Gifts that give back: Make the holiday season that much happier

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Gifts that give back: Make the holiday season that much happier
"The holiday season is right around the corner, and I always like to take a step back around this time of year to appreciate the wonderful life I have." - Alicia of Alicia Tenise
"There are millions of other girls my age across the globe who don’t have it quite as easy as I do. That’s why it is crucial for me to give back whenever I can. When I heard about the launch of TOMS for Target, I was thrilled at the idea of 
shopping for a cause." - Alicia of Alicia Tenise
"The TOMS clothes, blankets, journals, etc. I have purchased at Target are not only awesome for my whole family, I feel even 
better wearing them knowing that I am supporting a good cause and giving to others in need this holiday season." - Shannon of Bird a la Mode
"I love how TOMS makes great quality clothing and accessories my entire family wants to wear, and now their products are found at a store that I already shop at, Target!" - Shannon of Bird a la Mode
"As a society, we tend to focus more on ourselves and less on others. But as the holiday season is approaching, it's important to think of ways to give back to those that are less fortunate." - Kristin of Fancy Things
"An item that I own that is special to me is my pair of glasses. Purchasing them a few years ago was extremely satisfying knowing that through my purchase, someone in need received a free pair of glasses as well." - Kristin of Fancy Things
"I want to be able to touch people's hearts this holiday season by letting them see that I really do care for them and want them to know how much I love and appreciate them." - Mckenzie of Girl Loves Glam
"When Dave and I were engaged, he gave me my Valentine's Day gift and it was a shirt that he had picked out all by himself and a necklace with angel wings on it. I'm not one to wear angel wings by any means. But it is how Dave actually gave me this necklace that made this necklace something that I will 
never forget and never get rid of." - Mckenzie of Girl Loves Glam
"I love this time of year. The holidays always make me think more about family and what is really important. Sure, we may want a new pair of boots, or a killer handbag that’s been on our list for a while, but what is really important are the people we have around us and the love we have for them." - Jackie of Little J Style
"If you haven't heard, TOMS has partnered up with Target for a very special holiday collaboration. TOMS for Target follows the one-for-one model where each purchase made will be counteracted by gifting someone in need." - Jackie of Little J Style
"Lilly is wearing TOMS. They're more than just a pair of shoes because they give back for every pair purchased. Last week I mentioned that TOMS was releasing a collection for Target and that collection is now available!" - Chassity of Look Linger Love
"You can check out the TOMS for Target collection right here! It's an easy and great way to pay it forward this holiday season." - Chassity of Look Linger Love
"I love the holidays SO much because it’s a time to spread love around, to your family and friends and even people you don’t know. Some of my favorite Christmas memories growing up include wearing Christmas pajamas, drinking cocoa, and my parents always, always made sure we kept the true meaning in Christmas by giving to others in need." - Corrine of Mint Arrow
"This year I can’t wait to open presents, dress up in warm Christmas jammies, see the wonder in my daughter’s eyes when she sees snow or a glowing Christmas tree, but most of all, I can’t wait to teach her about the true meaning of 
Christmas." - Corrine of Mint Arrow
"It’s in these moments that I realize how fortunate I am. How good I’ve got it. With a roof over my head and a cute kitty by my side, life from my point of view ain’t that bad." - Nikia of Model Liberation
"As we inch even closer into the holiday season, let us be reminded of those who don’t even have the most basic liberties that we often take for granted. Start your season of giving here and now. Beginning November 16th, for every TOMS for Target limited edition gift purchased, Target is giving shoes, a blanket or meals to those in need.  See how easy it is to be someone’s little angel?" - Nikia of Model Liberation
"The holidays are not only a time for reflecting on what is special to us but also giving to those whose only special possession might be that warm meal they just received or that jacket you donated." - Mary of So Then They Say
"I am guilty of it - living day to day, getting caught up in my own world and the 'things' I must have or must do. But, thanks to collaborations like TOMS for Target, those who are hungry or cold are not forgotten." - Mary of So Then They Say
"During the holidays it's easy to get caught up in giving and receiving, which is definitely fun (it's our favorite time of year), but this year we're also looking for items with sentimental value, or gifts that 'give back.'" - Brooke and Meggan of Somewhere, Lately
"There are many great gifts that give - one piece I currently own and love is this gold bar necklace. Not only does it look great, but 50% of the proceeds from each sale are donated to the Wildlife Conservation Network." - Brooke and Meggan of Somewhere, Lately
"The season of joy, giving, family get-togethers and dinners are here. During this season we take time to reflect upon the things we've done throughout the year, people that are important to us and of course the gifts we give. These could be gifts for loved ones and also those in need." - Vanessa of Stylishlyme
"We also take the time to appreciate the items we have and hold dear to our hearts. This could be things we hold on to because of who gave them to us or because of what they stand for." - Vanessa of Stylishlyme
"Is there an item or two in your wardrobe that you wouldn't trade for the world? I'm not necessarily talking big-ticket name items but rather more sentimental gifts or treasures you've held onto for years? For me, that item is this brooch. The two 
grandmothers in my life (well, one Grandma and one Nana, to be exact) have always been women I look up to in regards to class, style and poise." - Krystin of Suburban Faux Pas
"Starting November 16th, for every TOMS for Target limited edition gift that is purchased, Target will give a pair of shoes, a blanket or a week of meals to those in need. One-for-one. For all. Why not share in a sentimental moment during this special campaign and help donate more than just an object and provide a sense of comfort for someone in need?" - Krystin of Suburban Faux Pas
"Now that we have Parker, though, we are being much more conscious of the way we give gifts.  I want the things we give her to be meaningful and thoughtful and sparse.  There’s no reason she needs a tree full of presents, when we all know her favorite thing on Christmas morning will likely be the paper!" - Jen of The Effortless Chic
"What gift has the most meaning to you? Have you perused the TOMS for Target collection yet? It’s understated, chic, and thoughtful-- the best possible combination." - Jen of The Effortless Chic
"If you are going to do anything this holiday season, you might as well support some of the brands that give back to others!" - Ashlyn of Let it Be Beautiful
With Thanksgiving just around the corner and the holiday season just beyond, there is always an air of gratefulness this time of year. It's a season of celebration and love, and while you're shopping for friends and family this year, you may just be able to extend your love a little further.

We're feeling inspired this season to look past the idea of a gift, and give something more sentimental. Whether it's an item that's been passed down through your family for generations, or a new gift that gives back to others, it'll make the moment that much more special. This time of year, it's important to focus on what really matters in life, and giving to others is the epitome of "the holiday spirit."

The TOMS for Target collection launched on November 16th, filled with great gifts for men, women, children and the home, so it's one of our go-to stops for presents this year. Continuing their incredible "One for One, For All" message, each product you buy from this collection will give a meal, blanket or pair of shoes to those in need. What more could you possibly want?

Several of our contributors teamed up with TOMS for Target to share how they're focusing on sentimental, meaningful gifts this year. Click through the gallery to see what it means to them to give a gift that gives back.

Compensation for this post was provided by Target via AOL Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Target or AOL.​

Photo credit: Mint Arrow

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