Anyone still shopping? As we make and buy gifts for our many loved ones to show them how much they mean to us, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite gifts. I love to hear about other people’s favorites so here are some of mine, both old and new, this year:
1. The thing I would like most this year, as every year since I’ve had kids, is time. Time with my husband. He and I are especially short on alone time these days, though we both recognize that’s fleeting.
Though I certainly wouldn’t change how we live our life, I do keep daydreaming about the day when my husband and I can go out to dinner, have a drink, and talk and eat uninterrupted. I must be trying to live vicariously through my loved ones because I do try to give gift certificates and/or babysitting money to friends and family who I think will use it. Better yet, I offer to babysit myself!
2. Although my husband mocks me for it, I love motivational signs. I put them up whenever I can. As I think about raising my three kids, I would love to put this print in the playroom to remind all of us of what really matters. And it reminds me of my brother-in-law, who, when I was pregnant with my first child, only gave me two words of advice: “Be Nice!” Added bonus: 50% of the $10 cost will be donated to The Pennies for Penny Fund. It is not available yet but when it is, buy it here.
3. I didn’t really have a special lovey. My kids do. They all have special “Buckies” (blankets). I know many kids with stuffed animal lovies. Through them I have come to appreciate just how important those first best friends are to a child. A few years ago, I ordered a custom portrait for my niece of her beloved Bun Bun and it really came out great!
It makes me wish I had one too. Someday, I will definitely get a portrait of Molly’s Orange Bucky, JohnJohn’s Blue Bucky and of course, Joseph’s Feelings Bucky for
me, my kids. I’m nostalgic just thinking about it. Learn more about these pictures, which start at $65, here.
4. I wish I knit. Or could sew. Or embroider. Or even tie even knots. Until I learn, I’d like to give or get this fun embroidery wall hanging:
Buy it here for about $35.
5. When Joseph first learned to write, he used to scribble a signature monster all over everything. EVERYTHING. He was so proud of it though, and drew it so joyfully and happily that it has become a symbol of his joy and innocence for me. These early years go by so quickly that already those early works on the chalk board, on the walls, and on the ottoman, seem so long ago!
I would love to turn his monster into a pendant and it turns out that I actually could, here, at Brevity Jewelry.
This gift is pricey at a starting price of $195, so it is on a long-term wish list. If I could, I’d make a bunch and sell them just to share the sweetness and light that is that boy.
6. We have moved almost once a year ever since Joseph was born. Many things have been lost in transit. One that I miss the most is a magnet I got for free (for free!!) with another purchase about a decade ago that provided common kitchen measuring conversions. I loved it so much that I gave it as gifts until it was discontinued.
The closest I’ve come is this magnet from Amazon Smile (which donates .5 of your purchase to the charity of your choice). At $7.35 it is worth all that time I take to look conversions up now. Stick that in my stocking, Santa!
7. I’ve already told you my kids have very special Buckies but, in truth, they will cuddle with pretty much almost any blanket. One that I gave them when we started with a lot of traveling is the Consider Yourself Hugged stadium blanket. Made of fleece, it’s easy to wash. At 50″ x 60″, it’s great for putting a baby down on a dirty airport floor, covering him up while nursing or cuddling, or using as a pillow or even for holding laundry.
It comes in many colors and is warm enough to feel like a hug when you can’t be together with whomever sent it to you. Buy it here for $19.98. Depending on the color you can get free shipping.
8. My goal for this year is to run 40K of races for my 4oth year. And I am all about teamwork. So, tops on my list for my favorite running partner, Molly, and me is matching running skirts. Don’t tell her, but I got us this red “Mini” dot skirt for Christmas so we can wear them in our next race. RunningSkirts.com has cute skirts, with various attachments like athletic shorts, capri-length pants, or just briefs so you can get whatever length you are most comfortable in. If you sign up on their e-mail list I think you get a percentage off your first purchase, which helps, because the skirts start at about $59. Also, they have great sales, so I would wait for them.
9. I know I’m probably in the minority here but I prefer paper calendars. There. I said it. I’ve kept them since 9th grade. I like them not only for planning but also as a sort of scrap book of our years. It is so fun to look back and see notes and dates about our days.
I usually go with a 1-year monthly planner but recently I had to print out a few extra months for camps and trips we are planning with our kids in 2014.
In Googling “free calendar templates” I came across a 5-year monthly calendar. WOW! I would seriously love that. Seriously. You can even start it with any month you want. Total planning freedom! It looks like you can also go 2-year or 3-year, but I say go big or go home. Check it out in all its $82.99 glory here.
10. I remember John and Kira’s from when they first started as Jubilee Chocolates in Philadelphia. Not only are their chocolates beautiful AND incredibly delicious but they also try to use mostly local ingredients and support local farmers. Even if they didn’t, though, I will always love them because my sister-in-law sent me a box of them when my Dad died.
In those lonely weeks after he died, though utterly and completely devastated, those chocolates reminded me that I did not suffer alone. That is some seriously powerful chocolate.
So, I often send a box to anyone I think needs to remember that they are loved. The hand-painted honey caramel bees are my absolute favorite. At $29 for 9 they are a splurge. But one I will never mind making. Check out their bees, ladybugs and every flavor box here.
Honorable Mention: I never would have bought this, especially once I saw the price ($48.99 with free Prime shipping on Smile. Amazon.com) when I looked it up to post a link just now, but my sister brought my children this Fart Blaster when she came to visit at Thanksgiving. It may well be the best gift they think they ever received. They love it and have been playing with it every day since Thanksgiving. Every day. Several times a day. So do their friends. And every guest, both adult and child. What is it about toots that make them so much fun??
If you are looking for a total winner, buy the Fart Blaster. If you are looking for a total winner plus a little something extra, buy the Banana Scented Fart Blaster, which I do not own, nor do I wish to, Aunt Susan.
Are you a gifter? How do you show your love? What makes you feel loved? However it is, I hope you get lots of it this season no matter what you believe in.