Tag Archives: Christmas

20 Gift Ideas (for the person you forgot)

We’ve all been there. You make lists and shop and plan for weeks (months, maybe?) only to find yourself in a pickle when your brother’s new girlfriend stops by, or you realize at the last minute that you’re the only one without a gift for the teacher.

Or maybe you forgot to get your husband something. Hey, it happens…

Here a list of some never-fail gifts that you can give to almost anyone, male or female, from the mail carrier to your secret Santa swappee. Just keep a couple wrapped up with a bow in your closet and excuse yourself for a moment if/when an unexpected gift-giving situation arises. (Tie a blank tag on each and stash a pen in there, too.)

You’ll be Ms. Perfectly Prepared, and look like you never missed a thing. (And if you don’t use them? They’re all awesome enough to keep for yourself, too!)

 photo 20giftideas.jpg

1. Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottle

2. A leatherbound journal

3. A Tervis tumbler

4. An entertainment book filled with coupons for local stores, restaurants, etc. You can often get these from community groups, boy scouts, etc.

5. A gift certificate for a local oil change (I LOVE this gift!)

6. Reusable bamboo lunch utensils (like those from To-Go Ware)

7. A gas station gift card tie to a bottle of dashboard wipes

8. 2 canning jars, one with a Cuppow lunchbox adaptor and one with a Cuppow drinking lid

9. Texting gloves (Make sure they’re good quality. Crappy gloves are kind of a crappy gift.)

10. A gift certificate for movie tickets and a box of Junior Mints

11. An assortment of all-natural candies (think The Lovely Candy Co.) in a mason jar tied with a seasonal bow. Add a toothbrush if you’re feeling funny.

12. A grocery store gift card wrapped up in a reusable shopping bag

13. 2 bars of really good quality organic, fair trade chocolate – one plain, one exotic (like a chocolate quinoa bar!)

14. A bottle of spiced apple wine. (If you can get local, do it! It gives your gift a story.) Maybe add a nice bottle opener, if budget allows.

15. An Oxfam donation. There may be no bigger gift than a goat for someone who really needs a goat. They even offer a printable gift card option on their website.

16. A set of Toockies fair trade scrub dish cloths - your purchase helps support artisans in India. They’re made of organic cotton and can be recycled as potting mesh.

17. A gift certificate for a local eatery (make sure it’s one you like, just in case) ;)

18. A set of glass straws from Glass Dharma

19. A set of Facebook Like and Dislike Stamps , along with instructions not to actually stamp them ON people.

20.  A whole buncha lottery tickets stuck in a box of tissues (to cry in, of course!) LMAO!

 

What would you add to the list?

Signature

36 Comments

Filed under 2013 Holiday Gift Guide, Product & Service Reviews

Wordless Wednesday: It just keeps getting better!

2009

2010

2011

4 Comments

Filed under Parenting & Family

The Trouble with Shopping Early

As I recently explained, my Grinchiness is waning. My tiny little Who has brought out my long-lost festive side, and now I’m really starting to get into this whole holiday thing!

The only problem: I can’t stop buying gifts! 8O

Believe it or not, I like to start my shopping in January, right after the previous year’s holiday season ends. I begin by watching the many daily deal sites I belong to, stacking up half price vouchers and great deals to spend later. I enter some online contests, and buy things when I find an exceptionally good coupon code…and by the time Little Man’s birthday and Christmas roll around, I’m usually have quite a nice stash of things ready to be wrapped up and gifted (without breaking the bank all at once.)

It’s a good plan. I’m sure of it. But it has one glitch: When you’re done shopping midway through the year, what do you do when you find yourself feeling unexpectedly “spirited” in December? Especially when Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the like bombard you with so-good-you-can’t-pass-them-up deals?

I’ll tell you what you do. You spend more. And you end up with more gifts than a 2-year-old needs or expects.

When I was preparing to be a mom, I always said, “Oh, who needs lots of toys? A few blocks, a ball…he’ll be fine. Books are better.” I wanted my son to interact and be imaginative, not rely on some toys to entertain him. But then, as reality set in, I realized how important it is to have a good array of developmentally appropriate, stimulating toys around to encourage growth and challenge your child.

Plus, he just so darned sweet I just want to give him everything! I know. I’m a sucker. That smiley, happy, squishy little face just kills me.

So what does it hurt? A few extra Melissa and Doug toys here, a couple of wooden cars or animals there (Not to mention a few new diapers or some snuggly Aden and Anais blankets, especially when you find a rockin’ deal!) I mean, what could be more fun than finding truly great products your kid will love, at great prices to boot? I’m not quite sure if it does hurt anything, really.

But one thing I’m sure of is that I don’t want our holidays to become all about the stuff. Too much stuff is too much stuff, even if some of it happens to be free from a Twitter party or sweepstakes win. We’ve made some very carefully planned changes in our lives over the past several years in an effort to simplify and plan our escape from the proverbial rat race, so I really think I need to stick to those same ideals even when it’s challenging, like in December.  Hoards of presents under the tree may be fun on Christmas morning, but I don’t think the long-term effects will be.

Note to self: You’ve caught your mistake early, now it’s time to reign it in, mama.

(But I’m still ordering a few new Aden and Anais swaddle blankets for nap time at Grammie’s…What? I have a great coupon code! :roll: )

____________________________________________

What are your thoughts? Do you set limits on the amount of presents your children receive during the holidays, or do you go as far as your budget allows?

 

1 Comment

Filed under Parenting & Family, The Everyday

Confessions of a (semi)reformed Grinch

Spring is my thing.

Winter, not so much.

As I’ve gotten older, each year seems to have found me less and less “into” Christmas. The commercialism irks me, I’m not religious, and I get tired of the whole thing just dragging on for an eternity. I don’t particularly like visiting people I don’t want to just because I’m supposed to, and trying to avoid their yucky food while they ask me why I’m not eating more. And the one year I decided to do Christmas the way I wanted, not giving or receiving gifts but actually trying to refind the spirit of the season that I had lost, I was told I was being selfish and ruining it for everyone. Merry effing Christmas.

Pretty Grinchy, huh? I’m not really sure why. Perhaps my heart was just two sizes too small…

Ever since becoming a Mommy, I’m finding this whole holiday thing just a little more appealing. Now don’t get me wrong – I’m still not totally down with the Santa, but I’m getting there.

We have our first tree in 3 years, and my boy is endlessly fascinated by the reindeer with the light-up nose he saw on TV. I’ll be taking some vacation time over the coming weeks to bake cookies with my boy, which I used to do for days on end, whipping up 10 or 12 different kinds and delivering fresh trays to all of my friends and family. It’s been a while since that happened (and I’ve gotta say, I think my husband is looking forward to it…)

Today, we even picked up tickets to the local Christmas train ride, and next weekend we’ll be hitting up Christmas Candylane at Hersheypark. (I know, right?! 8O )

I knew that motherhood would change me, I guess I just didn’t realize that in creating a new childhood I’d be getting back a lot of my own. Ever since the day my son was born, everything has been a little more fun, felt a little more festive. I just seem to have more room in my day-to-day for superfluous things like tinsel and twinkly lights.

…maybe my heart really did grow three sizes that day.

(But I still really hate driving in the snow. ;) )

_________________________________________

Have you ever just wished you could skip the holiday season?

Have your feelings about the holidays changed since you became a parent, for better or worse?

 

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Parenting & Family, The Everyday, Uncategorized

Wordless Wendysday: What a Difference a Year Makes!

Christmas 2009:

Christmas 2010:

1 Comment

Filed under Parenting & Family