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    18 Thoughtful Kwanzaa Gifts If You Want To Start Celebrating The Holiday

    Happy Kwanzaa, y'all.

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    Hey! While we’re doing our best to make sure the products we feature will arrive in time for Christmas and Kwanzaa, shipping times are especially tricky this year and can vary depending on where you live, which product you purchase, and more. Shop early and be sure to double check the retailers’ websites for shipping information to ensure that your gift will arrive in time for the 25th!

    Kwanzaa is a celebration of African-American culture, heritage, and values that takes place between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1. Dr. Maulana Karenga created the holiday in 1966, modeling it after the traditional harvest celebrations in Africa.

    1. A set of Kwanzaa candles so you can honor the symbolism of both the color and number of candles in the kinara (candle holder). The seven candles, called the mishumaa saba, stand for the Seven Principles.

    The candles in a kinara
    Heritage Apothecary / Etsy

    The Seven Principles are: unity (umoja), self-determination (kujichagulia), collective work and responsibility (ujima), cooperative economics (ujamaa), purpose (nia), creativity (kuumba), and faith (imani).

    The single central black candle represents the African people, the three red candles represent their struggles, and the three green candles represent their hope for the future.

    Heritage Apothecary also stocks everything you need for peak spiritual health, including incense, crystals, and aura mists.

    Promising review: "These candles are lovely and I can’t wait to use them this year! They were packaged nicely and came with a free guide and sample incense." —Dana-Dom McNaught

    Get it from Heritage Apothecary on Etsy for $19.99.

    2. A battery-powered kinara to kick off the holiday without worrying about also burning down the house.

    The lit kinara
    Kuumba Enterprises / Etsy

    In addition to kinara, Kuumba Enterprises also sells T-shirts and jewelry.

    Promising review: "Fast shipping and a beautiful quality kinara. We are very happy with this purchase and would definitely buy from this vendor again!" —Kenyatta Marston

    Get it from Kuumba Enterprises on Etsy for $34.99.

    3. Or a handmade traditional kinara set that'll stand out because it's so beautifully crafted. You'll want to leave this one out even after Kwanzaa ends.

    The black wood kinara, which has a curved design with decorative spokes
    Kwanzaa World / Etsy

    Kwanzaa World has all your Kwanzaa needs covered, and they even sell T-shirts, too!

    This set comes with the kinara, candles, and a selection of imitation fruits/veggies.

    Get it from Kwanzaa World on Etsy for $110.

    4. A reversible mkeka to mark your first Kwanzaa as a family. The mkeka symbolizes "the foundation on which all else rests." Personalize it with your last name and it'll become a precious family heirloom you can pass down for generations.

    AnotherFRcreation / Etsy

    AnotherFRcreation specializes in one-of-a-kind pieces that are handmade.

    Get it from AnotherFRcreation on Etsy for $15.50 (available in three patterns and a variety of font colors).

    5. A rosewood unity cup because the tambiko (libation) is a key part of Kwanzaa activities. Wine, juice, or distilled spirits are poured from the kikombe cha umoja (unity cup) into the earth as a way to remember deceased family members. Participants also take turns drinking from the unity cup.

    The glass
    AfricaStyleImports / Etsy

    AfricaStyleImports carries products that were made in Ghana and other parts of Africa. Its mission is to help Ghanian women become self-sufficient.

    Get it from AfricaStyleImports on Etsy for $20.

    6. Some Kwanzaa cards (these linocut or hand-drawn cards are both beautiful options!) if you want to greet your loved ones. Habari gani (What is the news?) is a traditional Swahili greeting during Kwanzaa.

    CharmingPiranha / Etsy, TheBlaqueOrchid / Etsy

    TheCharmingPiranha carries unique handmade goods including hand-carved rubber stamps and Ankara keychains and lanyards.

    TheBlaqueOrchid sells really awesome African American illustrated greeting cards, drinkware, and apparel.

    Get six linocut cards from CharmingPiranha on Etsy for $12, and a set of four hand-drawn cards from TheBlaqueOrchid on Etsy for $20.

    7. A box of shortbread cookies that'll help you break your fast if you chose to forgo food before the Karamu (Kwanzaa feast). Just make sure you read the happy message before you devour these biscuits!

    The shortbread cookies which feature a kinara and the words happy kwanzaa
    Uncommon Goods

    Get a box of 24 cookies from Uncommon Goods for $36.

    8. A Kwanzaa bingo set for keeping family members young and old entertained for hours.

    The board and chips
    BigDotOfHappiness / Etsy

    This set comes with 18 game cards, 18 perforated marker sheets, 1 perforated call sheet, and game instructions.

    BigDotOfHappiness has all your party supply needs covered with their unique and custom designs.

    Get a set of 18 from BigDotOfHappiness for $14.99.

    9. My First Kwanzaa, a paperback to introduce you and your little ones to Kwanzaa and its importance.

    The cover
    Square Fish

    Get it from Amazon for $7.99, Target for $7.99, Bookshop for $7.35 (to support local bookstores), or check your local library.

    10. Seven Spools of Thread because it's an inspiring Kwanzaa story that incorporates the Seven Principles through a story of seven bickering brothers who learn to put aside their differences.

    The cover
    Albert Whitman & Company

    Get it from Amazon for $6.99, Bookshop for $6.43 (to support local bookstores), Target for $6.99, or check your local library.

    11. A Kwanzaa gift set if you're looking for a fun and creative way to celebrate. Zawadi (gifts) is another important part of Kwanzaa, and gifts are in recognition of both the parents' and kids' hard work and success.

    The set
    SelfLoveToolChest / Etsy

    The set comes with two rolls of holographic washi tape with Kwanzaa symbols, a Kwanzaa zine, and an enamel pin.

    SelfLoveToolChest preaches a message of acceptance of love for yourself with its inspiring array of pins, greeting cards, and other merch.

    Get it from SelfLoveToolChest on Etsy for $26.

    12. A festive nail polish set so you can celebrate the holiday in style. All polishes are vegan, 10-free, and cruelty-free.

    The four polishes: yellow, red, green, and black
    KittyPawsKids / Etsy

    KittyPawsKids sells polishes you can feel good about using — and they offer sets for any season!

    Get it from KittyPawsKids on Etsy for $14.99.

    13. A Kwanzaa box that'll come with everything you need — kinara, candles, mkeka, decorative corn, a kente cloth, and more.

    The set laid out
    TadaKwanzaa / Etsy

    This set comes with a Kwanzaa book, a poster, a 2021 calendar, a kente cloth, a mkeka, a kinara, 12 candles, two ears of corn, and more.

    TadaKwanzaa also sells the candles separately.

    Get it from TadaKwanzaa on Etsy for $149.

    14. A kente ornament because your Christmas tree is in desperate need of some color. (Yes, you can celebrate both Christmas and Kwanzaa, if you and your family choose!)

    The ball ornaments in different color kente clothes
    OnyxGiftCompany / Etsy

    OnyxGiftCompany offers African American-centric designs including kente ornaments in the most vivid and beautiful colors, as well as Ankara fabric bookmarks.

    Get it from OnxyGiftCompany on Etsy for $18.89 (available in six colors).

    15. A roll of Kwanzaa wrapping paper if you want your presents to look as good on the outside as they do inside.

    The white wrapping paper with hand-drawn models wearing Kwanzaa outfits
    SamiaLynn / Etsy

    SamiaLynn specializes in stunning illustrations for all events and occasions.

    Get five sheets from SamiaLynn on Etsy for $30+ (also available in larger rolls and in three patterns).

    16. A set of handmade coasters so the festivities aren't ruined by water rings on your coffee table.

    Four coasters red, black, and green coasters shaped like Africa
    Mercia Moore

    Merica Moore is a Black woman-owned home decor store selling artisan goods.

    Get a set of two from Mercia Moore for $25.

    17. A tree greeting card that'll spread the cheer and create something that could outlast all of us — a whole freaking tree! Plus, Forest Nation plants 10 trees in a developing country for every purchase.

    The kit with a tree starting to grow from it
    ForestNation / Etsy

    The kit comes with a paper pouch, tree seeds, a biodegradable capsule for the seeds, growing pellets, instructions, and more.

    Forest Nation sells tree kits for all holidays and even just because. They've planted 860 trees so far, and their goal is to plant one billion!

    Get it from ForestNation on Etsy for $8.20.

    18. And a Kwanzaa cookbook for ensuring the whole family can spend some quality time together in the kitchen whipping up some delicious dishes.

    The cover
    Amazon

    Get it from Amazon for $11.99.

    You and your family this Kwanzaa:

    Walt Disney Television Animation

    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Want to learn more about Kwanzaa? The Anacostia Community Museum (within the umbrella of the Smithsonian Institution) has a more in-depth explainer about the meaning and origin of Kwanzaa.

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed's gift guides!

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    Find the perfect gift for any occasion, from white elephant gift exchanges to gifts for teachers, housewarming gifts to birthday gifts, and even the perfect gift basket if you’re truly stumped. Plus, check out the BuzzFeed gift guide for even more incredible gifting ideas.

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