big. Putting together a DIY gift basket is a great way to combine an assortment of cool little gifts with a whole lot of love. Creating that gift basket around someone’s hobby, favorite food, or most-loved mythical creature adds another level of personalized charm. We even included gift basket ideas for kids and teens, because we know they can be even harder to shop for than that unicorn lover on your list.
Whether they have a soft spot for soft shells or prefer a crispy crunch, they’ll love these taco-themed goodies.
*Editor’s note: Here at UncommonGoods, we’re counting down to Giving Tuesday—an annual day of giving back observed on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving—by sharing stories from our Better to Give partners. Up this week: the IRC, short for the International Rescue Committee. Through our Better to Give program, which allows you to choose a non-profit partner at checkout to receive a $1 donation at no additional cost to you, we’ve donated over $92,000 to the IRC since beginning our partnership in 2016. Today, we’re proud to share a story from the IRC about Patrick and George Ngalamulume, two African refugees now living in Boise, Idaho.
Written By Kulsoom Rizvi, Digital Content Officer, International Rescue Committee
Patrick and George grew up in the inner cities of Zambia, where they witnessed and experienced all kinds of hardships and ugliness: sleeping on cold cement floors, lacking enough food to eat, hearing cries of rape outside their doors. They would walk for miles, sometimes without shoes, to fetch water from the nearest well.
But what the Ngalamulume brothers craved most was a proper education. They were taught basic literacy and math at a local school—local meaning several miles from their house—but they knew there was no future for them in Zambia. Their parents had fled the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo; as sons of refugees they would find it nearly impossible to go to college in Zambia.
And yet, today, Patrick and George have become the first people in their family to attend college. The brothers have big ambitions to continue their educations at medical and law programs. They want to make a difference, to give back, to make a better world.
Pretty much everyone appreciates good food, but “foodies,” as they’re known, are another breed entirely. We all know at least one spice hoarder that fits the bill, and finding a gift to please their palate can be daunting, especially when you’ve seen them tackle ingredients out of one of Chopped’s crueler episodes. Thankfully, we’ve selected 15 of our favorite food-themed treats to make your life—and your holiday shopping—easier. Whether you’re on the hunt for something wearable, hangable, or, of course, edible, our well-seasoned selection of gifts for foodies has something just for you.
Whether you’re meeting the parents for the first time or the twenty-first, it’s never easy to know what, exactly, you should present as your holiday offering. A bottle of wine, while delicious, can be impersonal. A matching set of holiday sweaters? Too personal. To hit that yuletide sweet spot, look for something that’ll bring tidings of comfort and joy to their home. Wrap it up, present it with confidence, then gather around the table or fireplace to enjoy the reason for the season: loved ones coming together.
Mmm… chocolate. Who can resist the stuff? We’ve known a few cacao-hating weirdos* in our time, but here at UG, most everyone jumps at the chance to sample nature’s most delectable treat. That’s why we got so excited when we first saw Gayle Harte’s Chocolate Truffle Champagne Bottle, now officially available for purchase at UncommonGoods. It’s pretty much what it sounds like: a dark-and-white chocolate champagne bottle, neck enveloped in a pretty pink bow, that houses nine tasty champagne truffles. Need we say it again? Mmm… chocolate. And champagne!
A master of playfully shaped treats and an entrepreneur in her own right, we knew Gayle would be a perfect subject for our This Just In-spiration series—and she didn’t disappoint. Read on for Gayle’s insights on the benefits of chocolate for both body and soul, as well as a brief history of her Royal Oak, Michigan chocolaterie and espresso bar.
*We’re kidding, of course… it’s fine if you don’t like chocolate. Seriously… it’s… ugh. It’s fine.
*Editor’s note: Here at UncommonGoods, we’re counting down to Giving Tuesday—an annual day of giving back observed on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving—by sharing stories from our Better to Give partners. Up this week: RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. Through our Better to Give program, which allows you to choose a non-profit partner at checkout to receive a $1 donation at no additional cost to you, we’ve donated over $350,000 to RAINN since beginning our partnership in 2010. Today, we’re proud to share a story from Samentha Moore, a participant in RAINN’s survivor series.
“It’s a beautiful thing, to be a survivor of something so heinous.”
“I felt like a broken record. It was embarrassing for me. I told people after the first and the second…but after the third [rape] I felt like a freak show,” said Samentha Moore. Samentha’s experience with multiple incidents of sexual assault by a stranger left her feeling self-conscious and blaming herself.
“Even for the longest time after my second rape, I hated leather jackets because he had a black leather jacket on, so that was something that triggered.”