Give a little back: And get something in return!

With the economy as it is, spending money wisely is more important than ever. Gift giving is a wonderful thing – and should continue to be – but we need to be conscious of how we spend our dollars. Before you tear open your wallet, ask yourself: Will this gift truly be appreciated?

This question was at the forefront of my mind earlier this afternoon when I opened up a holiday gift from TOMS Shoes. The gift included a certificate good for a free pair of shoes on their site, and I was elated to see a huge array of fun styles for not only gals – but men and kids as well. (Check out the Red Wrap Boot at left…it was my favorite style, but there’s tons of others you may like as well!)

The story of TOMS Shoes is a fascinating one. Founder Blake Mycoskie was in Argentina several years back and took a liking to the traditional shoes of the South American country. On a whim of sorts, Mycoskie decided to start a shoe company that brought the unique footwear to an international market.

Humanitarian aims aside (for every shoe you buy, TOMS donates one to a child in need), the things are actually completely vegan and incredibly comfortable. And on top of that, they’re affordable! (Many styles are around $40).

Right now, 1,000,000 men, women and children are suffering from PODOCONIOSIS in Ethiopia. Podoconiosis is a soil-transmitted disease caused by walking barefoot in silica-rich soil. Silica is ancient volcanic glass that penetrates the skin and makes its way into the lymphatic system. The feet and lower legs swell, open sores and ulcers develop, and infection sets in. But there is good news: PODOCONIOSIS IS 100% PREVENTABLE – all it takes is a pair of shoes. So help TOMS put shoes on children’s feet in Ethiopia to help prevent this disease.

TOMS just launched their Holiday Project this month and their goal is to donate 30,000 shoes to children in Ethiopia in 30 days. If you have a moment, please check out the video on YouTube – it’s quite powerful (and also shareable and embeddable if you have FaceBook, etc) :

In conjunction with this campaign, TOMS is offering one eBeautyDaily reader a free TOMS Shoes Holiday Gift Set, which includes a copy of the award-winning For Tomorrow – The TOMS Shoes Story film and a gift card for a pair of TOMS (up to $50 value, which covers all but the TOMS Wrap Boot). The giveaway begins today, and will end Dec. 24th. To enter, simply leave a comment with the most meaningful gift you’ve ever received – or given. Good luck – and happy holidays!!!

Share This Post:
    • Stephanie V

      the most meaningful gift I have ever rec’d is my baby boy. Hard time getting pregnant, etc etc dot dot dot but finally a miracle. Have been organic and toxic free ever since. Would LOVE to try these shoes!

    • Sue

      I received a visit from a friend I hadn’t seen in 20 years.

    • Lindsay

      a handmade quilt for my newborn son

    • Sandra

      When my father died I make sure I give to our local toy and food drive in my father’s name since he always used to give toys and food.

    • sandy

      we do angel tree and such but a year or so ago a friend had a toms shoe party and I bought my friends a pair, my mom, my sis, and and with them a pair was donated and that felt awesome. I loved going to the site and reading- its so cook what he does and the shoes are well made and very comfortable

    • Carol

      We gave a donation to save the Plovers in California when a friend of ours died suddenly. It had great meaning to his spouse, as they loved the birds and often wrote letters about protection of the plovers.

    • Adrienne Gordon

      My husband got me a Tom Tom, which actually turned out to be awesome.

    • Carol G

      I think participating in the Angel Tree project most years has been the overall most meaningful gift process for me. There have been some years when it wasn’t possible because of finances, but it really doesn’t cost much, so whenever possible, I participate. I usually choose a small child, but there are so many in need of even basic items, it is hard to make up my mind sometimes.

    • Deborah R

      Every year, my Dad gives me a Christmas bell ornament. It means a lot to me because he didn’t start doing this until I was an adult, and it began him making an effort to have an adult relationship with his children.

    • veronica sandberg

      I do a secret paying forward gift

    • Sydni

      The most meaningful gift I’ve ever received was a sponsorship of a wild horse and a dolphin. I liked knowing that instead of another useless gift, my family member had spent money to help save endangered animals.

    • Carletta

      The most meaningful gift I ever got was the computer I’m using now! My brother knew I would
      never be able to afford one so he saved and bought
      me a computer last year! How unbelievably selfless!

    • janeh

      the gifts that have always meant the most to me are the ones made especially for me by my children……

    • Elena Lipson

      The most meaningful gift I’ve received is…when my father died suddenly…my co-workers each chipped in what they could and paid for my ticket to fly to NY for the funeral. I am still touched by their generosity ever time I think about it.


    • Catherine KingChuparkoff

      MY favorite gifts are the cards made for me by my children because they are truly from the heart.

    • Jenny

      The most meaningful gift I ever received was a book about Jacob (the patriarch) from a friend. He had heard me talk one time about how important Jacob was to me, and he had filed it away in his brain. It was the most thoughtful gift I have ever received, and a big surprise!

    • George Casson

      Wrench set

    • lynn b

      The most precious gift I received was a quilt made by my grandmother. She died soon afterwards.

    • Mary Hodnett

      My Aunt gave me a collage of pictures of my Daddy when he was young for my birthday.

    • beth shepherd

      The most meaningful gift I have ever received was from my mother. She gave me a wedding set for my wedding. My husband and I were young and struggling and she gave me a wedding set that had been passed down a few generations and a ring for my husband. I love that it came from her and generations past and from my husband. Its the perfect gift. Thank you mom!

    • Michelle S

      I think the best gift I have received and given is time. I volunteer on a Relay For Life team, and well as helping out others on an individual basis.

    • Patrice P.

      My most meaningful gift was a make-up mirror that my daddy surprised me with. There was no special occasion. He knew that I wanted one since I had trouble seeing well enought to put on my makeup in the bathroom.

    • Catrina Hare

      I think the most meaningful gift given to me was a jewelry box & some milk bath. When I first started dating my husband, he took me over to his mom’s for Christmas. She didn’t know me and couldn’t afford much, yet she had these gifts for me. I was blown away. She passed away a few years after that. I have now been married 33 years and still remember that Christmas.

    • Dree

      The most memorable gift I ever received was a bracelet from my mom. That was the last Christmas we had with her.

    • Sallie

      For many years I lived overseas in a a very poor developing country. A group of us expats began a mitten tree project – we set up a big Christmas tree and encouraged all of the expats to decorate it with pairs of mittens and gloves. Every year it was full of mittens and gloves, which we then made sure went to kids and adults who needed them.

    • Kirsten

      My wedding ring set. It was my grandma’s and I treasure it.

    • sally wess

      my daughter gave me a fashion doll, which she designed a created. i am still in awe, whenever i look at it. my other daughter, gave me my first grandchild.
      i am truly blessed

    • laura

      my most meaningful gift was from my parents. it was a beautiful bracelet that is being passed from generation to generation.

    • Rachel

      I once gave my husband (then boyfriend) a calendar with 365 reasons why I love him, one on each day. Really cheesy…but we’re still together. And we still have that calendar kicking around.

    • Nancy

      I love the idea of a Toms Shoe party! Maybe I can throw one next year… for no occassion at all, except to provide some children with much needed shoes (and satisfy our female need for more shoes ;) ).

    • Susan Smith

      My husband have me my engagement ring

    • christopher h

      most meaningful gift was the puppy i received as a youngster

    • Holly

      A necklace from my SO

    • Sydney

      The most meaningful gift I have, other than my children, is a tree given to me to honor my daughter’s life when she died suddenly. Like my daughter, the tree brings a breath of fresh air to the space and makes the world a little better.

    • Jim H

      bowl painted with important scenes from my dad

    • Tracy W.

      I’ve really worked hard to shop local and green this year. Those shoes are killer… I want them!

    • Rosanne

      A card from my son as he was leaving for his third tour in Iraq and going through a divorce. The entire family flew to see him off. He is a man of few words but in it he thanked us for being the kind of parents who have always been there for him no matter what.

    • ky2here

      Family photos.

    • Sarah Z

      Anything that my daughter makes me! Corny but true!!

    • Karen Gonyea

      My engagement ring :)

    • Denise B.

      My husband and children.

    • Jessica Rowe

      The most thoughtful gift I ever received was a large handmade quilt from my grandmother

    • joni chadwell

      I had 8×10 photos made of my husband’s deceaased parents and had them nicely framed

    • Leann H Swinnney

      My dh gave me a kitten on our first Christmas together.

    • Cori Westphal

      The best gift I received EVER was my daughter. She was born just a week before my birthday. It was the best gift I could’ve wished for.

    • crystal

      This year i made my mom one of the popular photo books…I think she is going to cry:)

    • sean pynaert

      I gave my wife 4 new tires for her car, so she’d be safe in the winter. She’s so appreciative!

    • Stacie V

      The most meaningful gift I’ve ever given was a gift certificate to my mother for a 1 hour reiki treatment. She absolutely loved it and is now a firm believer in energy healing.

    • Michelle Simons

      The most meaningful gift I’ve ever received was a umbrella, we all got one for xmas one year, money was hard to get with 5 of us little ones, Mom must of found a cheap deal on them and i knew at least it was something. We had lots of snow on the ground that xmas and getting that umbrella had so much meaning to all of us.

    • Ellie

      The most meaningful gift I ever got was a heated blanket. I am such a cold person, and my guy knew that it was the perfect gift to keep me warm while he was away.

    • Jennifer M

      The referral for my daughter’s adoption.

    • AnneZ

      One of the most meaningful gifts I ever received was a set of silverware given to me by my Grandfather. This set of silver was purchased for his mother when he started his first job working for the railway (where he continued to work for 48 years!). I felt honoured that he felt that I should have this beautiful gift.

    • Ed Nemmers

      Many years ago, I found boxes of old photgraphs in the front hall closet. I organized them all in photo albums and gave this to my Mother, who adored this gift!

    • Kathy B

      I make a scrapbook for my boyfriend every year that we have been together for our anniversary. (Up to year 6 now!) And it is so much fun to look through together.

    • Christine burd

      The most meaningful gift I have ever received is a bible in memory of my Dad who had passed away during the yr.. As this was his favorite book it meant alot to me .

    • Laura Emerson

      Today a box came and in it was the most meaningful gift I have ever received. My mom died on December 12th and I was not there to say goodbye as she lived in Maine and I live down South. My sister had sent the box. In the box was a list in her handwriting with my name on it. Beside the list were what she had ordered for me for Christmas. She was pretty ill so could not leave home so she did all her shopping in catolgues. Inside the box was afghan which had a saying about “my special daughter” there was also a book which is called special daughter and says how much a daughter is loved. I have been crying since. I not only cherish my afghan and book but most of all that little piece of paper with my name on it that she had wrote.

    • Beverley Justice

      When we were married, we couldn’t afford more than a gold wedding band for each of us. Last Christmas, my husband gave me a diamond solitaire to go with the ring. It is lovely, and it means so much to me.

    • Vina Pereira

      The best gift I have ever received in all my life was my 4 wonderful children!

    • Margare Imecs

      I won a gift certificate for a pair of shoes from this year!

      Happy Holidays!!!
      Best Regards

    • Christina

      My most meaningful gift was on my 21st birthday, when my boyfriend at the time gave me 21 gifts to celebrate it! Each gift was uniquely me – clothes, books, chocolate, items for my apartment – and he took such a long time to get them for me, and I’ve never forgotten that day!

    • Susan

      The most meaningful gift I ever got was when the legal aide helping us the first year my daughter and I got away from a bad situation helped my daughter give me a surprise Christmas present. It was a candle with a mommy and baby snowperson on a wintry night background. We light this candle every year (6th year this year) to remind us of how lucky we are and how thankful we are to all who helped us.

    • leah solomon

      I got a diamond promise ring from my close friend.

    • Amanda Lutz

      I received some heirlooms from my great grandma after she passed away.

    • Betty C

      The most meaningful gift was from my 9 year old son who saved his allowance to buy me a nice lighted makeup mirror.

    • Amy L

      That’s easy the gift I’ve given and been given is the life of my child. My miracle baby who has enriched so many lives, my own, my families….

    • jennifer gersch

      a puppy from my hubby

    • Elizabeth M.

      The present that I remember most of all did not come wrapped in a fancy package with a frilly bow. It was a gift given to me by my younger sister who must have been about four years old at that time. She didn’t have the money or means to buy Christmas presents for her siblings but she understood the idea of giving and wanted to participate. So she took a little scratchpad of 3×5 paper and made a drawing for each of us. She rolled them up into little scrolls and tied them with a tiny piece of white curling ribbon.

      I remember my brothers opened it up and said the obligatory thank you’s but then cast them aside never to be thought of again. Not me. I carefully opened that little package to see the simplest little drawing of a lion and it touched my heart to its center. I treasured that gift of love so completely and it’s remained my favorite gift to this day.

    • Melissa Barnes

      Last year I made scrapbooks for my husband and his 3 brothers. Their mother passed away in 1994 and the youngest boy was 8. I included special times with their mom like reading, birthdays, Christmas, etc.

    • Susan Smith

      My sister who lives out of town suprised me with a visit on Christmas

    • Betty C

      Just last year I scanned photos of my grandson and had Kodak gallery make a scrapbook. He is over 30 years old and these photos were from infancy to present, including his wife and child. I gave the album to his mother for Christmas.

    • sarah

      The most meaningful gift I received was from my husband. He wrote a poem about me and carved it in stone. It’s my most precious possession!

    • Robin Wilfong

      My most meaningful gift was a teddy bear, i mentioned one I had when i was a child and he tracked one down for me

    • Amy H.

      The best gift our family ever gives is to our local “Operation Christmas Spirit”. We adopt a marine family at Camp Pendleton each Christmas here in Southern California. This year the Barja family benefited from our holiday giving with Antonio (about to be deployed), his wife Martha, and their 3 month old son.

    • Kayce C

      My dad gave me a wallet, and it reminded me to save money.

    • Kirsten T.

      The best gift I received was my son (about a week before Christmas many years ago). I think the best gift I gave was a lovely gold cross necklace to my sister when she joined her church.

    • kathy pease

      a piece of slate with a snowman painted on it my son made at school :)

    • A Casson


    • catherine

      That’s a difficult one to answer, as the preschool ornaments my boys made many years ago have to be near the top of my list. Cash from my parents to repair my VW Beetle when I was newly married and short on money, and a surprise from my husband:he took my college diploma and had it professionally framed.

    • Susanne Troop

      My diamond necklace from my husband of four days…fourteen years ago.

    • Marie N

      If I could choose a pair of Toms Shoes it would be the Tyler Ramsey Hand Painted Tiny TOMS White because they are so unique.

      My most meaningful gift was given to me by my oldest son…handcrafted clay and painted what he described as colors of an eyeball…I’ve kept that treasure safely tucked away for trips we both can share going down memory lane in the years to come.

    • Marcy Strahan

      This year I got a brand new DeLL with 64 bit Window Vista!
      Best gift ever!

    • Helen

      It was my life after having a heart attack two years ago this month.

    • Marc

      I gave the gift of “freedom” to someone I didn’t know.

    • divya

      I would give this to my good friend. She´s in the early months of pregnancy and feels rotten and unattractive most of the time. I think she´d really appreciate it.
      “Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are. ” ~Author Unknown
      I try to be especially kind during the holiday season. Thanks!!!

    • Rita Jackson

      My Grandmother was ill with cancer. She was 85 years old. I gave her a beautiful bound five year Diary. Inside I wrote my graduation from high school date. The year I expected to get married. I was 15 at the time. She looked at it and said ”I can’t let you waste all that money” She lived to be 103 years old. I think that was the best gift I ever gave.

    • Veronica Garrett

      My engagement ring from my husband.

    • Janet

      a sparkly christmas ball

    • Melissa V

      i thought it was very cute when someone named a star for me.
      i also like it when i receive a beauty basket or make-up! ;)

    • Samantha Pruitt

      a woody allen tote bag that my friend made me by hand, it’s sooo cool!

    • Lily Kwan

      The most meaningful gift I’ve ever received was a porcelain unicorn from my fiance.

    • Donna R.

      This year I received a digital picture frame from my kids. They’re going to fill it with pictures of them and my grand-children. That’s all I really needed. . . that and a back/neck chair massager. Maybe I’ll get that for my birthday on the 27th. LOL Thanks for the contest.

    • Margare Imecs

      I won $150 GC from Reitmans in this past summer, what I realy wanted for myself and I give it away for Christmas to my friend. She needed more then me!