Design

Gift Guide Part #4: Your Twin Sister Who Makes Wacky Jokes And Lives 3,000 Miles Too Far Away.

Pumpkin cheesecake, $55, for obvious reasons.

Western wool coasters, $26 for four, plus a bottle of wine to drink together.

elk-return address-envelope-3

Bear address stamp, $65.

Zig zag cuff, $110.

Put an Egg on It, which proves that everything—from salad to buttered toast to leftover pizza—is more delicious with an egg cracked on top. $13.98.

United States cheese board (of her favorite state) plus cheese, crackers, honey, salami and chutney, $90. Party in a box!

Jacks, $6.50, “just for funsies,” as she would say.

A $25 microloan in her name to someone who needs it—such as a Kenyan farmer who wants to double grain production or a young Bolivian woman who needs school tuition. The coolest part: When the borrower repays the loan, the money returns to your account, and you can loan it out again to someone else.

P.S. More gifts for sisters, and the 2013 gift guide so far…

(Ear acupressure via NYMag; photo from Stay.com. Egg cookbook photo by Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)

  1. Hania says...

    Joanna, where is that pumpkin cheesecake from?!

  2. Really like these gifts! Awesome idea. My (non-twin) sister would probably love the kiva idea. :-D
    For anyone else looking for good ideas, Jo featured one last year on her blog called the milktape which was a huge hit with my sister last year, also a good idea :)

  3. My twin sister actually does live too many thousands of miles away! These are great!

  4. You should add punjammies to your list! They are the most beautiful Pajamas, made through the international princess project; their “mission is to create pathways to freedom for women escaping the ravages of sex slavery to achieve lives of hope and dignity”
    They are absolutely lovely and support an amazing cause!
    http://shop.intlprincess.org/

  5. I can not imagine being 3000 miles away from my twin sister! Love this post.

  6. I love your gift guides! I can always find something for at least one person on my list (and usually something for me too!). Definitely getting a bay leaf wreath for my mom. Looking forward to seeing your guide for fathers/brothers.

  7. Argh my link didn’t work. Check out the article on the Kiva blog titled “Catalytic Loans: How Kiva is pushing boundaries to make loans do more”

  8. The smell of that Bay wreath must be incredible!

    And go Kiva! Thanks for including a gift idea that keeps on giving.

    Regarding some micro-loans that include interest rates, some of Kiva’s Field Partners do charge interest, but that’s mostly to cover some of their operating costs. The highest ROIs (returns on investment) that the Field Partners receive are 2-3%, which goes to show how difficult it can be to provide loans to rural entrepreneurs. But feel free to look through the borrower repayment schedules and Field Partner profiles online to check out whether interest is charged and why!

    Kiva tries really hard to lend money to people and projects that otherwise wouldn’t get funding. If you’re interested in impact investing you should definitely have a read of this:

    Happy holidays everyone!

  9. Bummer, the AHeirloom cheese/crackers/cutting board gift set is sold out!

  10. Put an Egg on it… perfect! Eggs, like sisters, make the world go round! :D

  11. jm says...

    Just reread this and love it even more,

  12. Your gift guides this year are fabulous! I also love that you are posting socially conscious gifts. One of my favorite gifts of all time was mosquito nets for a family in need.

  13. Heck, I would like to request that all these gifts be sent to me.

  14. That pumpkin cheesecake is crazy expensive, but I bet it’s soooo good. I was just eyeing those pajama pants…hopefully someone shopping for me reads this :) Haha

  15. I loved Kiva, and as I see I’m not the only one! Didn’t know the site before: but me and my boyfriend are now loaners to Vahid, a salesman in Azerbaijan, how great is that :)? best way to enjoy the evening at home, while a huge tempest is coming on Berlin..

  16. jm says...

    Great gift guide. I love putting an egg on salad and pizza – delicious.

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  18. I like the bay leaf wreath idea. If she lives in the Bay Area, she could actually probably forage a few bay leaves on hikes through the peninsula hills.

  19. Your gift guides are fun, entertaining, and grounded in reality!

  20. Also, to allay some of the concerns about micro-finance, the reason the interest is sometimes high for these borrowers is that there’s a higher chance they won’t be able to pay the loan back — much higher than a borrower with good credit, assets, etc. They’re high risk loans — and the interest rates are meant to absorb that risk to some extent.

  21. Joanna, I just want to echo the appreciation for the microfinance loan idea — such a wonderful alternative to the random things we sometimes buy just for the sake of gift-giving, and also the perfect gift for people who already seem to have everything. Thanks so much for spreading this kind of spirit.

  22. I love your gift guides! I just went to Kiva’s site and made a loan, it seems like such a great organization. Then I wanted to find out more about them, so I did a little research and found some unsettling info. For instance it looks like the institutions that distribute the loans charge extremely high interest rates to the borrowers. You can read more on wiki or here: http://blog.givewell.org/category/kiva/

    Just thought you might want to know!

  23. how about the Chris Messina dance routine from this weeks Mindy Project? “Sometimes the best gifts don’t cost a thing!” “I guess, if you’re, like, a poor mouse in a Christmas special,” she pouts.

  24. Your gift guides are unbelievably awesome!

  25. Cute ideas and tag lines :) love that you have Kiva on here! Always love reading your blog!

  26. also – i put an egg on EVERYTHING. soft boiled eggs are my jam.

  27. i love these – especially the microloan one. every christmas, everyone in my family gets a ‘charity gift’. i’ve ben gifted clean drinking water, chickens, art therapy, sexual education, bikes for girls to get to school :) we also do a ‘wish tree’ family, where you buy presents for the children of a local family.

    i once gave my parents a goat for a family and i’ve never seen them more excited!

  28. Thanks for the Kiva suggestion! I hadn’t heard of that option before (giving a gift card so the recipient can choose for herself)! I just bought one for a friend who will LOVE it, I’m sure :-)

  29. Love the microloan idea! Thanks for sharing!

  30. Some of these are expensive/not practical, but the microloan stole my heart. Thank you.

  31. Jo, I love that you’re including socially conscious gifts this year. It’s a great reminder to all of us.

  32. love that “put an egg on it” book – too clever!