Tis the season to go shopping, and the malls are overflowing with people and bargains. If you’re shopping these days, make sure you’re making a list (and obviously, checking it twice). Get gifts for the fam and friends who mean the most to you, and don’t forget to get yourself something you’ve been wanting all year! You can’t always depend on Santa to bring you what you want.

So I present to you, the Afrobella Holiday shopping guide. Yes, I said holiday, not Christmas. Get off my back, Bill O’Reilly. I’m taking people who celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Chrismukkah, and Festivus into consideration. There’s a perfect gift for everyone, regardless of religion, personality type, or budget.

Philosophical Bellas tend to think before they speak. They are likely to start a sentence with a phrase like “as Shakespeare said,” or, “I just read a fascinating article in…” They enjoy watching long movies (followed by longer discussions), taking contemplative walks, and stimulating conversation. Where better to start shopping for the philosophical bella than the Philosophy aisle in your local Sephora?

I want the Philosophy Holiday Sweet Shop Collection more than anything. I daydream of showering with Double Rich Hot Cocoa or Old Fashioned Eggnog body wash. My only gripe with the collection is, it includes Spiced Apple Cider instead of the Pumpkin Pie that I so desire. But other than that minor flaw, the Sweet Shop collection is completely craveable at prices ranging from $16 to $18 a bottle.

If those prices sound too steep, definitely consider getting Bodycology Foaming Bath and Shower Gels, body washes that cost $4.99 and are just as thick and luxurious as their $16 counterparts. The Coconut Lime is amazing, trust me.

Forget that silly, recently released album of jazzy remixes. Any self-respecting Nina Simone fan needs to invest in the ultimate box set. Four Women: Nina Simone Philips Recordings is a sprawling volume of the High Priestess of Soul’s most spine-tingling songs. Check out the audio samples. “Ne Me Quitte Pas” on Disc 2 is the track you listen to when you need a good cry. “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” on Disc 1 has been my personal anthem for years now.

Philosophical bellas love to savor good music with glasses of wine, and scented candles for ambiance. If you’ve got deep pockets, splurge on a Diptyque candle. At $48 bucks a candle ($80 for a set of three), these should only be bought for the bellas you love the most. A very good friend once bought us Cuir, the “leather” scent, when returning from a trip to Paris. I have never burned a candle more slowly, or enjoyed one so much. We managed to make it last a year. Someday I will buy more Diptyque candles, but I can’t possibly afford them now.

For wonderful scents on the cheap, you should check out Method candles, available at Target. J’adore Target. I went through a troublesome few months where I went there every weekend (I’ve managed to break the habit. Target is a dangerous store. You step in to get some resistance bands and a four pack of Black Cherry Switch, the next thing you know you’re standing in line at Starbucks waiting for a green tea frap, next to your overflowing cart of adorable teeshirts and accessories. I digress). I love Method stuff! I’ve used their hand wash, laundry detergent, and spray disinfectant (love the pink grapefruit). All of the products have been quality, and I definitely have repurchased. Method candles smell amazing, and at six bucks a candle, you can’t go wrong.

Socially conscious afrobellas will definitely want the Natural Women book of post cards, available at ItsABlackThang.com. These images of middle-class, post-slavery black women with natural, unprocessed hair were first curated by W.E.B DuBois for the 1900 Paris Exposition. The images are just as striking as you might imagine, and a book of 30 postcards costs just $9.95.

A bonafide philosophical bella considers all aspects of the products she uses, from manufacture to packaging. If you’re seeking fair trade, all-natural products made without animal testing, you can’t do much better than Anita Grant. Her Rhassoul Deep Conditioning bar looks good enough to eat, but is fortified with unrefined black cocoa butter and Vitamin E. To celebrate the mixtress’s first year in business (the anniversary is today! Happy Birthday, Anita!) she’s offering FREE SHIPPING for orders over 50.00 British Pounds Sterling (which works out to $98.80 USD) until January!

In the spirit of the season, here’s one of my very favorite holiday tunes, as performed by the one and only (young and foxy) Eartha Kitt.

Happy shopping, bellas! What do you want for Christmas?

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Keisha says:
December 5, 2006, 11:32 am
U def. bring out the PJ (Product Junkie) in me....I'll take a look at some of these items and get back 2 ya. But what i really want for christams is to get my Ipod fixed :(
FenixStar says:
December 5, 2006, 11:46 am
I'm just praying I can keep my spending to a minimum & buy that property in Brasil by the time my birthday rolls around in April. That will be the best Christmas Present EVER! AXE!
FenixStar says:
December 5, 2006, 11:51 am
oh yeah. and last season's padlock chloe handbag... (i'm incorrigable!)
Indigo says:
December 5, 2006, 12:50 pm
I'm easy this year.. well kinda. I want 2kt diamond studs from my bf. But from my sista girlfriends, what else, beauty products!! I came across a site and tried the body butter and fell in LOVE!! So I've forwarded the site to all my friends with hopes that they get the strong hint. ;) http://www.maryam-soap-nook.com/index.html
blackjade says:
December 5, 2006, 2:25 pm
I didn't even know that method made candles! Oh my. This is why my husband gets nervous whenever I go to Target by myself - I go in for ziplock bags and tooth paste and come out with birthday cards (I have a stock pile) and candle holders. A tip for the postcards - take them out and put them in individual frames or group them together in one large frame for an inspiring wall hanging.
pt says:
December 5, 2006, 4:12 pm
Afrobella I do love you!!!I was just worrying about how I was gonna be able to afford gifts for the folks I love the most. My gift baskets will be full of wonderful things and my pockets will still have a little fuzz in them. Thanks always.
Niki says:
December 5, 2006, 4:54 pm
Don't get me started with Target! You always go in to buy "a couple of household items" and walk out with a couple of sweaters, some jeans, some "smell-goods", a new area rug, some dishes, etc.. LOL Thanks for the shopping tips!
Adrianna says:
December 5, 2006, 9:11 pm
Thank you for the trade fair beauty products. Next year I plan to go all green. From my makeup,my clothes to the detergent I use to clean my house.All natural is in! Thanks again Afrobella for a great article.
Natural Sista says:
December 6, 2006, 2:24 am
Hey Afrobella! Great post with fabo recommendations! Umm, I would love to be able to get a job before the new year so that I don't have to move back to the Bean! I am finally loving the Big Apple...! Bella, have every tried the scented oils from Body Shop? If you haven't tried the oils, you will love them! I am sooo into the smell goods for my apartment and I burn the oils everyday. You gotta tried them girle[F.Y.I. they're on sale...3 for $16.50]! Take care...
rkj says:
December 6, 2006, 2:29 pm
Philosophy is the troof! (expensive...but awesome) And Target is dangerous... There's always something extra you need from that store
kia says:
December 6, 2006, 2:47 pm
i love method candles and products!
nadia says:
December 6, 2006, 3:13 pm
Hi, Patrice, this is a great site. After, your brother had given me the site address, I immediately looked at the site. Really cool.
Shannon says:
December 6, 2006, 11:03 pm
Wow, Afrobella, thanks for the link to the Natural Women book of postcards. I love these images. I wrote a paper about DuBois' use of the images at the Paris World's Fair as a way to change negative perceptions of blacks in the US at the turn of the century. I based a lot of my research on the book A Small Nation of People: W. E. B. Du Bois and African American Portraits of Progress by David Levering Lewis and Deborah Willis. Deborah Willis has written extensively on blacks and photography. If you want to check out my paper, it was published in an online journal called gnovis. http://gnovis.georgetown.edu/article.cfm?articleID=49
jerseybred says:
December 7, 2006, 11:54 pm
I know what I want for Xmas, 'City of Men' DVD series. And for my b-day 5 days later, a Kodak Easyshare camera. I wouldn't mind a gift card from Target.
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December 11, 2006, 7:19 pm
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