My parents decided I needed a lesson in Kwanzaa. Now I'm sharing it with you.

You might not know these cool things about Kwanzaa, America's 'youngest' holiday.

I remember reading the "My First Kwanzaa Book" with my dad as a 7-year-old.

The Proud Family was always on point. GIF from "The Proud Family."

That year, I was completely occupied with making sure Santa knew that my Beanie Baby collection desperately needed an update, so my parents decided that I also desperately needed some cultural engagement outside of FAO Schwarz. That year, we read Kwanzaa books, went to West African fabric stores, and had deep cultural talks about the values of African-Americans.  

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At Upworthy, we believe a little generosity can go a long way. And that's especially true during the holidays.

So naturally, we wanted our 2016 gift guide to be tailored just for you — our big-hearted readers who can appreciate a great gift that also makes the world a better place.

We rounded up the hippest, neatest, most unique products we could find that give back to a variety of worthy causes in important ways. From empowering women in the developing world and keeping our planet pristine, to helping pets in need and fighting human trafficking, you and your loved ones can feel great about their presents this year knowing your purchase went to a cause near and dear to their heart.

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