Shopping with Gratitude this Holiday Season

Shopping with Gratitude this Holiday Season

If you’re the United States, there is a kind of disturbing trend at the end of November every year. We spend the fourth Thursday of the month (the end of this week) in gratitude and togetherness on our formal “Thanksgiving” holiday, and then spend the fourth Friday of the month shopping crazy sales on the retail holiday of Black Friday, which seems to shred every ounce of goodwill built-up the day before and make it as though none of it ever happened. 

And though I’m pretty sure that you’re not the person trampling another human being over discounted TVs, I think that the consumer spirit of the holidays affects all of us in one way or another. That’s why I think it’s worthwhile to talk about how we can take all these gratitude practices from the month of November with us into December, specifically, but also beyond.

The shift at the end of November is palpable. And even though the majority of the buying going on is for others there still is this kind of gross flavor of “gimme gimme” that permeates the whole thing. (Have you noticed that, or is that just me?)

Now, I’ll level with you. I own a retail shop. I, frankly, need people to buy Christmas presents from my shop so that my kids and my employees kids will not only have Christmas presents themselves but electricity and healthcare. I’m not here to tell you not to shop. 

But I think it’s worth thinking about how we shop and where we shop this holiday season (and I promise this still goes back to gratitude – stay with me.). 

First the how:

When you buy gifts for someone, what do you think about? Do you think about what they like? Who they are? What they do? What they’ve done for you? 

There can be a lot of considerations that go into selecting and purchasing a gift, but I want to suggest a unique way of buying your gifts this year. As you think about each person that you are buying a gift for, I would like you to think about, maybe even make a list of, all the reasons that you were grateful for that person this year. Think about how they enrich your life and why.  Then, select a gift for them from a place of gratitude for them as a person and not overwhelm or frustration at having to buy another gift. 

I think this practice can really revolutionize your personal experience of Christmas shopping this year, even if it doesn’t change what you actually get for people. Then, as an extension of the exercise I also think it’s great to include a personalized letter or note with each gift explainIng the things that you thought about while buying the gift for them and the reasons that you are grateful for them. Who wouldn’t want to receive that? 

 Next, the where

{Obviously, I’m not a disinterested third-party in this conversation but I think that there’s a really great case for shopping small not only during the holidays, but year-round.}

First of all, when you shop with a small operation, I can guarantee you that a real person feels a surge of gratitude at your order. Instead of  financing .0001% of a big company’s TV ad with your holiday purchase, you can literally pay someone’s grocery bill. There’s a lot of wonderful things the big companies have to offer but I think it really pays to look at what small options are available first. Not only will you nurture gratitude in another person’s life, but the gratitude that they feel for you will often filter through in the packaging, attention, and products that you receive. 

Secondly, when you shop small you are able to show your gratitude to a company that enriches your life in some way. If our content this year and even before has mattered to you, part of how we know is 1.) when you tell us and 2.) when you shop with us. Ultimately it is your shopping that keeps us making, writing, photographing, and supporting you all through the year.

 All in all, shopping small is a relationship built on gratitude.

Here at Pink Salt Riot we get orders out extremely fast and with free shipping because we know your time is valuable and, let’s be honest, I forget to do things until the last minute on the regular and I feel you

We also put 3 to 5 extra free goodies in every package and Jeni, our shipping coordinator, initials every packing slip to let you know that she put the personal touch on your package herself. 

We invest in bringing you content that really enriches your life year-round, not into big ads that will go viral or flashier things like that. We just want to invest in you and we humbly ask that you will invest in us and other small businesses this holiday season.

So to that end, here is our sales schedule for the weekend, no trampling involved, and you can shop from the cozy comfort of your bed instead of freezing outside at 3am. 

  • November 29- December 2: 
    • Buy More, Save More sale! (excludes sale items & Joy Box subscriptions)
    • 10% off orders over $20 with the code savemore20
    • 20% off orders over $50 with the code savemore50
    • 30% off orders over $100 with the code savemore100
    • 40% off orders over $150 with the code savemore150

We will also be including free gifts in every order (regardless of total) placed on Small Business Saturday, November 30!

Giving Tuesday, December 3: 20% of all orders will go toward Mary’s Meals, a charitable organization that provides food at schools throughout the poorest parts of the world. They are built on the principle that education is one of the most powerful agents of change and that disadvantaged kids will stay in school longer if they are able to receive a good meal there. They have one of the lowest overheads of any charity I am aware of and do phenomenal work. I would strongly encourage you to look into supporting them with any year end charitable donations you may be looking to make. 

Wherever you shop this holiday season, be it with us or someone else, I hope you shop with gratitude for all the people involved – the employees, the creators, the people you’re shopping for. Especially when time gets short and tensions run high, try and come back to gratitude. 

As always, I’m praying for you and your intentions this Thanksgiving.

With joy,


Introducing: Love Boxes 2019

Introducing: Love Boxes 2019

Available February 1

Be the first to find out when our Love Boxes become available!

Walk into any Target and one thing will be clear: it’s the season of love. Ah, l’amour!

Romantic love is all well and good, but I love to use Valentine’s Day to celebrate the other loves in our lives – especially our girl friends!

We here at Pink Salt Riot kind of think of you all like our girl friends – the women who keep us running with your orders, send us precious notes of encouragement when we do our job well, and follow us across the whole wide web, cheering us on, loving on us, and keeping us able to keep serving you.

And ya’ll are good friends.

So when we started thinking about Valentine’s Day, we really wanted to love on you, big time.

And Love Boxes were born.

I have always been committed to bravery. My first startup was literally called Favoring Brave, and we are still legally Favoring Brave LLC. I realized our brand needed to pivot in the new year, and I knew that would leave us with a fair amount of inventory that no longer fit our direction, which is moving towards custom pieces and small batch goods and jewelry, designed and made from raw materials in house on our new laser.

(It’s going to be kind of awesome.)

But fear told me to hold on tight to everything and continue to sell our older things off in a small sale, sticking to what we know and coasting on that without innovation.

Courage, however, asked me to step out and make what I wish existed. Courage asked me, as it so often does, to do the harder, better thing.

Courage also asked me to give without counting the cost. When I closed Favoring Brave 2 years ago I had about 50K in inventory left. I called the newspaper and created an event on Facebook. We gave every last piece away to all the people that came. And it was one of my favorite days ever. The grace that space – that freeness from my creative past – created was the birthing ground for Pink Salt Riot and all our company is today.

Pink Salt Riot is a different animal these days however, and as much as I’d love to do a big giveaway again, the added costs of our space and personnel, as well as the cost of shipping, make it impossible to just send out free boxes to all interested parties.

So we are doing the next best thing.

For the first two weeks in February we will be shipping out Love Boxes worth $100-$200 for $25 each, shipping included. These will have a variety of products both from our online store and from our one of kind inventory typically reserved for shows.

Our shipping manager is going to pray over the orders each morning asking the Holy Spirit to get the right things to the right people.

For those of you that have seen us at conferences, these will be like our regular conference grab bags on STEROIDS. At SEEK 2019, our 250 grab bags sold out 21 hours after the doors opened, plus tons of people came back wanting more throughout the conference. We are kind of good at doing the grab bag thing, not to brag.

Want to make sure you get one? Enter your email below to get on our launch list!

So if all this wasn’t enough, we have an added incentive for you:

ONE random box ordered on February 1 will be filled with products worth $500!

These boxes are a perfect way for people to stock up for gifts, treat themselves, or bless other people. I know someone that is planning to send boxes to several friends and relatives as an extravagant but low cost way to love on their friends. They also make great Galentine’s gifts for girlfriends near and far! (Want us to put a note in your Love Box so you can send it right to the recipient? We can do that! )

Lots of love!

Five Ways to Find Peace in the Busy Advent Season

Five Ways to Find Peace in the Busy Advent Season

As the calendar closes in on Christmas it’s easy to lose sight of the peace that is supposed to come with this season. If your Advent is headed in a less than peaceful direction, here are five strategies to get back on track.

Write it all down.

If you don’t have a family calendar the other eleven months out of the year, make one for December. Put everyone’s commitments on it, starting with the non-negotiables.

Also, make lists of everything you need to do this month, and if you aren’t a paper planner person why not print a copy of our Christmas Checklist from our freebie library this month? You can become a member for free here, or current members can log in right here (search your inbox for “Pink Salt Riot” if you can’t remember your password – we try and include it in every email!).


You can print as many as you need for yourself, and the rest of your family as well. If you have kids old enough to have their own holiday to dos you can also print one for each of them and guide them in writing down gifts they want to make, purchase, or wrap, and other seasonal things they need to get done.

Shop early and from as few places as possible.

Do not procrastinate on gifts that matter to you! There is nothing that steals holiday peace quite like constantly checking to see if your gifts will arrive in time. Select a few retailers that will be able to meet the majority of your gifting needs and place your orders in early December. Then you will have just a few packages to keep track of, and the bulk of your shopping will be knocked out quickly.

Here at Pink Salt Riot we like to think that we are a pretty excellent one stop shop for the girls and women on your list. With everything from stickers, tattoos, and pencils to fine customizable jewelry, you can knock out stocking stuffers, gifts for your sisters, moms, and girlfriends all in one stop. We also ship orders out within 2 business days, even in the heart of the holiday season and most of our US customers have their orders in hand in 5 business days.

Say no.

It’s easy to get buried under a pile of commitments in December. But it’s also a great opportunity to look at your priorities and be intentional about what you say yes to. When you’re filling out that family calendar from #1, why not take a moment to consider whether each activity supports your priorities and serves to prepare your family for Christmas. Not everything is optional, i know, but consider what matters most in allocating your time this season.

Make time to enjoy the season as a family.

Put some time on your calendar to do fun family activities, either with old traditions or new ones you’d like try. Some fun ideas include baking as a family, decorating cookies, caroling at a nursing home, or wrapping presents as a family for other friends and extended family members. Let the joy of the season be something you experience as a family and not just something something you rush through as individuals.

Make time to reflect on the gift of Christmas yourself.

It’s important to remember that the Advent season is meant to be a season like Lent, a time of reflection and preparation. We reflect not only on Jesus’ coming 2000 years ago, but His coming into our own hearts and lives. If we don’t take the time to reflect, we miss out on so much of the grace the season has to offer, and therefore a great source of peace, no matter how busy the season is.

There are so many great Advent reflection programs out there, but the two that I personally recommend are the Blessed Is She study, Bearing Light, and the reflection program I run each year called A Beauty Full Advent.

What do you do to keep a peaceful heart in Advent? We’d love to hear your thoughts and practices in the comments!

Why Gifts Matter

Why Gifts Matter

As we head into the holiday season I find myself full of the same kind of annual glee I feel every early November. I am an artist and someone who delights in giving meaningful gifts and this time of year I get lean in to both of those things in a wonderful way. Being a part of creating thousands of Christmas gifts every year through Pink Salt Riot is my favorite Christmas gift that others give to me. The chance to be a part of all of those acts of love is nothing short of astonishing and carries me through the loneliest times of working motherhood.

But in reflecting on gift giving lately I have realized that not only Christmas, but gift giving itself has gotten tied up in secular commercialism in a way that is definitely doesn’t have to be. Gift giving in and of itself does not detract from Christmas, or even the celebration of Christ at Christmas, as I heard one women remark. She was very proud of the fact that no one in her family gave or received Christmas gifts because they wanted to “only focus on Christ.”

I don’t disagree with the sentiment. I also want Christmas to be solely about Christ. But I think that’s where the gifts come in, not where they need to exit.

Christ himself is a gift on Christmas – a gift to each of us and to everyone that has ever lived. He is the perfect gift from God – a Redeemer who saves us from ourselves, our deep ties to sin, and even death itself. Christmas is about giving, the gift God gave and still gives, and then also our own attempts to mimic that. And of course we are not under any delusions that our small and simple gifts will bring salvation of any kind, but we are still called to give like God – in a way that signifies our deep knowing and love of the people we give to.

Gifts are a chance to let people know that they are seen. And in our noisy, crowded, lonely world, being seen is deeply meaningful. It is the desire to be seen that has created so much of the chaos in our world – people feeling the need to scream and shout and shoot guns to remind everyone else that they exist, that they hurt, and that they want to matter. There is a reason gift giving is a love language – the thought and effort put into a gift reflects the thought and effort we put into the person through the gift.

This isn’t a post to try and guilt you into spending a lot of money on Christmas gifts or even to try and get you to shop with us here at PSR this holiday season, even though we do really love to help you create the perfect giftsThis is a post to remind you why we all started giving gifts in the first place, and to let you know that we are going to support you in your gift giving this year if you have $100 to spend or nothing to spend.

Everyone deserves a Christmas present created just for them, and I also think that everyone deserves the opportunity to give amazing gifts even if they have very little, or even no, money to spend.

That’s why this month and next we are going to be bringing you videos, freebies, and wrapping papers to help you love others through your gift giving. I will be sharing easy ways to create meaningful gifts through special wrapping techniques, easy gifts to make and give using our freebie library, as well as specials and coupon codes to get the most bang for your buck if you choose to shop with us this holiday season.

{Tiny fraction of the free printable wrapping paper we have in our library ^}

I have put together a HUGE library of free printable cards and wrapping paper that you can access completely free by signing up for our future gift giving updates right here:

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    It is up to us to give in a way that points back to God this Christmas. And that God is not stingy, tired, or adverse to beautiful things. He is generous, overflowing, abundant, and delighted by the work of His hands.

    How can you give like God this Christmas?

    Teach Us to Love – People Grieving

    Teach Us to Love – People Grieving

    Pink Salt Riot // Teach Us to Love: People Grieving

    This is the May installment of our monthly series called “Teach Us To Love” that goes through concrete ways you can help those in difficult situations – everything from teen moms to child cancer patients to shut-ins – through interviews with experts who really understand what people in those situations are going through and have a good sense of what would really help them. This week we are talking about helping people dealing with grief.

    A lot of people want to help others and A. don’t know what to do because they really don’t understand the situation or B. only know of options that involve giving money and may feel like that is not something their family can do for whatever reason. This series exists to help bridge the gap between people in need and those with a desire to serve and practice the corporal works of mercy.

    For this article on serving the grieving I interviewed Christine Henderson. Christine has been married to her best friend for twenty-three years and has six children who she homeschools. After eighteen years of homeschooling, She is down to two left–a fifth grader and an eighth grader. Christine loves speaking to groups on various topics such as grief, prayer as a busy mom, making the most of the days God gives us, and also bringing the saints ALIVE by becoming one of the great saints and speaking “in character.” You can check out her website here and her blog here. She has also recorded a video about grief here.

    SO LET’S JUMP RIGHT IN! What do you wish people knew about people suffering grief?

    When people are in the middle of grief, they often can’t see ten feet ahead. Be there for them with concrete actions. Don’t just say, “Call me if you need anything.” Figure out what they need and then DO IT!

    What are some concrete things people can do to help others in grief?

    1. Call them.
    2. Go visit them.
    3. LISTEN (even if you have heard the story before – as many times as they want to tell it.)
    4. Pray for them.
    5. Help with meals.
    6. Help with child care. Offer to take the kids for a few hours or overnight.
    7. Run errands for them. Call them up and find out if they need anything from the grocery store. Call and say, “I am running to the grocery store and thought I would pick up some milk and eggs for you. Do you need anything else?”

    Is there anything else helpful for readers or any resources you can share for more info on helping those struggling with grief?

    *If you or a friend has had a stillbirth:  Alexandra’s House   http://alexandrashouse.com
    *Churches often have grief support groups –check out local parishes websites to find out about them.
    *Griever: Be specific to friends/family of what you need. Others want to help but don’t know how.


    What do you do to help people who are grieving? What do you think we need to be doing both as individuals and as communities to help people feel loved during these difficult times? Let me know in the comments!

    A Catholic First Communion Gift Guide

    Hardly seems possible that it’s already time for spring sacrament season, but it is upon us.

    First communion is an important event in the lives of all young Catholics, and definitely warrants a celebration, and I have also included gifts appropriate for teens and adults who have completed RCIA to enter the Church at Easter.

    I think it’s important to keep in mind the person’s own love language when selecting a gift, so in addition to things you can buy I have also included things you can do and prayers you can pray to give service and spiritual gifts to the communicants.

    Pink Salt Riot Blog // A First Communion Gift Guide

    Custom Stamped Bowl

    These bowls are just gorgeous. I am counting down the days until my kids start the sacrament cycle so I can have a reason to buy one!

    Pink Salt Riot // Anima Christi Earrings

    Anima Christi earrings

    For girls and women with their ears pierced, these nickel free earrings are the perfect combination of unique and wearable. Anima Christi means “soul of Christ” and Corpus Christi means “body of Christ.”The Latin will have all her friends asking what they mean, while the studs themselves are neutral and light enough to wear everyday. (Also available as a necklace)

    The Mass Box

    This monthly subscription box has a special craft, webisode and magazine sent directly to your door each month. Appropriate for kids 4-8.

    Pink Salt Riot Blog // A Catholic First Communion Gift Guide

    Let no one look down bracelet

    This is another item from my shop designed with First Communion in mind. This bracelet is simple enough for daily wear and features the words “Let no one look down” referencing 1Timothy where Paul tells Timothy not to let people look down on him because of his youth. Perfect for the little First communicant who has big dreams and big goals!

    Pink Salt Riot Blog // A Catholic First Communion Gift Guide

    Rosary bracelet

    There are many rosary bracelets available through Etsy, and I thought this one was especially lovely. Make sure the size is appropriate for a child before ordering.

    Pray a Spiritual bouquet for them

    Pray a novena, a series of rosaries, or other prayers for the communicant over the days or weeks leading up to the event and then give them a card letting them know on the day. Though First Communion aged children may not yet understand the value of prayer, the prayer will bless them greatly nonetheless. There is a lovely spiritual bouquet card in our free resource library, and it also makes a thoughtful addition to a cash gift.

    Have a Mass offered for them

    I heard recently that a saint had said that a single mass offered for a person during their lifetime was worth a large number offered after their death. As with the spiritual bouquet, a young communicant may not seem as enthusiastic this gift, but you can rest assured that it will serve them greatly. Contact your parish office for information on how to have a mass offered at your church.

    What will you be getting your for the First Communicants in your life this year? Let me know in the comments!