Friday, November 12, 2010

Gift Giving

Okay sisters, I must admit that S's post about planning ahead for Christmas gave me heart palpitations but has also motivated me to get thinking about the holidays NOW in order to reduce stress later. So, I realized that a challenge for me is thinking of gift ideas. I do okay with all the main gifts for immediate family, it's the smaller gifts for neighbors, teachers, friends etc. that somehow overwhelm me at the last minute. I know I would love to give handmade gifts and that may happen some year but sometimes it just isn't possible! So, here are a few gift ideas...simple gifts that I have given over the years to say "thank you and enjoy the Christmas season". If anyone has great gift ideas, send them my way!

I have found that a lot of kids really like gadgets that are not toys but the real thing, like a stopwatch or a pedometer.
A great family gift is a pair of binoculars, a bird book and a bird feeder.
Books make fun gifts...pair with a flashlight for reading under the covers (sorry moms and dads) or who wouldn't want a few new Berenstain books and some hot cocoa packets for story time on a snowy day.
I am a huge fan of all the Klutz books for kids, our favorite to give is the Cat's Cradle book.
Card games are on the top of the list too, we especially like Rat-a-tat-Cat and Slamwich.

A few years ago we gave the teen girls at church who were Lulu's AWANA leaders a cute gift that they really liked. We bought cool colored water bottles at Target and then stuffed a pair of those outrageously fuzzy sock inside.
We are also fans of giving fuzzy throw blankets and fuzzy slippers.
Another idea for teens are movie tickets paired with movie size boxes of candy.

One year I ordered a few small batter bowls from a friend who sold Pampered Chef. I filled them with red and green Lindt truffles and gave them to teachers and neighbors, they were a big hit.
If I have time to bake, a yummy bread like pumpkin or cranberry makes a nice gift. Buy a few Christmas kitchen towels and use one to wrap the bread in with some pretty ribbon.
My favorite fall back gift is the antibacterial hand soap from Bath and Body Works, they have really great holiday scents (we recommend the Twisted Peppermint or Apple Wreath this year). A soap paired with a cute holiday hand towel makes a sweet gift.

My old standby is a bottle of wine or sparkling grape juice in a pretty fabric wine bag with an ornament around the bottle neck...something for the tree, something for the table.
I found a super cute clear glass dish in the shape of a star at Pier 1 last year, it looked so nice filled with red and green M & M's and tied with ribbon.
I really like the small glass cutting boards with pretty holiday scenes on them. I wrapped one up with a few blocks of cheese and a box of crackers for a friend and she was so glad to have it on hand when they had unexpected company a few days later.

Don't forget about calendars, there are some really pretty and fun wall calendars out there and almost everyone can use at least one for the new year.
The calendars that you rip off the day are fun too. I received one last year that has wise and witty sayings, one a day, from famous mothers, about being a mother. I learned that diaper spelled backwards is REPAID, how funny!
I really like the idea of the cookie mix in the mason jar, they are fun to assemble and decorate and paired with a new oven mitt or potholder make a practical gift.
Another favorite are the glass or acrylic coasters that you can insert your own photos into. Great for photos of kids or your garden flowers. Include extra photos so they can be changed for each season-fun and useful!
And finally, something I buy my dad each amaryllis bulb. They are easy to find around the holidays and so much fun to watch grow, they literally grow right before your eyes and are so beautiful when they bloom. A lot of people feel a bit down after the excitement and business of the holidays and this is the perfect pick me up, the anticipation of color and growth in cold January.


  1. oooooh...this is VERY helpful! ~*S*~

  2. i have been on the receiving end of many of these gifts...thanks are a great gift giver, and a great gift idea giver...awesome... ♥J.

  3. A great idea for gifts for the kids is give them one that Dad (or grandpa) likes, like race car sets or actual flying helicopters. The men will spend more time with the kids!!!!!!!!!!!
    -ya guy!!!!!!!!


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