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15 Cultural Kwanzaa Gifts for Seven Days of Celebrations

Follow up your festivities with a present that honors your African roots.

etsyfrequencyoflove kuumba store big dot of happiness store etsyupenyu

Long after the last leftover latke has been eaten and Santa has returned home to the North Pole, there's still one more December holiday to end the gift-giving season that's all about celebrating African American culture and community.

Kwanzaa, a seven-night festival, starts on Dec. 26 and ends on Jan. 1 with gift-giving and a festive feast of faith, known as Karamu Ya Imani. Each night, celebrants light a candle from the kinara, a traditional candleholder, take sips from the same Unity Cup, called Kikombe cha Umoja, and discuss one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa, aka the Nguzo Saba: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

Ready to shop for the whole family? Traditional Kwanzaa gifts tend to be educational or focused on African heritage, so we rounded up several options that are safe, but still heartfelt. From festive tasty treats to celebratory essentials to handcrafted art pieces that give back to the community, these gifts make for a welcome way to end the holiday season.

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1 Nelson Mandela Print
FrequencyOfLove etsy.com

How epic is this colorful fabric collage, featuring a powerful black-and-white photo of Nelson Mandela at its center? It beautifully celebrates the anti-apartheid activist and his mark on the world with vivid African-inspired patterns to honor his culture and heritage. 

More: Top Christmas Gifts for a Holly Jolly Holiday

2 Kwanzaa Wine Bottle Label Stickers
Big Dot of Happiness amazon.com

A bottle of wine is always a welcome Kwanzaa gift for the dinner host, but if you're looking to it dress up for a festive occasion, turn to these sweet sticky-backed labels for an extra spirited feel. Simply place it on top of the bottle's existing label, and it's ready to give and gulp.

3 'Flavors of Africa' by Evi Aki
Page Street Publishing amazon.com
$19.39 (12% off)

There are no hard-and-fast rules on what dishes to serve at your Kwanzaa celebration, but if your host tends to lean more traditional with their edible offerings, opt for a cookbook that can educate and inspire them. 

From Nigeria to Ghana, Kenya, and Morocco, these recipes from different regions will help bring something new to their table.

More: Give These Festive Hanukkah Gifts Instead of Gelt

4 African Print Zipper Pouch
Upenyu etsy.com

She'll never run out of essentials to stash in this handmade printed zipper pouch. Stuff it with some useful goodies for Kwanza gift-giving, like a face mask and some sanitizer, or give a set of nail polishes that are as colorful as this cute pouch.

5 Ajiri Tea Kenyan AA Whole Bean Coffee
AjiriTea etsy.com

Any bold coffee lover will be thrilled to receive this flavorful Kenyan-grown blend, featuring rich burgundy undertones and bright citrus notes with every sip. 

The brand goes beyond making great brews by providing employment and education for female artisans and orphans in Kisii, Kenya. Every package of coffee comes with a removable piece of the women's art that's crafted with dried bark from banana trees and handmade paper.

6 Kwanzaa Seven Principles T-Shirt
Kwanzaa Holiday Style Tees amazon.com

This wearable symbolic gift displays each of the seven principles of Kwanzaa: unity (umoja), self-determination (kujichagulia), collective work and responsibility (ujima), cooperative economics (ujamaa), purpose (nia), creativity (kuumba), and faith (imani). 

These principles are represented by the seven candles that are displayed on the kinara, which is the traditional candleholder used to celebrate the festival.

7 Kwanzaa Coloring Book: For Kids And Adults
Independently Published amazon.com

Don't be afraid to go outside the lines with a festive coloring book that'll get your family's creative juices flowing. It's completely kid-friendly with large and simple drawings that'll teach them the principles of Kwanzaa, but it makes a great gift for artistic adults of all ages, too.

8 Natural Kenyan Rosewood Kwanzaa Unity Cup
TanyaboutiqueStore etsy.com

A traditional Kwanzaa gift that they'll use for years to come, this hand-carved Kikombe cha Umoja (Unity Cup) is made from beautifully grained Kenyan rosewood. 

Each day of the festival, they'll pour their favorite libation and have each family member take a swig to symbolize unity.

9 African Print Apron
BespokeBinny etsy.com

Whether your chef for Kwanzaa cooks up a traditional African feast or modern favorites, this colorful cotton apron will have them looking as good as the food. 

It's handmade from African-printed fabrics, and it features a generously sized pocket at its center for storing spatulas or their phone.

10 Kwanzaa Reversible Countdown
HavingABlockParty etsy.com

Your family waits all year for this one special week, so send them an adorable set of numbered blocks that'll help make the countdown extra fun. Two included blocks can make any number combination up to 99 days, so they can get a jump start on the holiday cheer months in advance.

11 Flameless Battery-Powered Kwanzaa Kinara
Kuumba Store amazon.com

Households with pets and kids might want to consider swapping open flames for this battery-powered kinara. Its stained solid oak wood base is complemented by festively colored electric candles that can each be removed as needed. 

12 'My First Kwanzaa' by Karen Katz
Square Fish amazon.com
$6.71 (16% off)

This holiday is all about family and unity, so don't forget about your smallest celebrant when giving Kwanzaa gifts this season. 

This fun and educational children's book will introduce them to the principles of Kwanzaa and convey the importance of community in a simple way that little minds can easily comprehend. 

13 All Across Africa Basket
All Across Africa amazon.com

Handwoven by a group of female artisans in rural Rwanda, this decorative woven basket features a loop attached on the back for easy hanging. Every purchase allows these women to support themselves and their families with fair wages.

14 African Map Pendant Necklace
CB Gold Jewelry amazon.com

Keep their love for their African heritage close to their heart with a cute gold-plated pendant that outlines the entire continent. It's a great way to honor their culture — no matter what country they're from. 

15 Holiday Message Shortbread Cookies
Celine Zhou uncommongoods.com

How can you make Kwanzaa even sweeter? A box of 24 tasty shortbread cookies that'll elevate their afternoon tea time. Every cookie is stamped with a cheery holiday greeting, but don't be surprised if the box is all gone before they get a chance to read it. 

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