We’ve happened upon that time again. The Holidays.
While I seriously love the season, I am often bogged down by what to get people and with the question back at me about what I want. There are a million ways to answer. I’d love a lot of things, but what I really love are experiences. Some friends of mine love unique gifts, others enjoy gifts to others as gifts to themselves.
This season, for me, is about giving… but not monetarily. I like to show people how much I love and care about them by putting thought into their gift. Years ago I recall a trend of gift cards or checks being impersonal- but for me, I love to give friends a family pack of movie tickets or the chance to get some lunch out, or even writing a check so it can go towards the college fund. So many ways to give to others that don’t include traditional toys came to mind, that I decided to make a gift guide to help light the way!
Without further ado:
2014 Holiday Gift Guide!
1. Art: This is super personal, of course, but a piece everyone is sure to love is Born of Sound. These beautiful sound forms are one of the most unique items I’ve ever seen! I was fortunate enough to get one for Dave last year, showing Addie’s beautiful words to her Daddy! I cannot wait to get another of Millie! There’s something so special about having your child’s love professed hanging on your wall- especially on the hard days! A sound form is the perfect gift for anyone- seriously! Know a friend who loves their Mustang? Record a rev, and make a form!
2. Classes: Photography, pottery, couples cooking, barre, yoga… so many fun classes are popping up for adults to get out there and learn some new tricks, but my favorites are the kid classes. I love taking Addie to dance and music and sports classes- these things are expensive, but mean so much. A gift card for a session is a great gift, and can be wrapped up in a new Golden Book (they’re all about $3.99) so the child has something to open! Instant gratification from a gift is always fun to see, but reminiscing about the memories of experience warms my heart! Give the gift of memory.
3. Magazines: Perfect for kids and adults- and way better mail than another bill! RealSimple, RunnersWorld, TapeOp… there’s something for everyone. And for the kids try these favorites National Geographic Kids/Little Kids, American Girl Magazine, Highlights For Children, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED KIDS Magazine
4. Memberships: A gift to a local science, children’s museum, zoo, or other museum is a gift they will be able to use the entire year- and many locations offer reciprocal memberships! Massage Envy Spa or a local YMCA are also great options for relaxation, or to help jump start some family time!
5. Good food: Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and local organic grocers are lovely to shop at, but hard for many to afford. A gift card in a basket of seasonal fruits or veggies is a beautiful gift, and something that will surely be used and appreciated.
6. A night out: Need I say more? Did you know AAA offers movie ticket deals? Snatch up a few to give as holiday gifts with a gift card for dinner at a place near the theater, and you’ve got the perfect gift!
7. Etsy goodies: Seriously, there’s nothing better than finding something on Etsy. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy knowing that I’m supporting a crafter and giving a unique gift. My three favorite stores right now are AG Creations, Mia Claire, and MeganandEvelyn!
I actually am in love with Megan’s store, and asked her to share a bit about it:
The items in this shop are made by myself and my neighbor. For the most part I make the arts and crafty items and she loves to crochet so we opened an Etsy store together! We are in constant communication about all the items sold so feel free to contact me with any questions. We want you to be 100% satisfied with our finished product!!
A lot of items are made to order and personalized so feel free to give us the details necessary to make you smile!
Her Lace edge poncho is the perfect addition to any Fall or Winter wardrobe- perfect for layering and adding a bit of style, as well as covering (hello nursing mamas!). There are also the sweetest fashions for kids and adults- perfect for mama/daughter matching!
8. One-of-a-kind Seasonal Gifts: Amanda, from A.G. Creations, handcrafts some of the most beautiful holiday pieces. From a family of ornaments to the perfect hair bow for your fanciest ladies, these are the perfect gift!
9. Kid help: My daughter loves anything she rips open- for about 5 minutes… what she wants changes daily. Sometimes gift cards for kids that are too young to enjoy gifts mean so much! Shopping with my girls is a lot of fun- StrideRite, Target, Old Navy! All great for kids to get fashionable and parents to enjoy the ride!
10. Relaxation: Offering an afternoon of babysitting and a gift certificate for a mani/pedi, massage, facial or just a kid-free hour is such a special treat to give moms and dads a moment to do something where kids cannot be (like a spa!).
11. Stationary: Writing a letter or thank you seems like a thing of the past, but a beautiful gift of stationary is sure to revive snail mail. For me, writing on personalized paper gives me pride, and I know when my letters are opened, people are pleased it’s not a bill! For the girls, they each have stationary with their name or initials, so their mail is just as unique and personal as my own (regardless of who is actually writing). Teaching our kids the beauty of a handwritten note is both a wonderful luxury and important skill.
12. Something they’ve always wanted to try: Skydiving, hot air balloon ride, wraps, pole dancing class. There are always things that our friends and family talk about, but never do! Be the catalyst for them! Give a trial period or starter package, and watch your loved one as they take a chance- whatever it is!
13. Passes to a theme or water park –An awesome way to have fun for a family, or for older teens! Help create lifelong memories via good wholesome fun for all ages!
14. A gift card: The best gifts are usually the ones we pick for ourselves, right? I love giving gift cards so that my friends can get whatever the want without the guilt of spending money.
15. Food delivery: I’ve become obsessed with food deliveries that comes with all of the ingredients, all you have to do is cook. It all started with a few discount codes to Hello Fresh I found in a magazine, and now I see what all the fuss is about! Gift cards are a wonderful way for a friend to try this new trend- and a chance to try meals one may not usually cook at home (for us it was gumbo, and we were hooked)!
16. Sports paraphernalia: Teams get new jerseys every year (it seems like)- and who doesn’t like to sport the newest gear?! For some, who live the sport, a gift they don’t have yet is hard to come by… fear not, Unforgettaballs will save you! I have a great friend who has all-things Phillies, so when I saw these cool baseballs, I snatched one up for him! The Vet, in Philly, was demolished 10 years ago- and while it is gone, it will never be forgotten. Each beautifully hand painted ball comes with a lucite case for display- perfect for the sports fan in your life! There are designs for all teams and cities, but also for the holidays (all holidays!). At $25 they’re a great stocking stuffer, too!
17. A donation for their favorite charity: This is a great gift to give someone as a lesson in giving back! It’s also great to donate to someone who may be training for a race (such as Team in Training), or for a family who advocates for a certain charity. After Millie was born, a family member made a donation to our local La Leche League chapter in her name. It was a beautiful gesture, and an organization we support. It’s a beautiful thing, to give back while giving.
18. Money: You can’t go wrong with the gift of money! … just thought I’d put that in the list.
19. Individual Stocks: For the person who has it all, or is just starting out! I love the idea of giving one stock in something really personal. Baby’s first Christmas? Disney! A college techie? Apple! The motorcycle lover? Harley! There’s a stock for everyone, and THESE come with your stock certificate beautifully framed.
20. Tickets to a show: It’s all about the experience! Kids and adults alike benefit from exposure to theater, dance and music, and everyone loves a night out! Sites like Groupon and LivingSocial usually have great deals and you can check your recipient’s local city for ideas on what’s in town and when.
21. Bonds: Money is a great gift, but Bonds are a great way to give the gift of money and financial responsibility together! Plus, you can add to it each year and helps to teach kids fiscal responsibility!
22. Photo Package: The gift of photography is the gift of memories. A photo package to a local photographer is such a beautiful present, for both today, tomorrow and all the future generations. Whether it’s a shoot with just the kids, a new baby, engagement, family, proms or graduations… there are so many moments to capture and a professional session is sure to get the best moments.
23. Flowers: Who doesn’t love a beautiful arrangement? Even kids love the gift of flowers. Know a kiddo with a green thumb? A nice house plant in a beautiful vessel, or an herb starter kit are great gift ideas!
24. A tree: Plant a tree with your child… it’s that simple and perfect. Maybe plant it to remember a lost pet or let your child choose between two different ones. No matter the reason, that tree will be a childhood memory, sure to jog all the best moments each time it is seen.
25. Free TV: We don’t have cable here, but we like to keep up! A subscription for Netflix or Hulu are awesome gifts and a gift can be applied to an existing account. Having a subscription service means movie night can be, well, any night- perfect for college kids looking to save a few dollars!
Gift Guide Tip: Don’t forget to search for wishlists on Amazon!
So what’s on your list this year?
This post is NOT sponsored!