Some of our favorite ornaments this year are more than just pretty baubles for your tree. They just might cure breast cancer, save an endangered species, or transform the life of women living in extreme poverty. Pretty impressive.
The shiny green and red heart ornament (above) was designed by Mariska Hargitay and supports Child Mind, a non-profit focused on transforming mental heath care for kids everywhere. Love that. ($40)
This adorable little bigfoot yeti comes from Ten Thousand Villages, an online retailer sourced completely by disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries worldwide. This particular guy was crafted in the foothills of the Himalayas. Perhaps they know a thing or two about the real yeti… ($8)
I love the simplicity of this handmade moose ornament, created by Etsy artist ISewPose. And how cool is it that she’s donating 50% of her proceeds to Feeding America, a nonprofit with the mission to feed America’s hungry through local food banks? In fact, all her Christmas items do, so look around the shop while you’re there. ($20)
Autism awareness and research is a cause close to the heart of many moms, and this classic Santa holding the Autism puzzle piece is a great way to support those crusading for our kids. Check out Macy’s full line of charity ornaments by Christopher Radko. ($50)
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is one of my very favorite charities around, so I’m loving that HSN has partnered with some amazing designers to create ornaments to benefit St Jude’s helping to end kids’ cancer. ($15-20)
The exquisite British etailer Peony & Sage are donating 100% of the proceeds from this adorable dotted daschund to the Great British Farm Project. This non-profit might not be on your radar, but they do great work in the area of humane treatment of farm animals in England, and they also work tirelessly to preserve rare breeds of English livestock. (£8.95)
I like the vintage look of this blown-glass snow leopard and cub ornament, and I love that it supports the World Wildlife Fund’s efforts to protect endangered species and fight wildlife crime. ($75)
We’ve told you about the amazing handmade ornaments at Ordinary Mommy recently, but we didn’t mention that she gives a portion of all her sales all the time—not just at Christmas—to families facing financial strain due to prolonged illness. I love that heart, and I love these little owls, especially this owl ornament with a scarf. Get a couple for your tree! ($30)
I’m such a big fan of Unicef and the work that they do around the world, particularly in the area of saving kids lives. So I’m totally willing to get some of these beautiful artisan-made UNICEF ornaments (I especially like the elephants) to hang on my tree this Christmas.
These sparkly wire ornaments are handcrafted by women living in extreme poverty in Africa. Global Goods Partners employes 3,000 women in 20 countries, and Amani ya Juu is a sewing and training program for marginalized women in Kenya. The sales of these ornaments are empowering these artists to regain economic stability in their homes and communities, so they’re kind of worth their weight in gold, wouldn’t you say? ($10-30)
If you don’t mind a, um, pair of balls hanging from your Christmas tree this season (albeit, a cleverly disguised pair of balls), you might get the man in your life a Bauballs ornament with a subtle hint to remind him to get checked for testicular cancer. Sadly, they’re available only at House of Fraser stores in the UK. Have a Brit friend send you one. Totally worth it.