Now that Thanksgiving is past us, I finally feel the freedom to celebrate all things Christmas. Although we will be traveling a lot of December, we still pulled down all our decorations from the attic, and went to work making our space “merry and bright”! Most of our winter decor pieces have been passed down from family or gifted to us, and for the most part are mis-matched. I don’t mind though, because I cherish the people and stories they remind me of when I look at them.
True story for you: One Christmas tradition my family had growing up was going to a local tree farm to choose our Christmas tree and cut it down. I LOVED doing this every year and it was a tradition I hoped to continue once Joel and I got married. We were absolutely too poor our first year of marriage to even think about buying a Christmas tree, but our second year of marriage we decided to invest in getting a real one from a tree lot. Now Joel didn’t grow up having a real tree in his home which bewildered me, so this was super special. Well, we got our tree home, put it in its prominent spot in the living room, and then it happened. Joel started sneezing, his eyes started itching, and an all-out allergy attack began. Joel. Is. Allergic. To. Christmas. Trees. THIS was why he didn’t grow up with a real tree. It all made sense now. A little part of me died that day realizing that we wouldn’t continue to uphold our old family tradition (hahah so dramatic). We are now the proud owners of an awesome fake tree, and I’ve actually grown to like it - no watering, no cleaning up pine needles, no need to discard at the end of the season, winning. I’m still #teamrealtree at heart, but I’m ultimately #teamjoel. That’s love right there ;-)
Last year, I put together a holiday gift guide based off of what my friend’s family did growing up, (you can find that post here), and I’ve decided to do another gift guide this year for you guys based off of the same principles: something needed, something wanted, and something that can’t be taken away. There are gift ideas for him, her, toddler, and that sweet little baby in your life. By nature, I am a researcher, and I also LOVE gifting. I hope you guys can get some good ideas from my picks below:
(side note - I use the term "need" in this gift guide very loosely. Of course, these items are not must-haves to live or meet basic needs.)
1. // Something Needed - Tiles: For the guy that is always losing his keys, or leaving his bag - this is going to reduce his stress level ten-fold. With the press of a button you can “ring” the tile and see from the app on your phone how close you are to your lost item. It can also work in the reverse… can’t find your phone? Double click the tile and your phone rings - BRILLIANT!
2. // Something Wanted - Rocketbook Everlast: Another tech gift-pick, this item is a notebook that can be reused over and over again. It will give him the classic pen and paper experience, but when he’s filled the notebook he can either upload everything to his favorite cloud service (email, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.) OR simply wipe it clean with water. Super cool, right? It comes in two different sizes and has four different color options.
3. // Something That Can't Be Taken Away - Airbnb Gift Card: A gift with endless possibilities. While he may not know at first exactly why you gave him an Airbnb gift card, after you do some explaining he’ll LOVE it. He could use this to put towards a getaway, kid-free for the two of you, a weekend guy’s trip, or for your next family vacation. Joel and I prefer staying at Airbnb’s when we’re traveling now - it makes you feel more like a “local”, you meet great people, it’s usually the same price or less than if you stayed in a hotel, and comes with all the conveniences of home! With listings in over 81,000 cities this is sure to be a winner with your guy.
4. // Something Needed - Cleansing Balm by Beautycounter: A gift for all women during the dry winter months! This balm does it all - cleanser, makeup remover, overnight mask, lip conditioner, and more. It hydrates with nutrient-rich raspberry and cranberry seed oils and promotes a brighter complexion with radiance-boosting vitamin C… YAS please! Beautycounter is shaking up the personal care industry (in a good way!) and produces products that are not only safer for you, but effective too. I recently joined as a consultant, so a portion of any purchases made through the link above will go directly to supporting my little family.
5. // Something Wanted - Ember Temperature Control Mug: All tired moms and coffee fanatics rejoice! No need for reheating your coffee a bazillion times throughout the morning, this mug keeps your coffee at YOUR preferred temperature. From the Ember app you have the ability to adjust the temperature remotely and even save temperature presets for different drinks. It comes with a higher price tag, but the wow factor is there for sure!
6. // Something That Can't Be Taken Away - Skillshare Membership: Lifelong learners unite! Skillshare is an online learning community with over 22,000 classes in design, business, tech, lifestyle, and more. With a click of a button, you have access to learning something you’ve always wanted to! Your first month is free and then it is $8.25-$15/month after that. You can pay for an annual membership upfront, which would make for an AWESOME gift that keeps on giving throughout the year.
7. // Something Needed - OK to Wake Clock: For the toddler that wakes up before 6am (insert face palm emoji). Anyone else have an earlier riser, or multiple early risers? This gift is on the top of our Christmas list for Owen, and I’ve heard so many positive reviews. The idea behind this clock is to teach little ones to know when it’s time to wake up and “go!” (the light on the clock will turn green), and when to stay in bed or play quietly in their room (the light on the clock stays yellow).
8. // Something Wanted - Balance Bike: Meet the new tricycle. These pedal-less bikes provide important physical, developmental, and emotional benefits to toddlers learning to ride. Kids as young as 22 months can learn to balance (!!) and when they get older, the skills they’ve learned will easily transfer to a bike with pedals - no training wheels needed. Most bikes have adjustable seat heights too, enabling your tike to ride the same bike for several years.
9. // Something That Can't Be Taken Away - KiwiCo Subscription Box: This monthly subscription service offers kid's educational projects, crafts, and activities with different themes. Something for kids to look forward, all the supplies for each month’s project is included in the box along with instructions. Each box is customized according to your child’s interests and age. There are other great subscription services like this out there, but this is my favorite from what I’ve seen! I love knowing this would be special one-on-one time with my little guy every month.
10. // Something Needed - Marpac Hushh Travel Sound Machine: For all the traveling babies, this is a great light-weight sound machine that’s SO HELPFUL to have when you’re on-the-go. You can clip it to your hotel door handle to block out hall noise, to the car seat or stroller, or to their Pack N’Play at Grandmas. It is rechargeable via a convenient usb cord and has a 4-22 hour battery life depending on which setting you use. We use this model as our everyday sound machine too! Have you caught on that we really value good sleep? Haha.
11. // Something Wanted - Pinhole Press Names and Faces Book: Babies LOVE looking at faces, especially at the faces of the people he/she loves the most! Fill this custom board book with photos of family members, friends, and pets and you can be sure it’ll be a hit. It’s the perfect size for tiny hands and super sturdy. We made one for my son, and it’s one of his most prized possessions. It has helped him learn names of family members and he’s so proud of it!
12. // Something That Can't Be Taken Away - Mommy & Me Classes: These types of classes are offered at so many different places, so it shouldn’t be hard to find one near you. Not only does it give you an exciting variation to your normal weekly routine, it also provides you sweet time with your baby and other parents (so important!). Classes I’ve seen offered include yoga, movement, music, art, stroller fitness - some are even free! Dads can even get on this… I mean check this video out!
Now it’s your turn!! Leave me a comment with some of your favorite gift ideas this year.
*Photos Carrie Jo of Texture Photo