Give a Fair Trade Gift This Season From Ten Thousand Villages

Fair Trade products are handcrafted from sustainable materials using environmentally-friendly methods.

Ten Thousand Villages have been providing vital, fair income to people in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East by selling their handicrafts and telling their stories since 1946.

In 2011, Ten Thousand Villages will be celebrating its 65th anniversary, making it Canada's largest and oldest Fair Trade organizations.

Ten Thousand Villages Stores are staffed in part by volunteers, but please feel free to shop online if you like (I like going to the store in my neighbourhood as it is welcoming and warm and happens to be just around the corner - there are 49 stores across Canada). You can shop for handcrafted jewelry, personal accessories, home decor, textiles, skin care, food products, toys and instruments as well as many other items. For each items, there is printed product information so your gift comes with a real story.

For Christmas, there are amazing decoration and ornaments to select from, as well as unique Nativity Scenes. They even have a Stocking Stuffers category, to make shopping that much easier for you.

If you're really stuck for what to choose, try these lists: Gifts for Him, Gifts for Her, Gifts for Kids, Gifts for the Hostess, Gifts for Teachers and Corporate Gift Ideas.

Here are some of my favourite picks:

- Coiled Paper Ball Ornaments add so much colour to the tree.
- I'm a big fan of Putumayo CDs.
- The Tea Holder/Box makes your tea a little extra special.
- Embossed Boxes can transform into a beautiful and meaningful  memory box.
- What a statement piece! I love the Black Metal Lamp and Shade.
- The Blue Tibetan Wool Accent Rug (pictured above) will be something they cherish forever.
- I am fascinated by the Himalayan Calendar and 40-Year Calendar.
- The Hogla Leaf Storage Stool is 2 gifts in one - nice!
- Ooh, I love the Handwoven Grey Silk Scarf.
- Give the gift of an indoor garden with the Ceramic Herb Pots (3 Pieces).
- Blow their minds with the Upside Down Map.

And for the food lover on your list, these cookbooks are a great gift that keeps on giving and the Black Horn Salad Servers are a classy gift. The Eight Piece Ceramic Sushi Set is simply fabulous and the Elegant Olive Wood Cutting Board is a cook's dream.

Two other wonderful options are Gift Cards and Living Gifts.

It's easy to see why it pays to shop at Ten Thousand Villages.

Shop now and make this holiday a meaningful, memorable one.

Stephanie Dickison

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