20 Best Kwanzaa Gifts to Give This Year
Not sure what to get that special someone for this Pan-African holiday? These Kwanzaa gifts are sure to be a hit.
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Find just the right Kwanzaa gift
Before you start searching for the best Kwanzaa gifts, you might need a little primer on Kwanzaa itself. The holiday was born in the aftermath of the 1965 Watts Riots—six days of civil unrest that occurred in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts, California, after two Black men were pulled over by a White police officer and violence ensued. Maulana Karenga, now chairman of Black Studies at California State University, created the holiday the following year to help strengthen the African American community and honor its roots in Africa.
The seven-night celebration begins on December 26 and is primarily celebrated by African American families. Each night, those celebrating light a candle in the traditional candleholder, the kinara, and discuss one of the seven Nguzo Saba, the Kwanzaa principles—unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. The holiday is also filled with storytelling, music, food, and, of course, gifts! The gifts are generally given among family members on the last day of Kwanzaa, January 1, and are typically creative, artistic, and often handmade items that focus on African heritage and promote the betterment of the Black community. Not sure what to buy? We’ve got some ideas for gifts for her, gifts for him, gifts for kids, and everyone in between!
My First Kwanzaa
This sweetly illustrated children’s book helps pass the tradition of Kwanzaa onto the next generation. It uses bright, bold colors to discuss the origins of Kwanzaa, as well as explain the delicious foods and fun festivities that are associated with this holiday. Written by Karen Katz, an incredibly popular picture-book author, My First Kwanzaa isn’t just for those celebrating the holiday but for any family looking to increase their children’s cultural awareness and understanding. How else should you expand your kids’ library? With these 13 age-appropriate books about race.
Kwanzaa Celebration Set
The best Kwanzaa gifts are the ones that help you enjoy the season in style, and no celebration of Kwanzaa would be complete without a traditional celebration set. This one from African Heritage Collection is the perfect gift to buy someone who’s celebrating for the first time—or to buy for yourself. It not only includes a beautifully carved kinara handcrafted in Ghana; it also comes with a kinara cup, seven candles, a mat, and an information sheet. It’s literally everything you need all in one handy package. Don’t forget to learn why Kwanzaa is so meaningful to Black Americans.
Africa Map Pendant
The celebration of Kwanzaa is rooted in African tradition, and this Art Deco-inspired pendant showcases the elegance of the culture the holiday was meant to celebrate. Handmade from gold-plated stainless steel, this necklace might be the perfect gift for your best friend. Or if rings are more her style, check out this elegant Africa outline map ring.
Kente African Ornaments
Many families celebrate Kwanzaa as well as Christmas, and these ornaments are versatile enough to give as gifts for either holiday. They can be festively hung from the branches of a Christmas tree or showcased together in a glass bowl as Kwanzaa decor. You’ll get a set of three large ball ornaments covered in a colorful African Ankara print. To get creative this season, try making these easy DIY Christmas decorations.
The Kwanzaa Coloring Book
Trying to decide if you should get this gift for a child or a grown-up? Get one for each! This super affordable and creative gift is less than $7, and it will keep the kids busy while teaching them about the holiday—and also help adults attain a little bit of zen. The pages are filled with Kwanzaa symbols and traditional African scenes and patterns. For other budget-friendly holiday ideas, take a look at these stocking stuffers.
Kwanzaa Decoration Banner
Celebration banners are a great way to get the whole family excited about Kwanzaa. These fun Kwanzaa decorations can be hung across a mantel, a buffet table, a wall, or any other spot in the home. This would make a great gift for your mom!
150 Kwanzaa Recipes
What’s a holiday without some seriously amazing Kwanzaa food? Acorn Squash Stuffed with Curried Meat, Blacked Catfish, and Luscious Coconut Cake are just a few of the recipes that you’ll find inside this comprehensive Kwanzaa cookbook. Salads, soups, and vegetable dishes round out the collection to make your mouth water. You’ll want to make these dishes all year long, not just for Kwanzaa. Now, who’s up for some Spicy African Peanut Soup with Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Coconut Banana Fritters?
Kwanzaa Garden Flag
Let the whole neighborhood know that your Kwanzaa festivities are about to commence! These celebratory flags are weatherproof and constructed of fade-resistant fabric that will not fray with continued use. Pick up a few for yourself or give them as a hostess gift.
Happy Kwanzaa Amazon Gift Card
There are so many Kwanzaa gifts to choose from, and it can be hard to select the right one for a friend or family member. To make your life easier, Amazon offers Kwanzaa-themed gift cards available in any denomination. They can help the spirit of the season last all year. Need a gift card ASAP? You can print out this one, or you can buy Amazon gift cards at these locations.
1619 Honor Our Ancestors T-Shirt
This tee emblazoned with 1619 in the colors of the African flag denotes the year that slaves were first taken from their homeland and brought to America. It acknowledges the unique struggle of African Americans throughout history and provides a starting point for discussion and greater understanding.
Kwanza Party Favors
These party favors, which you can get as buttons or magnets, are sold in 15-count packs and are imprinted with celebratory messages, including “Happy Kwanzaa” and “Joyous Kwanzaa.” They add a little bit of flair and fun to a family celebration, and kids and adults alike will love walking away with a memento of your celebration.
Kwanzaa Reversible Learning Blanket
This soft and plush blanket makes a great Kwanzaa gift. It outlines the seven principles of Kwanzaa and their meanings on one side and displays a kinara on the other. It can also work as a tapestry or wall hanging and can easily be taken anywhere.
This shirt will help you celebrate Kwanzaa in comfort and style. Get it in black or white and in sizes small through 3x. This could make a great gift for your dad, by the way.
My First Kwanzaa Onesie
Have a little one celebrating this first Kwanzaa this year? Mark the occasion with this personalized onesie. You can choose from newborn to 18 months in sizes and choose short or long sleeves.
Kwanzaa Wine Charms
These stainless steel wine charms display the seven principles of Kwanzaa and are decorated with red, green, and black beads. While these are wine charms, you can also use them to decorate other areas of your home (such as a tree, if you have one up).
African Kente Scarf
Wear this colorful piece as a scarf or sash to celebrate Kwanzaa this year. It can be worn in multiple ways to accommodate any style!
African Print Wreath
Talk about a one-of-a-kind decor piece! This bright wreath makes a great Kwanzaa gift for anyone looking for festive accent decor.
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