Every year for a few days after Christmas my wife and I look at the gifts piled under the tree and think to ourselves, “Good gravy, where the heck are we going to PUT all of this stuff?” With three daughters and generous relatives, gifts are given to our family with the greatest of intentions and love, but in our cramped two-bedroom apartment, we can hardly afford to bring in more stuff, no matter how thoughtful. This year seemed to be a little different. Yes, Santa might have gone tad bit overboard, but the rest of the village were pretty good. One side of my family basically said “no more gifts” for those over 18 and another side continued our “white elephant” gift exchange with 16 people participating. All-in-all quite a nice year.

In terms of the gifts that were placed under our tree, we are pretty sure that some things were bought from Amazon, but, the word on the street is that Santa made the commitment to buy a good number of our gifts from independent stores and small businesses. My wife and other folks have been big Etsy fans for a while, but as it turns out, Santa is a big fan as well. And thusly, so am I.

Here are three shops that Santa and other Elves would highly recommend:*

Handmade Puppets by On Hand By Hand: Esty Shop | Facebook Page

A you can see from the pictures, the girls LOVED these puppets. Sarah, the owner, was really great about communicating and was able to custom make the matching yellow hat for Youngest. These puppets are well made and have provided much giggle fodder in just a few days. We are still waiting for our first full-length puppet show, but with these puppets in the mix, it’s sure to be just awesome.

Visit today: OnHandByHand Shop

Adobo and Manny Pacquiao T-Shirts from Cupidzgirl – Etsy Shop

For those of you who truly understand the power of Adobo AND have unexpected found yourself a Manny Pacquiao Fan, these shirts are perfect. Subtle in the boxing reference, but great conversation starters about a Filipino staple and a Filipino icon, pick one of these up before they run out. Oh, and they are very comfy.

Visit today: Cupidzgirl Shop

Elizabeth Rosas Jewelry – Etsy Shop | Facebook Page

Stunning jewelry comes from this place: simple designs and affordable prices. We were not able to get anything this year, but the communication and general vibe that comes from Elizabeth and her friends just make this a wonderful place to visit and shop. Gifts will be purchased here in the future for sure, so please head on over and check out what she offers.

Visit today: Elizabeth Rosas Jewelry Shop

So that is it for this year. If you are need somewhere to spend some Christmas for a good cause, I would suggest heading over to Sevenly and buy a t-shirt from a great cause and/or taking a peek at this Socially Responsible Gift Giving List.

* These reviews were offered without any assumed or actual remuneration. So no, no one paid me.

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