This year we are introducing our very first gift guide! I feel a little like Oprah picking my favorite items to share with readers, but alas, no one here is getting a car.
To come up with the list I took submissions for consideration from members of my Facebook Group, I scoured the sites of my podcast guests and guest editors, and I pulled in some personal favorites as well as some of my current wish list items.
I’ve always enjoyed selecting gifts for people, so this was great fun to put together!
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Science of Parenthood: Thoroughly Unscientific Explanations for Utterly Baffling Parenting Situations – I’ll have to check with the authors, but I may have been the very first pre-order back in June and have been awaiting my copy with vigor and enthusiasm! I even eyed an early authors copy and the illustrations were delicious! Available November 17th, this book is a perfect choice for parents, teachers (oh my gosh, isn’t this an awesome teacher gift???), and anyone who likes to approach parenting with LOTS of humor.
Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Yuletide Yahoos, Ho-Ho-Humblebraggers, and Other Seasonal Scourges – I was lucky enough to get an early preview copy of this book in late September and devoured it in 2 nights. Jen Mann is the master of self-deprecation and relatable parenting humor. I love this pick for gen-x moms because in addition to lots of present day stories of hiding gifts so well you can’t find them and a husband with the worst gift giving habits ever, Jen’s hilarious 1970’s and 80’s Christmas accounts from when she was a kid are may favorite and take me back to my own childhood. This made me smile and laugh out loud and totally put me in the holiday mood!
Martinis & Motherhood: Tales of Wonder, Woe & WTF?! – “Stories that inspire, entertain, and make you laugh ’til you pee. Plus martinis! And not just any-old-martinis—these ones were designed just for moms!” Ummm – how can this be bad? On my list.
For Pet Lovers
JL Watercolor Pet and House Portraits – If you have a pet lover on your list, consider having a custom portrait done. Simply order through this Etsy shop, submitting a photograph for the artist to work from. She also does gorgeous house and botanical drawings. Oh, and if you don’t have the pet or house photo you need, you can order a gift certificate and your recipient can select their own photo!
For The Writer/Blogger
Writer’s Necklace – This is SO going on my wish list! Or maybe I’ll just buy it for myself. This necklace from IntuitiveJewellery is the best gift EVER for a woman writer or blogger. I love the little typewriter and you can choose any color bead to match a birthstone or favorite color. I want to get this for all my blogger friends.
Make Money to Write About Your Kids: Get Published in Regional, National & Online Parenting & Family Magazines – This has been a favorite of mine since I interviewed author, Kerrie McLoughlin in February of 2014. If you need a gift for a parenting blogger, this is a great one! It takes the reader step by step through how to start writing for regional parenting magazines with tons of contacts by market.
Getting Creative: Developing Creative Habits that Work – This is all about finding time for creative endeavors with all the other things going on in our lives. With many of my readers struggling with this exact issue, this review says it all: “This book is a handy resource for any artist or writer who is struggling with a 9 to 5 job while pursuing their artistic endeavors. This book is more about endowing yourself with good creative habits than being a magic problem solver book, and the author is upfront about his goal in this book. It’s also incredibly supportive in making sure you don’t overdo the practices, and not to beat yourself up if you falter, but continue to take small steps towards larger gains while maintaining a flexibility in being able to be creative while also living your life.”
Writing Retreat – If you have a bigger budget, don’t question whether a writer or blogger you know would like a writing retreat. I’m here to tell you THEY WOULD. Although I have not been lucky enough to go on one myself, one of my readers suggests Haven Retreats: “Haven Writing Retreats are designed to meet you where you need to be met, whether you are a beginner, or a best-selling author and everything in-between. We are all the same in a circle of people putting ideas into words. Haven Writing Retreats in gorgeous Whitefish, Montana: Named in the top 5 writing retreats in the US by Open Road Media! Founded by author, Laura Munson-of the New York Times and international best-selling memoirist. Her essays and short stories have been published in the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, O. Magazine, Time, Newsweek, The Week, Redbook….” Whitefish Montana? Sign me up.
Mission Belt – I have given this to my husband, my father and my father in-law and it was a hit with all of them. This is a cool looking belt that uses ratchet technology to tighten and loosen, so it sort of clicks tighter and looser instead of using holes in the leather. There are ton of color/metal combinations and some funky colors as well. BONUS: every belt goes to fight hunger and poverty worldwide through micro-lending.
For Tea Lovers
Plum Deluxe’s Tea of the Month Club – I admit, I am not a tea drinker. It’s one of those thing I wish I did, but apparently my palate is only sophisticated enough for hot chocolate. BUT, if I did, I’d be all over this gift of delicious limited-edition artisan tea every month. “Each blend is thoughtfully crafted with only the freshest organic ingredients from around the world.”
For Coffee Lovers
Just Want To Drink Coffee & Make Cool Stuff Mug – Sweatpants and Coffee offers this fun mug for all the coffee-drinking creatives out there.
Richard Scarry’s Busytown, Eye Found It – Whether or not you love Huckle and Lowly (I’m not ready to commit just yet), this game is pretty awesome for kids and adults to play together. I have gifted this and we also have it for our own kids. There is a giant game board you put together in 3 big heavy-duty cardboard pieces and you move along individually but all have to reach the end together to try to win as a team. The best part is when you spin a Goldbug and have to search for hidden items on the board together. You’d think it would be a no brainer after a few plays, but these items are tough to spot on the very intricate board and we’ve had a lot of fun playing with our 4 and 5-year-old. Since my husband and I still have trouble finding the hidden objects, I’d say it’s great for older kids too.
Let’s Count to 100! – This book is really cute with lots happening on every page. There are things to look for and activity among the animals including the tiny flatulent mole my kids immediately zeroed in on among 99 other moles.
Luca and Company Art Station, Red – Santa brought this to our art-obsessed daughter last Christmas and a day has not gone by since when her bum hasn’t been sitting at it creating something. As the photo shows, the top is reversible to a chalkboard, and you have the option of having it as a desk or easel. Great quality and perfect for a budding artist!
40 Days of Art and Literature: A Prayer Journal – “This devotional is a guided journal full of exercises to encourage creative prayer. Quotes from literature give new ideas to dwell on, poetry provides imagery to ponder and imitate, prayer drawing exercises inspire prayer even when you’re out of words, and scripture passages find new life through the meditative process of Lectio Divina.”
The Best Advice in Six Words: Writers Famous and Obscure on Love, Sex, Money, Friendship, Family, Work, and Much More (Six-Word Memoir) – (Larry Smith) I just did the Amazon.com ‘Look Inside’ to get a taste of the 6 word advice bits and found “Free cheese only comes in traps — Ed Boland”. Sold.
Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns – I got this for a friend’s birthday and she loved it! Coloring these detailed patters is soothing if you are someone like me who likes to relax but needs to be doing something in order to do so (if that makes any sense!). My mom and grandmother both color these as well, and Amazon.com has tons to choose from if you search ‘Adult Coloring Book’. BonBon Break also had a great listing a few months ago.
I personally like these twist up colored pencils from Crayola:
QVC Beauty Christmas Advent Calendar 24pc Collection – If you have followed me for a while, you may have heard me mention (sheepishly) my QVC obsession. Well, I had to have at least one thing on this list from QVC. I received this last year from my mom and luxuriated in opening up my little beauty surprise every day of December. This year they have a new version out and it looks awesome if you want to treat yourself and prolong the opening over 24 days!
Which item would you love to receive off of this list?