18 Best Kwanzaa Gifts to Give in 2023
These Kwanzaa gifts are guaranteed holiday hits!
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Preparing for the holidays is perhaps a lingering thought in the back of your mind as summer ends. Fall not only contains a variety of holidays in itself but weans us into a season of family, fun and festivities. Although Christmas takes cultural prominence due to its legacy and influence, there are a variety of other celebrations, including Kwanzaa.
Kwanzaa is a non-religious Pan-African holiday that is celebrated by upwards of 13 million Americans each year. The term “Pan-African” means of or relating to the collective indigenous and diasporas of African ancestry. This includes Africans, African-Americans, Afro-Latinos, Black Carribeans, Afro-Biracial and other people of African descent across the world. 7 Kwanzaa principles are celebrated throughout the weeklong holiday, and they stem from ancient African culture, practices and beliefs.
Kwanzaa gift-giving is a foreign concept to many people, and the idea of offending a loved one with a well-intentioned gift can be nerve-racking. “What kinds of gifts are given on Kwanzaa?” “Are daily Kwanzaa gifts OK?” “Is it best to buy from a black-owned business?” Don’t fret! This guide has all the bases covered, so dive in to find the best Kwanzaa gifts.
Best gift for Umoja: Brilliant or BS + Black and Brilliant Bundle
December 26 is the day of the Kwanzaa principle of Umoja: the endeavor to maintain the unity of family, community, nation and race. What better way to strengthen the bond of a family and community than through Kwanzaa gifts like one of the best card games? Brilliant or BS is a game from a black-owned business where players rely on bluffing to outwit the rotating judge. The judge must figure out who’s lying and who knows the answer then give out the brilliant or BS cards accordingly.
Points are awarded to those with the correct answer and to the holder of the brilliant card. The judge receives or loses a point based on their prediction. This bundle comes with a game extension that focuses on trivia relating to black culture. The game requires a minimum of four total players and is for teens 14 and older to adults.
Best gift for Kujichagulia: Shades of Color’s Girlfriends Weekly Inspirational Planner
Kwanzaa’s second day marks the recognition of Kujichagulia. This is the principle of self-determination and recognizing one’s value to the community. The Girlfriends Weekly Inspirational Planner from another black-owned business lets a female loved one plan out her year accordingly. A popular success quote is; “If you fail to plan then you plan to fail” so the ability to organize and plan a year on a weekly basis allows for “small wins” and encourages growth.
This planner has a lot to keep a woman inspired, organized and self-determined. Within the pages, she will find healthy lifestyle recommendations, tips for self-love and sisterhood love and motivational art.
Best gift for Ujima: Talking Point Cards Family Conversation Cards
The third day of Kwanzaa focuses on the principle of Ujima which is the idea of shared work and responsibility. One of the best Kwanzaa gifts is the Family Conversation Cards by Talking Point Cards. Families have the opportunity to better understand each other and to define their unique family culture. Each of the 200 cards poses a different question to spark conversations at family gatherings and around the dinner table.
Each question stems from four categories: Family Time, Get to Know You, What Makes You, You and Fun and Random. Families who are religious may use the cards or conversation to pray together. Non-religious families can use these cards and conversations to work together to remedy any troubles.
Best gift for Ujamaa: Stainless Steel Adult Piggy Bank
Ujamaa is the Kwanzaa principle of cooperative economics. This stainless steel piggy bank is one of the most perfect Kwanzaa gifts for families to collectively save money for a common goal. It acts as a physical and visual reminder that the family is saving for a united purpose.
The piggy bank varies in size but this specific version holds up to 1,500 banknotes or 10,000 coins. The bank is destroyed when opened, making it a one-time-use item. This piggy bank is perfect because it provides families a way to start the new year right by easily saving for a family trip, a college fund or home upgrades.
Best gift for Nia: W.E.B Dubois’ “The Talented Tenth”
Nia means “life’s purpose” and is the fifth principle of Kwanzaa. Many university students don’t fully decide their major until their sophomore year of college while many grown adults struggle with their own purpose and self-worth. “The Talented Tenth” is an essay by black author W.E.B Dubois regarding the leadership class of African Americans in the early 20th Century and primarily focuses on building better men.
It’s an insightful and inspiring read that displays the different groups of thoughts occurring among African Americans at the time. Kwanzaa gifts like this maintain cultural relevance today with the benefit of hindsight that allows readers an opportunity to develop their own thoughts and purpose through reading.
Best gift for Kuumba: The Financial Rewire Financial Literacy Cards
To leave the community in a better place than when inherited is the Kwanzaa principle of Kuumba. The principle of Kuumba strikes a special chord in my heart so this recommendation is different than the others. These financial literacy cards are great Kwanzaa gifts for Kuumba. They help children better understand money, finances and the economy so that they develop healthy financial habits and futures.
Each of the 100 cards has a face that has a finance-related word and a simple and effective description. A Black Star Project study on the racial wealth gap details that a dollar circulates within the black community for six hours while the Jewish community will circulate a dollar for around 20 days. On a general note, Forbes reported that 56% of American adults have less than $10,000 in savings for their retirement. These cards are a surefire way to ensure the financial future of our youth.
Best gift for Imani: Patrice Mclaurin’s “Have You Thanked an Inventor Today?”
The final day of Kwanzaa represents the concept of faith. It’s the faith that black people will obtain victory as a collective through enduring and endeavoring. The best Kwanzaa gift for Imani is “Have You Thanked an Inventor Today” by black author Patrice Mclaurin. This informative and adorably illustrated children’s book details black inventors and their pivotal inventions that changed the world.
The book wonderfully reminds kids to be thankful for people who positively impact their lives while showcasing amazing black representation. It’s a brilliant way to inspire and educate kids to strive to be successful.
For expressive women: Be Rooted “Hustle Harder” Journal
It’s not easy to share and talk about daily issues or exciting happenings in life. Therapy can be an expensive option, and those without a therapist might not have anyone available to talk to. Black-owned business Be Rooted’s spiral journals remedy this by providing the opportunity for women to express their thoughts and ideas however they want to and on their terms.
It also works as a gratitude journal to assist with having a positive attitude every day. These hardcover journals are durable and have expressively unique and empowering art by black artists on their covers. Each journal offers 240 glorious blank pages that let a woman and her thoughts soar.
For women who accessorize: Cloth & Cord Ankara African Earrings
Ankara African Earrings by black-owned business Cloth & Cord are beautiful, stunning and trendy jewelry. These stylish hoop earrings feature cloth material and are simple but effective statement pieces. They’re sure to turn heads and attract the right attention.
These earrings are perfect Kwanzaa gifts as they have a distinct Ankara or African wax design that richly represents a segment of African couture. They’re the perfect gift for women who seek to embrace their ancestry through fashion and style throughout Kwanzaa and beyond.
For young girls with curls: Matthew A. Cherry’s Hair Love
Black girls will most likely experience a multitude of hairstyles and accessories throughout their lives. Like most girls, they’ll struggle with self-esteem and self-discovery issues. However, they potentially have the added element of being a part of a nation whose social and beauty standards don’t necessarily reflect them. Black author Matthew A. Cherry’s “Hair Love” will help young black girls appreciate their diversity.
Furthermore, it helps encourage natural hairstyles instead of hair straightening. Each set of pages is beautifully illustrated and depicts a unique hairstyle while relating it to an empowering quality such as a princess or superhero. This book serves as an ode to natural black hair and self-love.
For the scene-setters: Harlem Candle Company After Dark Candle
In some ways, there is more to a culture than the make-up of its people. Sights, sounds and smells help cultures become truly immersive. Scents alone can be powerful triggers capable of drawing out deep memories.
Black-owned company Harlem Candle Company achieves just that with its rich assortment of scented candles inspired by black history and culture. Gifting a special someone or family with these immaculate scented candles can turn their home into a cultural hub reminiscent of times and eras of black excellence like the Harlem Renaissance.
For the grill masters: Kona BBQ Heavy-Duty Grill Mat
Black-owned business Kona’s BBQ grill mats make an impeccable gift for anyone looking to grill throughout the year. These mats are up to four times thicker than their competitors and work over 1,000 times on each side. Kona grill mats provide the ability to easily cook juicy steaks and sautee vegetables while preventing food from falling through grill grates.
This gift will inspire grill masters with new grilling ideas to test out in the new year. Moreover, loved ones get to enjoy more food on their plate while chefs get to enjoy less time focusing on how to clean their grill. It’s a win-win for everyone.
For the tactful man: Robert Greene’s “The 48 Laws of Power”
Robert Greene’s “The 48 Laws of Power” provides men, and anyone for that matter, with a guide of what power is and how it is used. The book is toned as set-in-stone law, but readers use discernment and glean useful information to better navigate and understand the world. Robert Greene is not a black man. However, many black intellectuals and autodidacts declare this book a solid must-read and gift for men. Its 4.7 average on Amazon with over 69,000 ratings speaks for itself.
For the people to glow: Buttah Skin Transforming Kit
“Smooth like butter” is how skin will generally feel after using the Transforming Kit by black-owned business Buttah. Many women with melanin-rich skin tones love this product, but it makes for fantastic men’s skincare as well. Interested buyers have the option to take a quiz on the website to find out which products work for their skin type.
Giftees enjoy a gentle cleanser, skin toner, vitamin C toner and choice of moisturizer to start their new year skin routine off right. There’s a plethora of sunscreen for dark skin that works perfectly in tandem with this amazing kit.
For mommy admirers: Orijin Bees Fro Puff Bee
Nurturing, caring and social skills can be positively fostered within a young girl with Orijin Bees dolls. Orijin Bees dolls provide young black girls the chance to practice healthy mimicry and nurture learned social behaviors through dolls that look like them. These dolls come in a variety of skin tones and varying hair textures so black girls feel seen.
Kwanzaa is a Pan-African holiday that has a strong focus on community which includes black, biracial and multiracial people. The dolls from this amazing black-owned business definitely embody the spirit of Kwanzaa in a manner that makes them some of the best gifts for girls.
For hungry kids: Partake Crunchy Soft-Baked Cookies
Kids eat, and they often eat a lot. A gift of crunchy soft-baked cookies from this black-owned business will keep kids sated in between Kwanzaa meals, making it a go-to for Kwanzaa gifts. A gift to many parents as well, these vegan-friendly healthy snacks are baked with gluten-free, non-GMO and hypoallergenic ingredients. They come in a multitude of tasty cookie flavors including double chocolate brownie, birthday cake and chocolate.
For beauty embracers: Black Radiance True Complexion Creme Contour Palette
Obtaining makeup that’s best fit for medium to dark skin tones is nearly impossible. Black women find themselves dealing with beauty standards that aren’t often their own as previously mentioned. Black Radiance True Complexion Creme Contour Palette gives black women a chance to feel as beautiful as they are no matter their skin tone. The palette comes in light-to-medium and medium-to-dark. This allows women of a variety of shades to embrace Kwanzaa’s celebration of Pan-Africanism while denouncing colorism.
For budding young families: Ayesha Curry Home Collection Cookware & Cutlery Set
Kwanzaa is often enjoyed and celebrated over a fantastic meal so Kwanzaa gifts honoring this are key. Ayesha Curry’s cookware and knife set offers families an excellent way to celebrate the Kwanzaa tradition of a family meal while being able to cook more for less. The base set is $99, and the inclusion of cutlery brings the price to $140.
This cookware is affordable and has a quality durable aluminum build which is one of the safest cookware to use. Purchasing this cookware further fosters community with some proceeds going to the No Kid Hungry charity which provides over 500,000 meals to children in need.