12 Days to Christmas

Holiday gems in the midst of a struggling economy can be inspiring far longer than the seconds it takes to tear off the wrapping paper.

My favorites this season are:

1. 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy with Wilson Kimeli Naiyoamah. Often those who have least give the most. A simple story of a gift by the Maasai people to America matched with beautiful rich illustrations of red, orange and green landscapes connecting one community with another with compassion. A book for all ages.

2. Laurey’s Catering Gift Basket filled with specialties and homemade jam of organic fruits prepared with love and care.  Legends say eating food, which has been loving prepared, can be an aphrodisiac.

3. Silk scarves by Afghan artisans at the Freer Sackler Galleries Gift shop. A world away families are empowered by one purchase. Empowered by the knowledge that someone cares, someone values their work and with each purchase they are one step closer to financial freedom by building up their business.

4. Edgerton Reporter – subscribe to a weekly newspaper, which is dedicated to content, commercial independence, community and not found on-line. For news collectors, this paper is still printed on paper by employees who have worked at the paper for decades with relatively no turnover.  It provides inspiration on how the business of news should be done.  For a subscription, call 608-884-3367 or e-mail

5. Paintings by Eli Halpin, fresh, vibrant and sparkling. She introduces herself by saying, “My name is Eli, short for Elizabeth. I live in Baltimore Maryland in my house with my man Michael and my super large dog and 2 cats and 2 rabbits. These paintings are about food and sharing and living together and working together.”  An artist all the way through.

Enjoy the holidays and finding that special gift for that special person!

By Keri Douglas, writer/photographer, Washington, D.C.


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