In my efforts to be more organized this year, I have managed to get all of my Christmas presents bought. Including the $5 gift exchange and Secret Santa gifts for parties I am attending. I would like to say pat on the back to myself, but really it was out of necessity. My son is having surgery in the middle of December so everything had to be good to go by then. So, I thought I would put together a gift guide of a few of the great things I found while shopping for my friends and family. I will try to include links (and some affiliate links, be warned) as well as any special deals going on. Your welcome.
1. Children love figuring out how things work, taking things apart and putting them back together again. Mega Bloks are the perfect gift for little engineers in the making. I personally love that the bloks are large so we can avoid any choking hazards, which allows even my toddler to join in on the fun. I love this Fast Tracks Raceway which include the mega bloks and all you need to make a race car ramp. Available on Amazon and local toy stores.
2. For your little Van Gogh, this art easel would be a dream come true! This art easel has a chalkboard on one side and a dry erase board on the other. It is height adjustable and comes with 4 clips to hold paper in place. The child safe paper cutter means you can rest easy and the plastic tray makes for easy to clean storage. Worried about your children fighting over who gets to use the easel? No problem! With 2 sides, they both can play. This mom of twins loves that.
3. This Bungalow Kids Play Home from Land of Nod is modern and beautiful. I love the mail box slot, chalk board banners and movable chalkboard walls / windows. You could make this into a lemonade stand, fort, play place or quiet time location. Fun for kids and pretty for mom.
4. What little boy doesn’t like Hot Wheels? I think my 3rd came out making “vroom vroom” sounds. I have fond memories of my little brother playing with his loop and track for hours at a time (think him leaving me alone time), and then my nephews who played with the exact same track. Now my little boys are in need of a loop and track and I will likely splurge on 2. What’s more fun than watching a car speed down the track and magically fly through the loop without falling? This toy is sure to be a hit and will earn the badge for best present.
5. Super Hero kit from Kiwi Crate is a company that sends out craft and activity crates for children. These crates encourage creativity and hands on fun through building, exploring, and crafting. The crates are perfect for busy parents who want to explore and create with their children but don’t want to spend hours finding an idea, and then the time going to multiple stores to buy the materials. Kiwi crates include all the materials and instructions to complete a craft and it’s all sent right to your door! You can buy a single crate or purchase a 3 month, 6 month, or 12 month subscription. Bonus: it now ships to Canada!
1. While this takes up a lot of room, think of the hours of active play you will get out of your kids with this indoor jungle gym. This Toy Monster Monkey Bars Tower is at toy stores and on Amazon. For about $150 its perfect for toddlers play time.
2. Super Smash Bros – on Nintendo 3DS – a new game for fans of Mario. A battle game featuring all the favorite characters with new tricks up their sleeves. Its fun for kids and parents (when they can steal the DS to play themselves).
3. Lincoln Logs A classic toy, and for a reason. The logs are easier to use for younger hands than other building type games. Unplugged and creative fun is awesome, and this set is perfect to take to Great Aunt Susan’s house for after Christmas festivities. Better yet, the tin holds all of the parts so its easy to store!
4. Planes Fire and Rescue– The latest from Pixar, my family likes it better than the original planes movie.
5. Boogie Board – not what you would expect from its title. These boards are like a high tech and way cooler etch a sketch. The tablet is essentially a paperless notebook. You can be written on with a finger, or the provided stylus for games in the car, during church, or on a plane. Use it take notes, leave messages, or just have fun – and erase with the touch of a finger.
- Change Your Name Store by Leanne Shirtliffe- Kids think about names a lot. Every time they are pretending to be a dinosaur, frog, kitty or prince they must have a new name to adapt into that character. The main character in this book, Wilma Lee Wi, wants to change her name. She seeks out The Change Your Name Store to see if she can find one that suits her better. There’s a catch, of course: you pick a name, you must inhabit it completely. So if Wilma considers Babette Bijou, she finds herself in Paris, and if she wants to be Samiya bint Sami al Sala, she’s suddenly on the street in Bahrain. The book is like a treasure hunt – each page features an adorable puppy to find. Kids with unique names will be thrilled to know this book is more than Katie, Jessica and Emma. There is also Mielikki, Tamika, Kanesha, Logan, Kiyoko, Jalal, Wasim, and Fatima.
- Goldie Blox – Debbie Sterling founded Goldie Blox after she became aware of the lack of engineering type toys marketed to girls. An engineer herself, she is employed in a world where 84% of engineers are male and only 16% female. Debbie realized that by age 8, most girls weren’t interested in math or science type products because those products are largely marketed toward boys. Enter Goldie Blox! Goldie Blox seeks to disrupt the pink isle and inspire a future generation of female engineers! Their goal is get girls building! As the mother of a quirky, 10 year old girl who not only loves, but excels in math and science, I am over the moon happy about Goldie Blox. It’s like manna from heaven when you can find a toy that will interest your daughter who doesn’t fit into the traditional “girly girl who plays with dollies” mold. Show your daughter that she can love building things just like her brother, only hers will be cuter of course.
- Speaking of art, how adorable is this personalized crayon apron from Chasing Fireflies? Your little princess wouldn’t have to worry about trying to fit all those pesky crayons in the box only to have the box fall apart ever again. This charming apron holds 24 washable Crayola crayons and is styled with 50s flare. Yes, the apron comes with the crayons so no extra trip to the store necessary. And this apron is washable so your daughter can stay fresh and stylish while coloring to her hearts content.
- This Pavillion Play Home is so whimsical and beautiful. Can you just imagine your daughters waking up to this Christmas morning?! Just think of the hours of story telling and fairy spotting that could happen here. I love that the wall panels can be rolled up and tied into place so that it looks like an outdoor pavillion. If you are going to buy your children a playhouse, it might as well be a beautiful one.
- Kiwi Crate as mentioned above, has kits for every interest. Kite making perhaps?
- Sleeping Beauty– Diamond Edition – a must-own for every family’s classic collection!
Gift Ideas For Women:
- Plaid blanket scarf – I bought myself one from Groupdealz but you can also get them on amazon. Plaid is a big deal right now in fashion, and this would be a great gift for a girlfriend who is a trendy dresser, who likes to be warm, or really, anyone. Mixeshop Soft Tartan Checked Plaid Scarf Shawl Cape Camel
- Kiss insta wave curler – for the fashionable friend who always has great hear. Because they will appreciate this work of art. For those people with hard to curl hair, holding the hair onto the curling iron for maximum heat is the hardest part. Now you can curl your hair and watch tv, or read a book! (this is not a suggestion, but I admit I do it all the time). Set your section of hair under the tab and push a button to wave your hair onto the curler. Voila! Beach waves.
- One Direction makeup – these products surprisingly work well. The lipgloss is smooth and a great texture. It looks brighter than it is on your lips. The nail polish is great too. These would be great for tweens, teens, college age girls. For anyone over 25, maybe look away.
- Mommyfesto – We Solemnly Swear ($%*!) . . . Because We Have Kids: A Book about the Reality of Parenting. The goal of parenting is to train your children to have slightly better manners than a dog. If you’ve achieved that by the end of day (or even if you’ve failed majestically trying), it is important to celebrate the little things. Like bedtime.
- Canon Camera – ok, this would have to be a good friend, girlfriend, etc. to buy something in this price range, but the SL1 camera from Canon is a great buy. Transition from mediocre to stunning photographer with this camera. You can set it to auto and be thrilled. As you get more experience and learn more about how to use your camera on manual mode, the SL1 still fits the bill. All the lenses will also work on upgraded body styles, so its a great investement camera. Buy if your wife is a blogger!
- Eyefi Wireless Memory Card – this is a bit of a pricey memory card, but the wireless upload is great. No cords to finangle (or find)! Perfect for busy moms who always take pictures of their kids, but never get the pictures off the camera. Or for the friend who can never find cords. Or really, anyone.
- Lashem Brow Tint & Lift – tinted gel to fill it your prows, sculpt and tame them them all in one step. The blonde is really light, so you don’t look weird with blonde hair and REALLY dark eyebrows. Obviously this is a problem I have often. The Lashem is the best I have ever tried for blonde hair and for $20 its perfect to try out. One for you, one for me! Also available in Brunette and Raven.
- Personalized Geographic Necklaces -from Oh So Antsy. Tell your story, show some home town love. This Canada necklace in gold makes me so happy. You can choose your own state, chain length, and finish on her shop.
- Bouq’s – awesome South American flowers picked from the side of an active volcano. I sent my MIL some flowers for watching my kids and it was nice to see her get exactly what I was expecting: fresh beautiful flowers.
- Watercolor Cards – Get the quality and beauty of custom personalized stationary for a quarter of the price. Make all your mailing beautiful with luxury watercolor stationary from Courtney Khail: Luxury watercolor stationery, invitations and paintings for the modern traditionalist.
Gift Ideas For the Manly Man:
- The Man Crate – gift crates that are just that. Literally a crate. Sent with a crow bar to open it, these curated manly man gifts are perfect for just about any man on your list. No bow, no ribbons, no fluff, and absolutely no instructions. My favorite category is the Zombie Survival Crates. The site is witty and charming all at the same time. Suddenly your mans weird quirks are enjoyable and easy to shop for.
- Sand Windows – an unusual gift, but interesting non the less. I remember having a framed sand window in our home when I was younger. I spend countless hours watching it, turning it over in my hands and trying to manipulate the way the sand fell to get the outcome I envisioned. Or to line up perfectly, a perfectionist seeking order in the random. Available from Uncommon Goods, this Tabletop Sand Window would be a great gift for the hard to buy for person. You know the one.
- Does this wallet make my butt look big? The Framed Wallet won’t. Its the thinnest and most durable minimal wallet, framing your cash and cards to the exact dimension – allowing a thinner design. Keep it classy, keep it flat. Keep it framed!
- You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes by astronaut Chris Hadfield. Never before seen images accompany his expert knowledge in geology, geography and meteorology to tell us the meaning and story behind each image.
- Beats By Dre – Studio Wireless. Apparently the best of the best, many of the men in my family have this on their list this year. Since checking them out, I have been seeing them everywhere. For the brand aware man who needs the best of the best, Beats By Dre is your best bet.
- Fitbit Flex – because it isn’t worth doing unless you can measure it, tell your friends, and talk about it. Plus, its fun.
- Toggle Switch Plate – add some personality to your home. Sure to spark up some conversations, this toggle switch plate from uncommon goods will have people asking, What? Perfect for the friend who has to figure out how things work, or likes the mechanics of things.
- Nourish Snacks – healthy and delicious snacks delivered to your door. The perfect gift for awkward office gift exchanges or the generic presents to swap and trade. Food always wins, and all snacks are gluten free, dairy free, and have no GMO’s.
- Amy Poehler – Yes Please. Funny people tend to write funny books, like Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, or Jim Gaffigan. I can’t wait.
- Bluetooth Tracking Keychain for the person who is always loosing their keys. I need about 100 of these for myself and for my husband. In my purse, on my phone, and a clap on clap off feature would be great too! This one is from Uncommon Goods, but if it isn’t in stock I also recommend The Tile which also comes in sets- its like they know me.
- Sugru – the playdough like substance that is going to change the world. Its amazing, and would be perfect for the fixer in your family. Throw some in everyone’s stocking just because!
- Wrigley’s Holiday Fun Books – perfect for stocking stuffers, these boxes take up stocking space, they are inexpensive and sure to be a big hit with the kids. Be the favorite this year, and buy 2 for everyone.