A Christmas Gift Guide For The Whole Family

+J.M.J.+

I am all for less-is-more with gifts. I’d rather find one or two quality items or experiences that actually bring joy or function to the recipient, rather than buying a bunch of random junk so there is “stuff” to unwrap.

I’m sharing some ideas below for different people in your life that may be just the perfect thing.

Babies

We don’t actually buy our babies presents at Christmas because any random cooking spatula will always be their favorite item anyway… However, here are a couple of options that would make great choices.

I am giving this keepsake ornament to my four month old niece this year.

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Shaker eggs are ever so popular with little people, including babies. They’re light-weight so babies can lift them and they make that fun sound. We shake them to music, roll them down the slide, play grocery shopping with them and more. My girls haven’t tired of them in over 2 years of use.

If you’re needing a budget friendly option you can get this big plastic set.

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I was super excited to find this natural wood option out there now, which I didn’t see when I originally got ours!

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Kids

Before I get to physical items, don’t forget about looking into any experiences local to the child you’re shopping for! Think:

  • Passes for ice skating
  • Tickets to a matinee, play, or music performance
  • A day or season pass to a zoo, aquarium, or children’s museum
  • A special date going to pick out a new book at the bookstore than enjoying it with homemade hot chocolate

Grand Expression on Etsy has a ton of beautiful little saint peg dolls! I would almost bet you can find your child’s patron saint amongst their listings. (I ordered a couple of the Saint Nicholas ones for his feast this year!)

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Screenshot photo courtesy of Grand Expression’s Etsy Page

This kinetic sand is an addicting to play with, moldable product that feels almost exactly like working with wet sand. My girls will literally sit with it uninterrupted for 30 – 60 minutes at a time, easy. It cleans up so easily that we use it in the house all the time.

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We are giving Philomena this lacing set this year. She loves a little project to keep her hands busy and these can be used over and over!

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A fun Catholic sewing project would be picking out one of these Sew A Saint dolls from Faith and Fabric. I haven’t ordered one of these yet – I’ll wait until Philomena is a bit older and can actually use a needle and work with me on it – but I’ve seen so many people on social media enjoying these!

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Image courtesy of the Faith and Fabric tutorial page found here

Our favorite little kid board game is definitely good old Candy Land! My girls play it almost every day and its just a great quick game to enjoy all together.

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Magnetic tiles aren’t anything new these days, but we really like these ones from Amosting. We’ve had them a couple years and the quality is excellent – not a single one has broken yet. These are a bit more affordable than the solid ones, and we think its a bit more fun to create things with them!

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Another fun lacing option is this other lacing set that uses beads instead of boards. I like these beads because they’re bigger than the other sets I’ve seen, so they don’t seem like a choking hazard if there are baby siblings around.

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Water Wow! Books are a fantastic, non-messy activity for waiting at appointments, on long car rides and plane trips, and just for fun around the house. You fill the pen with a little water and it colors the beautiful pages. Once the water dries the pages are ready to be colored again, able to be reused countless times!

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Angel In the Waters is a book that tells the beautiful story of a baby in the womb talking to it’s guardian angel about what is to come. It’s such a sweet perspective seeing everything from the baby’s point of view, and really special for kids to be able to know about how they grew written with grace by a Catholic author. (This is especially great for pregnant mothers to share with their children anticipating a new baby’s arrival!)

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Another all-time favorite book for my girls is Steam Train, Dream Train. This is such a fun book to read with a great cadence to the rhymes and adorable illustrations of animals loading up a train with all kinds of fun cargo. I’m actually giving Zelie a new copy because the one I was given at Philomena’s baby shower is literally falling apart from hundreds of readings over the last four years!

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If you’d like a Christmas book, our favorite is Twas The Evening of Christmas, which sets the nativity story to the poem Twas the Night Before Christmas. It’s so cute and my girls loved it last Christmas!

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If you want more ideas for toys I have a whole post about our toy setup here that has other ideas.

Adults

I find adults are often times much more difficult to shop for than children. Same as with my experience ideas for kids, check and see what events in your area might be coming to give an experience to your recipient.

For the baker in your life, consider purchasing one of these online Sourdough Schoolhouse classes on how to make traditional sourdough bread. This is the delicious, properly prepared bread that the body can usually very easily digest because the fermentation process actually eliminates most of the gluten. Sourdough 101 teaches the beginner to make and care for your starter and bake delicious sourdough bread, pizza dough, bagels, rolls, pretzels and more. You get to join a Facebook group with your fellow classmates and the master bakers at Sourdough Schoolhouse and access your classes and recipes forever. There is a coupon code here on my affiliate site with them that takes $72 off the course. Class starts in mid-January but the coupon code ends December 5! Click here to learn more and bake with me this January. 

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Flexi Clips from Lila Rose are my favorite hair accessories. They stay put all day, don’t pull hair or leave indentations like elastics do, and they make a basic pony or half up hairstyle look extra special and pretty. I’ve owned some of these for years – I even wore one on my wedding day! I have a little Lila Rose party link I’m hosting with Rosie from “A Blog For My Mom” that you can shop by clicking here for these super long lasting, sturdy, beautiful hair clips.

If you have a coffee or tea drinker in your life, these auto seal spout stainless steel to-go mugs from Contigo are my favorite for taking hot and cold beverages on the go. (Or to keep my coffee hot throughout the morning around the house!) They seriously don’t leak and they hold their temperature for hours.

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Sacrifice beads are a wonderful way of setting a goal of making 10 sacrifices or good deeds a day for love of God, reparation for sin, and the salvation of souls. I’ve been eyeing these gorgeous sacrifice beads from Happy Nest Home Goods for a very long time!

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Images from Happy Nest Home Goods Etsy

This St. Benedict Medal Tie Bar from Georgiana Baker on Etsy would be a really thoughtful and useful gift for the gentleman in your life.

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Buying for an avid reader? One of my favorite novels is “In This House of Brede” by Rumor Godden. It’s a classic originally published in 1969 that tells the story of a powerful British executive who leaves it all behind to join a convent. With a tragic past slowly revealed alongside the fascinating inner-workings of a cloister, this story is really hard to put down!

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If someone in your life needs a durable Rosary, this combat Rosary from Rugged Rosaries would be a great, functional, prayerful gift. They offer customizable center piece medals, too!

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Bend Soap is a lovely family business out of Bend Oregon who makes the most hydrating, luxurious goat milk soap products. We love their bar soap and goat milk baths. They have a ton of different products that are naturally scented via essential oils that smell amazing and have totally clean ingredients. Some items from them would be a great little gift or stocking stuffer.

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My absolute favorite book for spiritual reading is the Imitation of The Sacred Heart of Jesus. (I talked all about it here in my prayer routine post.) I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t gain a lot from reading this spiritual classic.

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For really really hard to shop for people like grandparents that often seem to have just everything, I love doing a custom calendar with special photos from the last year. Calendars and other custom photo gifts are something nice for dad’s office, too!

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Don’t forget the beauty of spiritual bouquets! Having Masses offered, or offering Rosaries and special prayers or holy hours for those you love are a beautiful gift you can give! I like to give a little bouquet of actual flowers or a pretty plant in addition to writing down the contents of the spiritual bouquet on pretty cardstock.

I hope this gave you some ideas for gifts and experiences that will bring joy and function to those you love this Christmas season.

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