I really enjoy gift giving, I thrive on making thoughtful choices for friends and family but somehow as Christmas approaches, amongst the hustle of parties and chaotic shopping experiences anxiety rises and my creativity dries up. This is why I wanted to put together a guide, in case something similar happens to you between the diapers and serving mush, to give you a few ideas and jump start inspiration.
Gifts for the Kids (which you will enjoy yourself)
Babies are notoriously easy to buy for but finding a meaningful gift can be a challenge.
This year, I am excited to make my present a beautiful hardcover book of his paternal Grandmother’s life story. Janet Lansbury, introduced me to a service called ‘StoryWorth.’ This annual subscription will send weekly prompts to your individual of choice to share stories about specific moments in time which brought them to where they are today. Recording the stories is really easy – just hit reply to the email and there is an option to record audio files via telephone calls. At the end of the year, the stories and photos are compiled in a physical hardcover book. Janet has kindly secured a discount of $20 making the annual subscription just $59 (you can buy here).
Speaking of books, presents are always a good opportunity to build up your home library and a love of books. Whether you have boys or girls Kim from Raising a Ragamuffin has put together a thoughtful selection of books to inspire your little ones, titled ‘8 Children’s Books with Strong Female Characters’.
Has there been talk about getting a new pet in your house?
‘Who is going to do the cleaning up?’ you asked. I think I have a solution – a gig economy pet who only comes to visit for meal times!
There is a variety of smart looking birdhouses available on Amazon (for different budgets) which bring the birds right to your window at once as being easy to clean and easy to install (I am even planning to install one on my second-storey window).
They promise easy set-up and cleaning, powerful suction which will even hold up to a squirrel intrusion. Planted perfect, tells its buyers to expect ‘the best quality bird feeder with 100% money back guarantee. Love your new feeder or your money back, no questions asked, just a prompt, courteous refund. 7 days a week to deliver you unsurpassed service, answer any of your birding, yard or gardening questions.’ (buy here: single compartment (my choice) or two compartment feeder (pictured above))
Speaking of nature and gardening… In the 3 years old category, Amanda from Mummy2Twindividuals (with help from her two experts) reviews a fairy garden with a difference. ‘A fairy without the pink’ she calls it. ‘The container easily separates into three sections; a top plant pot, central fairy house and base with moat. When you water, there is drainage into the moat. This is perfect if you have over-eager little waterers.’ continue reading Amanda’s review.
If you have some fiddlers in your family, take your pick from these differently textured ‘tangles.’ these have been reviewed well even by office attending adults looking for an alternative to a stress ball. Check the price on these here
Or maybe you would like a magical night light to create some bedtime magic? Djeco makes intricate snow globes which double as nightlights projecting snowflakes onto the walls. However, if you are after something similar, this silicon mushroom with a zillion different options for your child to choose from could be a more versatile option.
Each present idea is selected on its merits and positive reviews. The number one priority is that this article is helpful and is full of quality ideas. Where these ideas overlap with affiliate benefits you have the oportunity to support me. When you click Amazon links, for example, add to basket, then purchase, Stretchy Mummy will receive 5-10% commission at no cost to you. I hope you would like to support me.
– Stretchy Mummy owner of this website.
Gifts for the important Men in your life
Finding an engaging and meaningful present year after year is not easy but Eva from Captain Bobcat has found a fantastic option – a freakin amazing pen!
If you already presented a pen last year… smart speakers are tipped to be ‘the hottest gift’ this season – Guardian has published an excellent guide to explaining what they can do and how to buy one. If you would like to better understand the possibilities Samuel Gibbs wrote a hilarious article, also for the Guardian, documenting his experience with installing Echo in his home a year ago.
If you already have a speaker system in your home, ‘the dot’ is recommended as the perfect entry gate device.
- Amazon Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, provide information, read the news, set alarms and more
- Connects to speakers or headphones through Bluetooth or 3.5 mm stereo cable to play music from Amazon Music, Spotify and TuneIn. Play music simultaneously across multiple Echo devices and speakers connected via cable with multi-room music (Available for Amazon Music and TuneIn. Bluetooth not supported)
- Call or message anyone hands-free who also has an Echo device or the Alexa App. Also, quickly connect to other Echo devices in your home using just your voice
- Controls lights, switches, TVs, thermostats and more with compatible connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Sony, Hive, Netatmo, Nest, tado° and others
- Hears you from across the room with 7 microphones for far-field hands-free voice control, even in noisy environments or while playing music
While the speaker can make an excellent ‘family gift’ to benefit the whole household. I found some beautifully personalised gifts if you want something to make him feel really special. I have two more options for you:
Cheeky Little Prints specialises in creating sterling silver jewellery (and cufflinks) with little fingerprints and tiny hands and feet. If you are buying this close to Christmas you can also give a voucher so he can participate in the entire two-stage-process; firstly you are sent a fingerprint impression kit, consisting of moulding putty which you mix and use to take your child’s fingerprint. You then send them back to Cheeky Little Prints HQ where your personalised treasures are cast in sterling silver. You can find out more about their range here.
Secondly, Not On the High Street, offers are really, easy personalised printing service –
Gifts for the Important Women in your life
Bloom and Wild send great quality flowers through the letterbox I was the lucky recipient of these for a few months and I have to say I love their ‘wildflower’ esthetic. My lucky readers get £10 off their already affordable flowers (or mini Chrismas Tree) – get your £10.00 off here
How about a micro cleaning robot? I can’t promise it will do any of the heavy lifting, but it is a cute fuzzy AI which rolls around the room to ‘lend a hand’. The reviews are not fantastic for these, but at under £9, they can provide a good laugh when you are not sure what to give to your in-laws. Check price here.
If the female in your life already has everything…
Have a look at this stunning fitness tracker. It is versatile and it aims to make women’s lives easier; tracking periods as well as exercise and sleep. It comes with an app which slowly incentivises you to form habits to last a lifetime. I would have loved this as a teenager …or now!
- Necklace, bracelet, and battery replacement tool included in the package
- Tracks your steps, distance moved and calories burned
- Tracks your sleep patterns, revealing the quantity and quality of your sleep. Tracks your reproductive health, providing you with an overview of your menstrual cycle
- Monitors your stress levels and helps you manage and relieve stress through goal-oriented breathing exercises
- Wakes you gently in the morning and reminds you to stay active with Inactivity Alarm
- Jack Monroe
- Publisher: Michael Joseph
- Paperback: 224 pages
A Girl Named Jack – would make a great gift for any friend who is cooking for a demanding family. It has a lot of recipes which are simple, cheap and the cult following which Jack has earned is a testament to the quality of her contribution to the lives of her readers. (+ most recipes are compatible with weaning) You can get a ‘taste’ of her style on her blog – excuse the pun!
Or for anyone who would like to explore their sensual side I can recommend Emmanuelle’s perfume workshops. I have personally attended her Apprentice Workshop and I really enjoyed myself there, but this is easily dominated by the pleasure of wearing my own perfume formulated by no one else but me! You can buy a voucher for your loved person here (and it is popular with men as well as women).
Last but not least – some wisdom from The Frugal Family
In their latest article ‘Gifts that Keep on Giving…‘ The Frugal Family reminds us what it is all about – experiences and thinking of one another. Ultimately it is not what you get but the effort you put into it. So if you have not yet felt a jolt of inspiration from my suggestions above (or are looking for ways to keep the budget in check), check out their great advice on giving substance rather than stuff.
Over to you, what was the best Christmas present you have received or given?