Somebody recently asked me if I love Black Friday.
I do, but I think I prefer Cyber Monday.
And even though I like shopping, the things that bring me the MOST JOY lately are those that are the most useful for me — and that I actually use. 😉
I call buying these types of things “mindful shopping.” It allows me to make mindful purchases that save money and provide an extra personal touch when it comes to gift giving.
What Type Of Gift-giver Am I And what type Of Gift-giver Do I Encourage You To Be?
Sometimes, I wish my income was so unlimited that I could give iPhones, iPads, MacBooks and iWatches to everybody and call it a day.
Why? Because I know that pretty much everyone would enjoy one of these products.
But, since I don’t have unlimited Christmas funds, I do the next best thing, which is to give people gifts based on who they are, what they like AND what could benefit them.
In other words, I’m a practical gift-giver.
Which is kind of ironic, come to think of it, because I’m a very sentimental person. But I would like things to last, be used over and over again and make me feel loved, every day, if possible.
For example, if I were to get a romantic gift… and I had the choice between flowers and jewelry… I would go with the jewelry— regardless of how expensive or inexpensive the jewelry is.
Not because jewelry tends to be more expensive in general, but because that piece of jewelry will be something that I could use for years and decades.
The roses, on the other hand, won’t last forever… although I do like to take pictures of the flowers I get in order to prolong their lifeline and remember the joy they brought me because I do like them.
Buying Thoughtful, Practical and Lasting Gifts For People Is The Key To Gift-giving.
One of the things that makes gift-giving a little stressful (or a lot) is that we all have gotten gifts that s…. surprisingly aren’t what we had envisioned. 😉
And we know where those gifts go, one of four places:
- The donation pile
- The regifting pile
- Any random place where they can accumulate dust and/or totally be forgotten
- Back to the store
So gift-giving is basically an act of trying to avoid giving someone having the temptation to do that to the item that you bought them with your hard-earned money (unless you refitted then something, of course). 😉
How to prevent gifts from going to any of these unwanted piles?
Boost the functionality/ practicality factor.
If you know that someone loves FROGS, you can get them all the frog figurines in the world, but, if everybody in that person’s circle also gives them frog figurines, then your gift is less special.
Plus, there are only so many frogs people will like to own throughout their lifetime.
So making the gift serve a purpose _in addition to_ being something that they like is the better way to go.
For example, if you bought this person a lunch box decorated with frogs, then you’ll give them the joy of seeing the animal that they like AND being able to use the product. Plus, a gift like that is more unique. There aren’t that many frog lunchboxes that I know of.
When applying this principle, try not to buy t-shirts or mugs, if you can avoid it. Even though T-shirt’s and mugs are practical, those gifts usually don’t bring people joy — even if they have their favorite object on them— because they give the impression that they were last-minute purchases made at some random store.
Put Yourself In the Recipients’ Shoes*
If I’m being honest, the gifts that I receive and that disappointed me the most are gifts that people have given me with no consideration to whether I’ve actually used things like that in the past.
For example, I’ve gotten many gifts with sheer fabric, that some people love and can wear all year long, but for me, as a breastfeeding mom who is a sensitive being and therefore likes soft and stretchy fabrics, feeling confined by that non-stretchy, super-delicate fabric gives me more stress than pleasure. It pulls so easily, that you’re lucky if it has no pulls before you purchase it at the store or after you wear it once or twice. You have to be careful of whether you wear jewelry or shoes that can pull it. Plus, you have to be careful of the shoes your kids are wearing, when you carry them because if your shoes have Velcro, and that Velcro isn’t perfectly aligned, you run a super-high risk that they will pull on that fabric.
Is the clothing made with that fabric nice, and does it look nice? Yes. But I love SO many other things from essential oils, to scrapbooking supplies, to planners, to jewelry, to gold things, to cookies, to baking, to Amazon, to Apple, to any other tech, to Hobby Lobby, to books, to Oprah, to music that SO many other gifts would do. Practically, anything else.
I don’t have the audacity to say that I don’t like that fabric, but if you can somehow manage to drop teeny tiny hints to others that direct them to the things that you love (instead of the thing you’re trying to avoid) that would be great. I’m still working on ways to drop mine. 😉
But even if you can’t, my point in sharing all of this (even though it makes me seem a bit ungrateful) is that ESPECIALLY when it comes to your family, we should know them better without necessarily having them create a Christmas wish list.
My mom has never created a Christmas wish list in her life, but based on my interactions with her, I can think of three things off the top of my head that I shouldn’t buy her:
- Sweaters and t-shirts because she doesn’t like them (Fun fact, I’ve never seen my mom wear a sweater and I’ve only seen her wear a T-shirt 3 times, one of them was for PJs and the other two was at the beach when I was in elementary school.
So the moral of the story is this:
When buying gifts for others… try to focus more on what they would like and wear and use… based on their personality, not yours.
I know that it’s tempting to shop vicariously for ourselves when buying other people’s gifts. And buy things that we would want to receive. And it’s not such a bad thing to buy them things that we love and use this as long as you’re about 80% sure that they’ll love and use that gift.
Love and Treasure Holiday Gift Guide 2018
In this Love and Treasure Holiday Gift Guide 2018, you’ll soon see that these ideas zero in on people a little more to try to increase the likelihood that the gift recipient will like them AND use these items.
If you’re unsure if people will like something but you’re pretty sure they’ll be able to benefit from it… then go ahead and buy it if you think they would be open to that gift.
Sometimes, as individuals, we don’t buy ourselves more practical things (like socks, pens and notebooks) as often as we need because we leave it for later, or we simply don’t think to buy these things for ourselves until we absolutely need them. So don’t be afraid of getting people PJs or socks. I love both and can never have enough of either.
Since I am an Amazon affiliate, the links below are affiliate links which means that this blog will get a small comission if you purchase through my link. Feel free to use this link to do all of your Holiday shopping and purchases year-round… and you’ll be supporting this blog in the process, something that I totally appreciate).
Here are some Christmas gifts that I recommend in my Christmas 2018 Shopping Guide:
See the child as an individual.
What natural talents do they seem to have? Artistic talent? Musical talent?
What cartoons do they like?
What toys can help their development based on the stage they’re in?
If you’re going to buy they toys, whenever possible, try to go for educational toys.
Kids mean so much to us that buying them gifts if often hard.
Even though it’s SUPER tempting to buy them the most expensive gifts, I’ve actually enjoyed buying the kids in my life the most practical gifts I think they will enjoy.
A hard-cover sketch pad
You would be surprised to know that often, it’s not the most expensive toys or the most techs toys that get the most use.
At my house, balloons, cars, soap bubbles, crayons, paper and pencils get the most use.
When you buy a kid a hardbound sketch pad or journal with a hardcover, you’re inviting them to feel important by doing their drawings in a more permanent medium that you can preserve and share with them when they’re older.
OSMo drawing device
This device is amazing. Imagine if you drew a magic wand… and a digital character on your iPad, iPhone or Kindle interacted with it?
Imagine learning to draw by tracing fun Disney characters.
Coding in a fun way.
Playing math stress- free.
Osmo comes in the Creative Kit (for more artsy kids) and Genius Kits (for artsy kids AND intellectual kids) and both are great.
The only downfall is that in order to use it, you would have to let your kids use your iPad, iPhone or Kindle without its protective case.
So only you know if you can trust your kids with that. 🙂
These game “console” that combines the digital life behind the screen to the physical life on your side of the screen is pretty cool though.
Hopefully, the Osmo designers redesign this toy so that you can have fun with your kid , and let them have fun without feeling stressed about your device.
For the Kid Who Loves To Read
One of my favorite type of kids to gift to are those who like books.
Why? Because I love books and they make my heart smile to see them engaged with a book. It’s one of the best things to see, in my opinion.
There are many things you can get them, books being the most obvious thing.
You can order them from Amazon or buy them at Walmart.
My favorite children’s magazine to give is the Highlights High Five magazine.
You can choose between a couple of age groups and even choose a bilingual version, which includes every page in both English and Spanish.
This magazine with very sturdy binding is ideal for kids ages 0-2.
Your 2-6 year olds are bound to love this magazine.
This magazine is for kids 6-12. And I happened to grow up with it and love it!
The bilingual or Spanish-speaking kids in your life will greatly enjoy this magazine.
A membership to Epic
You can ALSO… buy them a subscription to the Netflix of children’s books called Epic.
It’s an app on your device. It’s definitely available on iOS, I’m pretty sure it’s also available on Android.
But it’s sooo neat because for a monthly fee of
- $48 you’ll have access to Epic for 6 months
- $96 you’ll have access to Epic for a year
- $197 you’ll have for two years
and you and your children can read an unlimited number of books. It even has Read-To-Me books that will read to your child. (You can also get a sale for Black Friday).
Basically, for less than what you would spend on 1 trip to the grocery store (or probably to Target), you can allow your kids to have access to unlimited books for many months, saving you trips to the library.
Speaking of the library, if part of your kids’ homework is to read every day, this app, makes it a time-saver and super convenient to have books at your disposal, and no library late fees. 🙂
The selection of the books on Epic is better than other apps I’ve used, like FarFaria, which we still use every day as well, but we only read the one free book that we get per day because I don’t have the subscription for FarFaria. I prefer Epic much more.
Kids can also be practicing their reading skills even when they’re not reading a physical or digital book/magazine.
And fostering the love for letters, sounds, words and books is a little tricky. The best way, of course, is to make reading a daily part of your childrens’ lives and your own.
In addition to that, one of the best apps for kids available in both the Kindle and Apple products is the Endless Reader app. I love it. The kids love it. And it’s definitely one of those apps where buying the membership is worth it.
It teaches kids:
- the letter names and sounds
- teaches kids the names, spelling and context of common sight words
- It is fun, bright and super engaging… so much so that one of my kids asks for it daily.
- It does foster a love for language.
- Based on reviews I’ve read it’s helped autistic kids and kids with a speech delay.
You can get information about what you can get with it here.
I would recommend that you get all the word packs.
You can watch a video about it here.
Super Practical Gifts For All Kids
I know, I know, getting clothes isn’t the thing that excites kids the most, but if you’re going for a practical gift and a high-quality one that they can use all year round, if the child in your life goes to school and wears a uniform, I recommend:
Don’t you just love the name? =) (And french toast?)
This French Toast clothing collection looks bright, has nice fabric, and best of all, stays looking new wash after wash. It doesn’t fade. It’s supposed to look nice for more than 50 washes. Out of all the uniform brands that I’ve used, this line, is my favorite.
Toys are more fun when they have batteries in them, am I right?
Regardless of what kind of kid your child is, it is most likely that they’ll get toys from you, Santa or other family members that will require batteries.
For ecological purposes and because they have great quality, the batteries that I recommend are the EBL batteries. They recharge well. They’re easy to find and set apart from your other regular batteries and rechargeable batteries.
Most importantly, they’ll allow the fun to happen.
For The Nerdy Adults We Love ❤️
If you know of (or are) someone who has an online website or online business, these apps are great.
They’re limited time deals that allow you to get apps for a lifetime at a significant discount.
They cover a variety of people like those who want to:
- Address their clutter
- Start or grow a blog
- Learn more about essential oils
- Improve their homemaking skills
- Up their photography skills
You’ll often get about 95%-97% off this bundle, which will allow you to save thousands of dollars.
For The Creatives
Becky Higgins Products
I’m partial to Becky Higgins, but I love her products that much.
All of her products are great, but if I had to choose one I would choose the Project Life App, which allows you to scrapbook from the palm of your hand.
You know how much you say that you treasure photos but you do nothing with them? You don’t print them, don’t frame them, don’t create photo books with them and much less scrapbook them?
As the creator of Project Life, Becky Higgins says, “Project Life® is an ultra-simple, über-stylish solution for getting your photos off your phone and computer, out of boxes, and into albums.” She’s such a cool and relatable lady, you’ve gotta check her out!
Isn’t that what we all aspire to? Well, at least the majority of us?
Project Life provides things such as:
- and card kids with up to 616 cards per Core Kits
(and up to 100 cards in Mini Kits
and 120 cards in Value Kits)
that will allow anybody to make a beautiful scrapbook that doesn’t take up too much time.
All you have to do is add these three Project Life items (albums, pocket pages and card kids) to your photo collection and KABOOM! You’ll have everything you need to scrapbook in no time.
And the designs shown above are just a small sampling, there’s a multitude of products to choose from.
And not just for scrapbooking. Becky and her team have great taste and you can purchase other things like journals, bags, stone wrap (which is like super thick and luxurious gift-wrapping paper) and even jewelry on your website.
Project LIfe is a system that has allowed people who are 10, 20 or 30 years behind in their scrapbooking to scrapbook faster than they ever have before. How’s that for a community? How’s that for a tribe of people who understand your frustrations and are making great progress together?
Plus, it’s a great ongoing family tradition because even children who can doodle, write or draw can capture their creativity in these cards.
Take a look at the video to see what it’s about.
So as you could see from the video, photographs are an important part of our life…. and men, as well as women, want to honor their journey…and it doesn’t matter if they’re 6 or 16.
Kootek Aluminium Alloy Revolving Cake Stand 12 Inch Cake Turntable with 12.7” Angled Icing Spatula and Comb Icing Smoother Banking Cake Decorating Supplies
If you have a baker in your life, especially a cake decorator, you’ll want to gift them this.
I gave it to one of my family members and she loved it.
How’s You’re Photo taking going?
Are you feeling guilty that:
1) You’re not taking as many pictures of your 2nd and 3rd child as you did your 1st?
2) Are you feeling guilty and even a bit embarrassed that you’re not taking as many pictures as you’d like?
If you’re not taking enough photos as a family or if you’re not coming out in them, this kit is a wonderful gift for you and your family and other families who appreciate photos.
For The People Who Need Practicality And Productivity
Instant Ink Printer – HP ENVY 5055 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer, HP Instant Ink & Amazon Dash Replenishment ready (M2U85A)
I have a confession to make, all my life i’ve been very stingy with ink. But printing is one of the things that gives me the greatest joy.
Printer ink has been like fine china, something that’s beautiful but so valuable, that I never got to enjoy it, until now.
This year, I invested on THE. BEST. PRINTER. EVER. that has brought me the most joy.
It isn’t the fanciest, the most expensive or the one with the most features I’ve ever owned. BUT it’s the one that HAS BROUGHT ME THE GREATEST JOY BECAUSE IT’S THE ONE I’VE ACTUALLY USED THE MOST.
If I just want to print something, I print it.
I’ve been able to do a total 360 degrees turn-around because the HP printer that I have that Instant Ink Ready, provides me ink for free, basically, but I am on a monthly plan based on how many pages I want to print.
You get 3 months free. And you can print unlimited things on that plan.
Buying this printer has been my favorite Amazon purchase all year. Yes, it’s that good. It’s that freeing.
As we spoke earlier, paper clutter sucks the life out of people. Therefore, this micro-cut shredder is wonderful for optimal privacy while shredding.
External CD DVD Drive, BENGOO USB 3.0 Ultra Slim Optical Drive Portable CD DVD-RW Burner Writer Rewriter for Apple Macbook Pro Air iMAC Laptop Desktop Support Mac OS / Windows / Vista System – Silver
If you’re of a certain age you have CDs in your home. Music CDs, document file CDs and DVDs. Because well, upgrading technology can be somewhat of a chore.
I have been using it to compile my digital files in a way that better shows that I love and treasure them.
You’ll probably take a bit of a drive down memmory lane if you get this, but it’s well worth it.
If you know of anybody who needs to concentrate better (who doesn’t? 😉 ) and for long periods of time… Focus at Will is a great gift because it’s been scientifically proven to help you focus on your tasks.
I use it often, especially when I’m writing, like this post for instance, and it really does help.
Mornwell D01B Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush with 2 Mins Timer, 4 Brushing Modes for Sensitive Teeth Cleaning and Gum Irrigator
I gave this toothbrush as a gift to a special someone and they liked it.
Electric Toothbrush, BEUTEESER H3 Rechargeable Sonic Electric Toothbrush with Induction Wireless Charging Base and 4 Clean Modes and 2 Replacement Heads IPX7 Waterproof
This is the toothbrush I use in conjunction with a more fancy one. I like the Beuteeser better. It’s more modern and awesome overall.
VicTsing QC3.0 Bluetooth FM Transmitter, Car Wireless Radio Transmitter Adapter, Large Display Screen, Hands-Free Calls, Dual USB Ports, Music Playing via Bluetooth, U Disk and TF Card
I gave it to one of my family members this year and he liked it. I also love mine.
Popsicle Molds Set – BPA Free – 6 Ice Pop Makers + Silicone Funnel + Cleaning Brush + Ice Cream Recipes E-book – by Lebice
This brings joy to anybody. I actually made watermelon popsicles today, yep, even though we’re in the middle of Fall.
I love using these molds the most because it allows me to not let fruit go to waste. It doesn’t often, but I hate it when it does. This helps with that.
I realize that this is a bizzarre gift. But It can pair well with one of the toothbrushes, or as a stocking stuffer.
Anybody can appreciate a whiter smile.
For The Eco-Conscious
The following two items would be great hostess gifts, especially after they invited you to dinner and you all dirtied their dishes.
These pods clean dirty dishes with plant-derived enzymes. Isn’t that wild? Literally. 🙂
Puracy Natural Liquid Dish Soap, Sulfate-Free Dishwashing Detergent, Green Tea and Lime, 16 Ounce Bottle, (Pack of 3)
This soap also cleans with plant-derived enzymes that were put to good use by a chemist with more than 20-years of dishwashing experience. It comes in such a pretty box. It smells nice and it does the job.
For the people who have it all
You really can’t go wrong with an Amazon gift card because the recipient can pretty much buy anything they want or need.
Hobby Lobby gift cards
Enough said. Perfect for the crafty one, the dreamer, the decorator, the lover of all things beautiful.
If you’re a cord-cutter or want a few more options, to easily watch your Prime videos or use your voice to watch some of your favorite shows, this gadget may be for you.
Other than love, the gift of health is often underrated, when it should really be front and center.
It’s difficult to love with all our hearts when we’re not feeling our absolute best.
I love the Global Healing Center products.
Here you can find kits to do cleanses as well as bottled ingredients as valuable as Turmeric, to facial creams with the purest ingredients.
I can’t think of another company who takes health SO seriously from the inside out.
If you want a bandage for your ailments, this company isn’t for you. But if you want to heal, improve, feel stronger, feel younger, feel more vital from the inside out, addressing the cause that’s afflicting you and more, then Global Healing Center is for you.
I think the proof is in the products, but the fact that it’s called the Global Healing Center speaks volumes.
Just like we want to make sure our inside is clean of emotional and physical debris, our homes should also be clean and in the most natural ways as we can.
These products have helped me clean my home in general (from the counters, stainless steel appliances, glass tables, windows, bathroom, counters, etc), to my dishes.
I love this starter kit which has all the cloths I need to clean almost all the surfaces in my home.
Did you ever think you could wash dishes with just a pad (which is better than a sponge) with just water? Yeah, me neither.
These products save money and time. And I’m pretty sure that the person who has it all can use a bit more.
Behind the door organizers
There are many organizers out there. I bought three types in one Amazon shopping visit… and the ones I like the most were:
They are sturdy, pretty, and while I love shoe organizers with plastic pockets, I was pleasantly surprised that I like the crispness of the Misslo organizer that much.
Being safe in one of the places where we’re supposed to be the most safe, our homes, requires that we check our fire alarms and have a carbon monoxide alarm.
It’s recommended that you have one on the downstairs and upstairs.
I like it so much that I will be buying more.
This gift may seem simplistic, uninteresting and like a no-gift, but life is a precious gift and we must preserve it.
What if thanks to this gift, you save your family members and/or friends’ lives. It would be priceless.
If you can swing it and you or a loved one has used an iPhone for two or 3 years, then an upgrade is justified.
One of the things that stresses people the most is clutter, and people usually have clutter because they are already stressed. It’s a perpetual cycle that is hard to break.
And what type of clutter causes perhaps the most amount of stress?
If you have any paper clutter in your home you know that just thinking about it raises your anxiety levels. LOL. 🙂
The best thing to combat paper clutter, aside from keeping it under control, tossing it, recycling and shredding it, is a scanner with an automatic feeder that can scan documents incredibly efficiently and effectively.
The one I recommend (and have recommended for years) is the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Color Duplex Desk Scanner that works for both Macs and PCs.
The fact that it’s a duplex scanner means that it will scan your page on both sides automatically.
It feels much more peaceful knowing that you have a digital copy of the documents you love and treasure and that they can also have a home online.
You Still Have Plenty Of Time To Get These Items
Because with 2-day shipping… we have plenty of time to order what we need.
My favorite place to shop at is Amazon. I shop there more than anywhere else given that I enjoy ordering online and getting the items shipped to me quickly thanks to Amazon Prime.
You can enjoy this benefit, too, by signing up.
If by chance you happen to be reading this post and you STILL haven’t gotten Amazon Prime, (which I highly doubt) make sure you have the ability to shop there to make this Holiday Season easier for you.
So now it’s your turn.
What Christmas gift suggestions do YOU have? Other than Love of course. ;