This Wednesday: Buy Fair-Trade Holiday Gifts and Benefit Land Stewardship Project

 I don't know about you, but I've suddenly realized, with a panic, how few shopping days are left before the December gift-giving holidays are here.

I'm feeling more pressure than usual because my husband and I have promised to be more responsible gift givers this year, especially with our daughters. In the past, we've tended to opt for quantity over quality, believing that when it comes to making a big impact on Christmas morning, more is more. We've also not always been conscious about the origins of our gifts or the broader impacts of our purchases, although for three years in a row, we have refused to be seduced by the inexplicable allure of American Girl Dolls. (Here's all you need to know about American Girl Dolls: 1. They're manufactured in China. 2. Underneath their fancy, but cheaply-made clothing, they're just hollow plastic. 3. They cost $95 each. Plus tax.)

So when I got an e-mail this week from Land Stewardship Project promoting a special shopping event at St. Paul's Ten Thousand Villages, it landed right in my gift-buying sweetspot.

Here are the details...

What: Ten Thousand Villages, a Fair Trade store with handmade artisan crafts from around the world, has chosen the Land Stewardship Project for its Benefit Shopping Night. Ten Thousand Villages will donate 20 percent of the evening's sales to support LSP's work, e.g. promoting family farms, sustainable agriculture, and healthy communities..

When: Wednesday, November 18, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Where: 867 Grand Avenue (Victoria Crossing West) in St. Paul, Minnesota

The unique inventory at Ten Thousand Villages includes jewelry, clothing, home decor, kitchenware, even toys and games. One item that really appeals to me is the Twin Doll. For just $28, you receive a soft, huggable, meticulously hand-sewn doll, and another identical doll -- its twin -- is sent to a child in Zimbabwe whose family has been affected by HIV/AIDS. The founder of the artisan group that makes Twin Dolls was recently awarded the Wisdom in Action "Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award" by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.

This is the kind of gift I can feel good about giving this year. And when 20 percent of what I spend goes to benefit LSP, it's a gift that keeps on giving -- right here in Minnesota, too.

For more information visit the store’s website or call 651-225-1043.