Yes, I know, there are a million gift lists out there right now and they all claim that they are the “Only lists you’ll need!”
I make no such proclamation.
I am simply offering up my family and friends’ favorite things* ala Oprah, sans the free giveaway because, well, as much as I would LOVE to give away everything on the list to everyone, I ain’t Oprah.
Instead, I hope that you can find something on the list to make your holiday shopping that much easier or at least get inspired by something you read. Because, to be honest, as much as I adore a gift list (and I read EVERY SINGLE ONE that I stumble on), I have rarely found the PERFECT gift. I have, however, found a perfectly good gift often by following a link provided on the list and tripping over something else on the page. So think of this as a treasure map of sorts – maybe you will find what you are looking for on this page or maybe it’s just a step in the right direction.
For the teen/college kid who is upgrading his wardrobe:
The Timex Weekender Watch
This is not a break the bank, pass-down-for-generations watch but a casual piece of jewelry that tells time. And the best part about this watch, besides the really reasonable price, is that you can easily add a different band and it looks like a new watch! Multiple presents!
For the kids who are constantly complaining that the WiFi is soooooooo slow:
A mesh networking home Wi-Fi System.
I sound like I know what I’m talking about, don’t I – but I really don’t. However, someone who does know what he is talking about suggested a mesh networking system to extend the Wi-Fi in our house. As much as I would like to say that our family spends oodles of time together reading and talking and not staring at screens, I can’t. Most of the time everyone in the house is streaming a video, playing video games, listening to music and sending and receiving texts/emails/documents all at the same time. So the WiFi doesn’t always work. And it doesn’t always work in certain spots. Hence, the constant complaining.
(Actually this also qualifies as a gift for the parents of the kids who complain that the wireless is so slow because they won’t hear the kids complain anymore…)
For the kid (or adult) who is always leaving things behind:
Just attach this bluetooth tracking device, set up the app and you are good to go. No more lost coats, backpacks, keys…
For that same kid who gets lost and might need to find his way home:
Latitude and Longitude key chain
Ok, so this is more of a sentimental gift than an actual map, however, for the kid who is already away from home or leaving soon, this key chain says you will always help her find her way back home. (It’s still helpful, of course, in case they do forget your address and need to type the coordinates into their GPS).
For the kid who gets lost and has a flat tire:
Roadside assistance is not sexy, but when your kid is stranded and needs his car towed he will LOVE this gift.
For those times when you need to call for a tow truck but your phone is dead:
The LifeCard Power Bank cellphone charger
The credit card sized charger is being touted as the “World’s thinnest power bank,” which is great if you don’t want to lug around a heavy extra charger (and, really, who does). There is a tradeoff though: it’s small size doesn’t give my Iphone 6 a full charge but it will give it a boost. (FYI -the charger needs to be charged, too. I always forget that part and wonder why it doesn’t work).
For family movie night – inside or out:
A Home Theater Projector
Now THIS is really my favorite thing. I love movies and there is something so fun about being outside on a beautiful night watching a movie on a big screen – even if that screen is just the side of your house. You could get all of the accessories if you want (tripod screen, special speakers, designated stand) but our set up is pretty bare bones – no sheet, just the wall, and our kids’ old guitar amp for sound (although it also worked with a Beats Pill). Popcorn, however, is mandatory.
For your friend or relative who is always on the go:
Corkcicle Triple Insulated Water Bottle and Thermos
The Canteen comes in assorted colors and sizes and is great for staying hydrated on the fly. FYI – the 25 oz. thermos holds a full bottle of wine for the beach, an outdoor movie, or a tailgate…just saying.
For your friend, the world traveler:
A luggage tag that says it all
Although I am strictly a carry-on girl, I have one of these tags on my bag and it makes me chuckle every time I look at it.
For your ADULT friends who are tired of playing the kids’ games:
Cards Against Humanity
We borrowed this game from our oldest a few years ago and we laughed so hard we bought our own. It’s always good for hours of laughter but only if you are not opposed to raunchy, sometimes inappropriate humor. This is NOT a game for little kids as one of my friend’s thought – the manufacturer recommends this for 17 year-olds and up. Little kids should stick to Apples to Apples for now.
For the buttoned up folks in your life who like to flash a little leg every now and then:
The men in my house do not wear flashy clothes – they are jeans and t-shirt kind of guys. But their socks? They have prints ranging from Darth Vader to the Chicago Cubs to bold Hawaiian flowers and multi-colored stripes. So, if you need something for a Sports fan, or a runner with a penchant for Star Wars, or a fashionista who appreciates a “Sassy Minnie” Mouse, you will find something for everyone, even for a golfer who loves Caddyshack. Really.
For the friend who needs an instant vacation:
Nothing says, “Take me away!” like the smell of fresh limes, mint and a little rum (or maybe that’s just me). The Urban Agriculture Co. offers six grow your own cocktail kits like Mint Mojito and Basil Bourbon Smash. Each set includes one herb grow kit, a muddler, a mason jar cocktail shaker and straining spoon. Ahh…
For that certain someone who needs to wear corrective reading glasses but doesn’t want them to look like corrective reading glasses:
The ad says it all…
For your furriest child, aka the dog:
The Tuff Guy Tony squeaker mat from Outward Hound.
Tuff Guy Tony and his friends, Lars and Hank, have 11 squeakers (but they aren’t annoying, I swear) and, more importantly, they look hilarious. Even though our dog’s “Tuff Guy” has lost a little of his stuffing and he’s missing an eye, our pooch still carries him around and sleeps next to him.
The gift that keeps on giving:
Remember when the only subscription boxes you could give involved oranges and grapefruit sent from Florida? Now you can send just about anything and extend the holidays for a little while longer (which is just the way I like my celebrations: 3-6 months long). Last year we gave our younger son a three-month gift subscription to Loot Crate, “the Geek subscription box for gamers and nerds.” Big hit. I also sent my boys three months of beef jerky. Yes, 3 months of jerky. Fights ensued.
There are boxes out there to fill every interest including my faves, coffee and book subscriptions (hint, hint), and most subscription boxes can be set up for a single month delivery or up to an entire year of monthly gifts (a whole year of celebrating!).
For the soundtrack of your life:
A Spotify gift subscription
Technically this isn’t a subscription box but it works the same way – a gift every month! Sure, you can sign up for Spotify for free but the premium account gives you on-demand, ad free, and offline music. There are student and family accounts available, too.
For the Host who appreciates your sweet and spicy personality:
Honey and Syrup and Sriracha – oh my!
Forget the tired and sad bottle of wine that your friend will just repackage and bring to the next party she goes to; give her spicy maple syrup for her Christmas morning pancakes and you will definitely be invited back.
For some family togetherness:
Take a vacation. Anywhere. Drive or fly, it doesn’t matter, just try to get away – together. With one kid in college and one just a year and a half away from leaving for college, family time – forced or otherwise – is a rare commodity in our house. Even though family vacations aren’t always perfect, a few days away from the distractions of “real life” is a great gift for everyone in the family.
Feel free to share your favorite things in the comments section – I’m always on the lookout for the perfect gift.
*Isuckasaparent and Connie Lissner receive no compensation for any of the products listed above and make no representations or warranties – either explicit or implied – as to the products listed herein. I just like them and I hope you like them too.