I took the Buy Handmade pledge although I have given it an expansive definition when it comes to Christmas gifts.

I’ve bought a couple of things from Etsy, of course, including our Christmas cards and these cute little numbers from Island Crafts:

These will adorn my handmade gifts, which will be plentiful this year.

In a much more general sense I’m trying to avoid the malls and big boxes as much as possible. This has been my goal in life in general but especially at this big buying time. Thus Threadless also counts and with them having a ten dollar sale, many t-shirts will be gifted next month.

If you’re having trouble with your handmade ambitions this year, here are a few of my favourite buys:

From Buy Olympia. I have this and I wear it often and I always get comments.

From Frost Fish Cove. My secret pal Michelle sent me these in a different flavour. I love lip balm but I’m a bit finicky. These are very smooth and moist and don’t make your lips all flaky and they’re very reasonably priced!

Craft zine subscription. To be honest I haven’t made any of the projects yet from my four issues of Craft, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. It’s super inspirational and it’s much cheaper to subscribe than to buy from the newsstands. I love getting gift subscriptions because it combines my two loves: getting mail and people buying me things.

I’m obsessed with Alba. I have their body scrub, Aloe and Green Tea Oil Free Facial Moisturizer, Pineapple Enzyme Cleanser, Aloe Facial Mask and I’ve also used their shave cream. The moisturizer and cleansers are my most cherished and I’ve forced many a friend to buy them. Alba is also extremely green. You an read about their environmental commitment here.

When I’m not using Alba, I’m using Kiss my Face.

We just picked up this hand wash last week and I am completely in love. I love cinnamon (and body products that smell like sweet food in general) and this stuff is potent, but not in a gross, fake, chemical way. Rather, in a way that makes you want to lick your hands all day. I’m also a big fan of their shave creams. Plus it’s all organic!

What are you fave handmade or small eco-footprint buys?