When we choose fair trade, we choose to bring joy and share connection.
The holiday season sparks a certain feeling inside all of us. There’s something about twinkling lights, and holiday songs that summons childhood memories and fills our hearts with warmth. It can be hard to put your finger on just what makes this time of year so special. Is it the anticipation of finding presents under the tree? The excitement of watching someone open the perfect gift you’ve chosen for them? The promise of spending time with family members you haven’t seen all year long? There are wonderful hot drinks to sip, and heaps of food to savor. All of these things bring us joy.
But the most joyful feeling of all is sharing happiness with others, whether it’s something simple like splitting the last holiday cookie or something as important and intangible as lending a listening ear.
There are a lot of things we can do to help spread the holiday spirit—and strangely, some of the most rewarding ways are the most anonymous ones. We can bring joy to people we may never meet, in countries we may never visit. And it’s as simple as choosing our holiday gifts with a bigger picture in mind.
When we choose fair trade gifts, we are celebrating the connection between all people all over the world because we are ensuring fairness for the person who made the present we’ve so carefully chosen, and there’s an almost indescribable quality that comes with an object with a story.
There’s emotional energy that attaches itself to things that contain memories, wishes, and truths.
Think of your most prized possession. Chances are the value is not monetary, but sentimental. Objects that remind us of places, people, or times that hold meaning for us. That t-shirt that your dad used to wear. A crayon drawing your daughter gave you… It can be big or small, shiny or soft. There’s no telling what might make its way into our hearts. All we know is that there’s a certain human touch that’s attached to it, and that’s what makes it meaningful.
It’s no secret that a present has a bigger impact—for the recipient, for the maker and for the world—when it’s been made by hand, with love. Why is that? It’s the same concept as farm to table; think of it as -from the maker to under the tree. Food tastes better when we know exactly where we came from. When we’ve put dollars directly into the hands of the farmer who harvested that vegetable, or raised that chicken. When a gift has been made in safe conditions, by people who are proud of what they do, we feel it, and we know that it is good.
Our holiday hashtag celebrates the connections that can be made between the people in our own lives, and it also explores the potential to connect with skilled artisans in the developing world. We can connect with them by supporting their small workshops. Fair trade makes is possible to purchase meaningful crafts that have been made with love and care—these are objects that celebrate culture, tradition, and the human spirit.
That’s what bringing joy is all about. We can surprise and delight our loved ones with unique gifts chosen just for them, and we can share that joy, and make a connection, with makers on the other side of the globe.